Monday, July 28, 2014

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Title: Let's Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashed into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-miles journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.

I remember when I first heard about Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost, I discovered it was a contemporary story with a road trip and I was sold. I knew I needed to read this book. And then it started getting a lot of really good buzz and that only heightened my desire to read this book. Now that I’ve read it, I can honestly say that Let’s Get Lost did not disappoint me. 

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia all need a friend. In the moment when they need that friend the most, Leila barges into each of their respective life. She helps Hudson that there are different options for his future. When she meets Bree on the road, Leila helps her reconnect with her sister after she ran away. Leila and Elliot go on a quest to help him get his happy ending with the girl he’s in love with. And Leila shows Sonia that just because she lost her boyfriend, she didn’t lose her ability to love and she shouldn’t be scared of loving again. But no one really knows who Leila is. She’s just travelling across the country in the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska. Maybe along the way, Leila will also discover what she’s looking for, even if it means getting lost first.

I was very excited to read Adi Alsaid’s debut, Let’s Get Lost. I mean, it’s a contemporary story set in summer and it has a road trip. What’s not to love? As it got closer to the release date, I started seeing the book everywhere (Side note: there was also a legit Let’s Get Lost car at BEA, it was pretty cool). Everyone I knew who was reading it seemed to be loving it and that only made me raise my expectations. So when I started reading, I’ll admit I was a little afraid of what I would find in the pages of the book. But I really shouldn’t have worried. Let’s Get Lost was definitely different, but it was the VERY GOOD kind of different. Reading this book, it almost feels like you’re reading four different short stories that have one common thread: Leila. Each of the sections of the books are very much about the four people Leila meets at different point during her trip. Each of those first four sections could very well stand on their own. They each have a clear start and finish. But they wouldn’t necessarily be the most satisfying of stories because each time you’re left wondering what happens to Leila. And that’s where that final section of the book comes in. That last section ties everything together beautifully. All those questions that I had asked myself, all those details that didn’t really seem like they fit, they were all explained. That’s what really made me love this story, the way all the pieces of the puzzle came together to give you a satisfying ending. And that’s all thanks to Leila.

Leila was a very interesting characters. As much as this is her story, as the reader you don’t really get to really know her until the last 50 or so pages of the book. For most of the story, you get to know Leila through Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia. Every thing I knew about Leila was based on those four people’s observations. In that sense, it painted a very interesting picture. Each of those people saw her differently but their was that common thread: Leila was the person who came into their lives when they all really needed a friend. And as varied as those glimpses of Leila were, I grew to like her a lot. Until I read her story, understood why she was taking this trip, and then  I found myself loving Leila. But I also liked the people she met along the way. Each one was so different. In hindsight, it felt like each one almost represented a different part of Leila. Sonia represented her desire to run away from her life. Sonia was the part of her that was afraid to move forward, while Elliot saw the hope for a happy ending. And Hudson was different, he was afraid of risking it all, something Leila didn’t seem so scared to do. And that’s what brought them together, even if there were some moments when it felt a little unlikely. But I still loved the way all these people came together and fit together.

Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost was an absolutely fantastic debut. This story was just so different but it completely worked and I loved reading every page of it. I honestly cannot wait to read more from Adi Alsaid.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cover Reveal - Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the cover reveal for K.A. Tucker's BURYING WATER! BURYING WATER is a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel scheduled for release October 7th! This book will blow you away. Get. Ready.

Burying Water
The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.


On Sale October 7, 2014

In Her Wake cover (1)

You can read Chapters 1-4 of BURYING WATER in the back of IN HER WAKE, the Ten Tiny Breaths prequel novella from Trent's POV! IN HER WAKE is out September 1st. Pre-order your copy today!

Author Photo

About K.A. Tucker:
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brook of four-legged creatures. 

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

Title: Through to You
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Opposites attract—and then complicate—in this romantic, relatable novel from the author of Two-Way Street and Sometimes It Happens. It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smoulderingly sexy.

Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything. 

Oh, but it does. They hand out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings. 

Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride…

Summer is the season for all the contemporary stories, and so far, I am loving all the ones I am reading. This was no different with Lauren Barnholdt’s Through to You. I sped through this story, and it was a book I highly enjoyed.

Harper never thought that Penn knew who she was. She was never the kind of girl who caught the hottest guy in school’s attention. But when Penn casually drops a note on her desk, Harper starts to wonder what it would be like to know Penn better. Penn is just as surprised as Harper that he would ever be dropping notes on Harper’s desk. Now Harper and Penn are spending time together, not knowing what is happening. Any relationship between Harper and Penn seems illogical, they are two people who should not be together. Yet they keep being brought together and neither one knows how to stay away.

So this is where I’m honest: until I read Through to You, I hadn’t read any books by Lauren Barnholdt. I do own three of her other books though. Why haven’t you read them, you ask? Beats me. Lauren Barnholdt is some of my friends’ favourite authors and apparently that still wasn’t enough to motivate me to read some of her books. So that’s to say that because of all this, I had some pretty high expectations as far as Through to You  was concerned. I’m not going to lie, I really enjoyed Through to You, but I wanted more from it. Even though I tend to be a person who will take interesting characters over plot any day of the week, with Through to You I kept waiting for the story to happen. Sure there were things happening, Harper and Penn were going about their business and growing closer, but it felt like I kept waiting for more to happen and it just didn’t. That didn’t stop me from enjoying the overall story. I enjoyed seeing both characters deal with their respective issues and learn to open up to each other. So why I may have been let down by the story itself, I really enjoyed the characters.

I really enjoyed reading this story from both Penn’s and Harper’s points of view. In a way, I could relate to Harper, to how she was just going through high school with one or two really good friends, never concerned with the popular crowd. In that sense, I also understood the way she was intrigued by Penn, especially when he began paying attention to her. Though as much as I enjoyed Harper, Penn kept my interest more than she did. The only thing is, I’m a little torn as far as Penn is concerned. Every time I was reading from Harper’s perspective, I wanted nothing more than for her to stay away from Penn because he kept being a jerk to her. But then the story would change to Penn’s perspective, and all of a sudden I would start liking him a whole lot more. I was able to understand why he acted the way he did, and in some respects, I would start to root for him. So I was conflicted. As much as I wanted Penn to stand up for himself and get away from his less-than-ideal family situation, I also wanted him to stop acting like a complete jerk to Harper. In a way this ties in to how I felt about the story never quite taking off the way I thought it would, because I wish I could have seen more of what made the characters how they were, especially when it comes to Penn. 

Though Lauren Barnholdt’s Through to You didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I was still able to enjoy the story. And after having read this book, I am convinced that I need to go back and read those Lauren Barnholdt books that are sitting on my shelf, unread.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Blog Tour - Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally + Giveaway

Title: Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks #5)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iTunes
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more gruelling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint int he opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

“Breathe, Annie, Breahe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet.” — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You.

You all know by now that I absolutely LOVE Miranda Kenneally and her books. With every book of her’s that I read, I just love her even more. It was no different with Breathe, Annie, Breathe. I devoured this story and it quickly became a new all-time favourite.

Annie never thought she would be training to run a marathon. But then again, Annie never thought her boyfriend would die and she would finish high school in a haze of grief. This marathon, Annie is running it for Kyle. To honour him since, he was the one who was planning to race in it. But training for a marathon is hard work. It’s more difficult than Annie could have possibly imagined. As she’s getting stronger and her heart starts healing, Annie meets Jeremiah Brown, an adrenaline junkie she can’t seem to stop thinking about. Before long, Annie is finding herself doing something she thought would never happen again: she’s falling for Jeremiah. But will Annie be brave enough open herself up to love and let Jeremiah in?

I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved Breathe, Annie, Breathe. But I will do my best. Even if it won’t even come close to doing the book justice. Because this book was just SO PERFECT. I had been looking forward to reading it for such a long time, and when I finally got my hands on a copy, there was no stopping me. I was reading it RIGHT THAT INSTANT. And so I did and I loved it right away. I loved EVERYTHING about Breathe, Annie, Breathe. It was just a fantastic story. In a way, this story was a little different than Miranda Kenneally’s other stories. The sport aspect was there, and it was quite central to the story, but the person taking part in the sport was very much reluctant to do so. In a way, the story was more about getting over grief and opening yourself up to love after having been hurt.And the romance was definitely there in Breathe, Annie, Breathe. It might actually be my favourite out of all of Miranda Kenneally’s romances. The best part of it was that it started out as a friendship before it became more. Well, there was that one (hot) scene by the river that took me by surprise but was completely appropriate and fitting in the context of the story. But Annie and Jeremiah were friends. And I loved them. And they’re pretty much the reason that I loved this story as much as I did.

I absolutely loved Annie. There were so many reasons to love her and I could relate to her in so many ways. I’ve never run a marathon but I was a cross-country and track runner all through middle and high school. All those thoughts and feelings Annie has about running over the course of the book? I’ve had those and more. Because of that, Annie just felt very real to me. I could feel her pain, how much she was hurting because of Kyle’s death. But I could also see that she was trying to find a way to move forward, even if she didn’t realize it herself at first. And I loved the relationship she had with Jeremiah. And I ADORED Jeremiah. Out of all of Miranda’s boys, Jeremiah is officially my favourite, having replaced his older brother, Matt (who is still a close second…there’s just something about those Brown boys). I don’t even know if I can put Jeremiah into words. He was a player but he was also the sweetest person. He cared so much for everyone in his life, but at the same time he was willing to do just about anything to get an adrenaline rush, even if it meant putting his life in danger. All of Jeremiah’s flaws and imperfections are what made him so perfect. So there you have it, I might be a little bit in love with Jeremiah Brown. It couldn’t be helped. And like with all of Miranda Kenneally’s other books, I loved all the cameos by characters from the other books. I love the way I’m able to see them in each new book, just to make sure that they’re okay and are getting the happy ending they deserve. Hopefully, there’ll be glimpses of Annie and Jeremiah in future books. Especially Jeremiah (Yes, I have a one-track mind. Sue me).

If you hadn’t guessed it, I more than loved Miranda Kenneally’s Breathe, Annie, Breathe, I ADORED it. It was even better than I hoped it would be and I couldn’t help but fall in love with this story and these characters. If you haven’t yet read any of Miranda Kenneally’s books, you are seriously missing out.

Follow the rest of the tour!


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Slammed Trilogy by Colleen Hoover

Today I'm doing things a little differently. Instead of writing three separate reviews for the books in Colleen Hoover's fantastic Slammed trilogy, I give you a video review of all three books. Enjoy!

About the Books

Title: Slammed (Slammed #1)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover writes a romantic debut novel about a family shattered by a sudden death that leads to two unlikely lovers forming an intricate bond.

Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and her young brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

On young man brings change to all of this. After moving across the country, Layken meets her attractive twenty-one-year-old neighbor, who has an intriguing passion or slams. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after a heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together and the forces that tear them apart.

Title: Point of Retreat (Slammed #2)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
In the second book in the Slammed series by New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, Layken and Will’s relationship has endured through hardships, heartache, and a cruel twist of fate, further solidifying the fact that they belong together. But the two lovers could not have expected that the things that brought them together may ultimately be the things that tear them apart. Their connection is on the brink of being destroyed forever and it will take an extraordinary amount of willpowers to keep their love afloat.

Layken is left questioning the very foundation of which her relationship with Will was built. Will is left questioning how he can prove his love for a girl who can’t seem to stop “carving pumpkins.” Upon finding the answers that may bring peace back into their relationship, the couple comes across an even greater challenge—one that could change not only their lives but the lives of everyone who depend on them.

Title: This Girl (Slammed #3)

Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s.

Colleen Hoover’s New York Times bestselling Slammed series has brought countless readers to their knees with a whirlwind of love, passion, and heartache.

Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure int heir union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he beings to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met. 

In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point f view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

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