Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blog Tour - Stay With Me by J. Lynn


Title: Stay With Me (Wait for You #3)
Author: J. Lynn
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo / B&N
At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement part. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carried the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal…and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that I absolutely love everything that Jennifer L. Armentrout/J. Lynn writes. And In the past year, I've been loving her New Adult contemporary romances. Unsurprisingly, the latest one, Stay With Me, did not disappoint me.

Since leaving home at 18, Calla hasn't looked back. She wanted nothing to do with her hometown and all the bad memories it brought up. In the years since leaving, Calla has made a new home for herself in college, with friends and a future. But that all threatens to fall apart when Calla discovers that her mother has stolen all the money she planned to use for college and accumulated a large amount of debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back home, to the place she thought she would never return. But when she walks in to her mother's bar, it's not her mom she finds but Jax. Jax immediately gets in Calla's business, whether she wants him to or not. But the most time she spends with Jax, the more Calla realizes that she's got to deal with everything that's happened in the past, it's the only way she'll ever be able to move forward.

Stay With Me is one of those books that kept me up until the early hours of morning because I just couldn't bear to put it down. No matter how late (or early) it got and even if I knew that I had to be at work the next day, I just kept reading. It's no secret that I love J. Lynn's books, I've devoured every one of her NA contemporary romances. But every time I know there's a new one coming out and I pick it up to read, there's always this concern in the back of my mind that I won't enjoy it, or that it won't be as good as the other ones were. This was definitely true with Stay With Me. But, as per usual where J. Lynn is concerned, I really shouldn't have worried. I got sucked in to Stay With Me just like I did with the previous two books in this series. Like I mentioned in my review of Be With Me, it helped that I already knew some of the characters in this story. I had seen Calla in the background of Be With Me and I really enjoyed getting to read her story and find out more about her. And I'm not going to lie, I really enjoyed seeing how her story fit in with Jax because he was completely new to me. And the romance between these two was just what I've come to expect from J. Lynn and her books. It was just the right mix of sweet, hot, intense and complicated. If I'm being honest, those are kind of my favourite kind.

I had previously gotten a glimpse of Calla in Be With Me, and all I really knew about her was that she was friends with Teresa and she had a pretty obvious scar on her face, which isn't all that much. But once I started reading and she began describing Cam, Jase and Ollie as the Hot Guy Brigade, I knew I would like her. And the more I read about Calla and her story, the more I liked her. She had a difficult past that led to her understandably having some trust issues. And no one brought on the trust issues more than Jax did. I'll admit that I wasn't sure how to feel about Jax at first. He just seemed so pushy and intent on getting involved in Calla's business without her inviting him to do so. He just kinda rubbed me the wrong way. But the more I learned about him, the more grew to like him. I don't really want to say that he took me by surprise, but he was worth sticking around for. And of course, I loved getting a glimpse of the couples from the other books (including a surprise appearance!)...though I'm still waiting for Ollie and Brittany to get their own.

As you might have guessed by now, I loved J. Lynn's Stay With Me. It was another great NA contemporary romance that sucked me in and made me fall for some new characters. I already can't wait until the next book in this series.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Sway by Kat Spears


Title: Sway
Author: Kat Spears
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or “Sway,” as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want—term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.

But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her ice, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?

A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion—until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.

I love books that are told from a boy’s perspective and there just aren’t enough of them in YA. Because of that, I was really excited about Kat Spears’s Sway. It was even one of the boys I was most excited about this fall. And I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint me.

Jesse Alderman is the person to go to no matter what you need. He’s made quite the name for himself when it comes to getting people what they want. But he never thought that would mean having to get Ken Foster, football captain and major meathead, a date with Bridget Smalley, the nicest girl in school. It shouldn’t be a difficult job. After all, Jesse is an expert when it comes to reading people. And everything would be going according to plan if Jesse wasn’t suddenly developing feelings for Bridget. Now Jesse finds himself spending time at an old folks’ home and in an unlikely friendship with Pete, Bridget’s belligerent younger brother. No one expected this to happen less than Jesse. Especially since he’s supposed to be getting Bridget to go out with Ken, not himself.

Have I mentioned that I loved books that are told from a boy’s perspective? Because I do. I really do. And it often feels like there just aren’t enough of them in YA. Or at least I’m not finding and reading them (as a side note — if you’ve any recommendations, just leave them in the comments). All that is to say that I was initially really excited about reading Kat Spears’s Sway because of the boy perspective. But it also sounded like it had the potential to be quite an interesting story, considering the main character is trying to get the girl he’s in love with to fall in love with someone else. And that definitely turned out to be true. It definitely led to some interesting situations. What disappointed me a little was that there wasn’t as much humour as I thought there was going to be. Considering the premise, there definitely could have been more honour injected in the story. Instead, the humour that was there was more dry and the story was more angsty than I thought it was going to be. And though at first that disappointed me, by the end I really loved that about the story. Because angst, when done well, really makes for some awesome stories. And Jesse brought all the angst. Granted he had his reasons, but he was on angsty boy.

In case you missed it ten seconds ago, Jesse Alderman was one angsty guy. From the bits and pieces I got about his family’s past over the course of the story, I totally understand where the angst came from. In his situation, I probably wouldn’t have been the happiest person ever. At times, though, Jesse was borderline self-destructive. And I don’t know what it says about me, but I kinda liked this angsty, slightly self-destructive boy quite a bit. I really wanted him to get over himself and actually fell something for a change. Because of that, I really enjoyed seeing him come to terms with everything that was happening between him and Bridget, and almost even more so between him and Pete. The friendship between Jesse and Pete was kind of an unexpected relationship, but it might just be my favourite relationship in the whole book. In a way, Pete challenged Jesse to actually feel something, and in return, Jesse didn’t treat Pete in a special way just because he has cerebral palsy. And those two together led to some of my favourite moments in this story. 

I really enjoyed Kat Spears’s Sway. It was a great story that had just the right balance of humour, heart and angst. And to make it even better, it was a great story that also happened to be told from a boy’s perspective. So if you’re looking for a book with any and all of these things, than Sway is the book you should be reading.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes


Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
This emotional, hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant YA debut, based on actual events, recounts one girl’s rejection of her high school’s hierarchy—and her discovery of her true self in the face of tragedy.

Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it all under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the results of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is a Mean Girls meets Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika—from laughter to tears, and everything in between.

Andrea Portes’s Anatomy of a Misfit is one of those books I had really high expectations for, it was one of the books I was most looking forward to getting my hands on at BEA earlier this year. Though it didn’t quite meet those expectations, Anatomy of a Misfit was still a very interesting read.

To the outside observer, it would look like Anika Dragomir has everything going for her, after all she is the third most popular girl in school. All she has to do to stay in that position is stay in line, otherwise Becky Vilhauer will make her life miserable. On the inside though, it’s a completely different story. On the inside, Anika has the makings of a freak. Dark thoughts, evil plots and even the DNA of a vampire is rumours around town are to be believed. And that all leads Anika to Logan McDonough. Previously a loner, Logan comes back at the start of the school year looking better than ever and he seems to want Anika. Anika knows what will happen to her social position if she shows interest in Logan, but she can’t help but be drawn to this mysterious nerd. There’s something more going on with Logan, Anika just knows it, but will she do something about it and risk being miserable the rest of her high school life. 

As I’ve already mentioned, I had pretty high expectations for Anatomy of a Misfit. It was one of those books that when I first heard about it, I knew I absolutely wanted to read it. To the point that it was one of a few books that I most wanted to grab when I was at BEA earlier this year. So needless to say that I was really excited at the prospect of reading Anatomy of a Misfit. When I started reading, I quickly realized that it was going to be different than what I thought it was going to be. That’s not to say it was a bad kind of different. I really enjoyed this story. Granted, I had some issues with it at times, but it still didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story. This story is to the point. Anika is blunt in the way she tells her story, but she’s also quirky and has a rather dry sense of humour. I will say this though, the story ends up packing quite a punch. Though there were many hints dropped along the way, the ending still took me by surprise. As emotional as it was, it was the appropriate ending for this story. And much like it was a good ending for the story, this story wouldn’t have worked with someone other than Anika as the narrator.

Anika was interesting. As I’ve already mentioned, she was quirky and had a rather dry sense of humour. But I liked the way her brain worked. The only thing that really bugged me was the amount of emphasis that was put on keeping things hidden in the name keeping her social standing. Granted that was kind of the point of the story and she needed to go through that to where she got by the end, but at times I felt like I was being hit over the head with that aspect of the story. My other complaint would be that I could have gotten to know the other characters a little better. As much as I could see the appeal of both Logan and Jared, but I feel like I didn’t know them well enough for everything that happened with them to make complete sense. Though I feel like that could be said more about Jared than Logan. In a way, it felt like Jared kind of came out of nowhere, just to make Anika rethink everything to do with Logan. But again, that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.

I really enjoyed reading Andrea Portes’s Anatomy of a Misfit. Though the story wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, it was a story with a message that is ultimately an important one. If you’re looking for something a little different with a quirky narrator, than this is the book for you.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Finding Fate Trilogy by Chelsea Fine

So I did that thing where I binge read an entire trilogy in just a few days again. I figured the best way to talk about Chelsea Fine's Finding Fate trilogy review would be to do another video review. So to find out more about my thoughts on these books, just watch the video below! Enjoy!



About the Books


Title: Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate #1)
Author: Chelsea Fine
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Indigo
Sometime moving on means moving in…

Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can’t. And the damage is done. She’s hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there’s a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend—and maybe move—until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he’s right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she’s long buried…

Levi can’t believe he’s living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple “sorry won’t suffice—not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie’s better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she’s so close, Pixie’s hear seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear—he can’t live without her.


Title: Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2)
Author: Chelsea Fine
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Indigo
Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything…

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light t the end of the tunnel. So when her late father—a man she barely knew—leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief…until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father’s protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she’s forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla’s seen his type before. But Daren isn’t who he seems to be…

Struggling to make amends for his family’s mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He’s beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner’s princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she’s just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla being to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla’s dad could have left them…was each other.



Title: Right Kind of Wrong (Finding Fate #3)
Author: Chelsea Fine
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Indigo
Sometimes wrong can feel oh so right…

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets…or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to lee her safe—but what’s not safe is her prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.

Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him—and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in…and how much she already has.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini


Title: Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and rules by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian…Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

It’s no secret that I absolutely ADORE Josephine Angelini and her books. When I heard she had a new series coming out, I couldn’t help but be excited. But at the same time I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to all of my expectations. Trial By Fire completely surpassed all my expectations and I loved every page of it.

For as long as she could remember, Lily Proctor has barely been able to leave her house without suffering from severe allergic reactions to the world around her. Her whole life, this has kept her from being able to experience the things normal high school girls would get to experience: things like going to parties, going out on dates. But she may finally be able to cross one off her list when her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan, agrees to take her to a party. Except the party turns into a big humiliating event for Lily and she wishes she could be anywhere but there. Without realizing it, Lily’s wish becomes a reality when she is transported to a different Salem, one where everything that once made her weak now make her incredibly powerful. With that power, Lily has to go up against the most powerful of all the Crucibles in this alternate Salem, Lillian, her other self. Will Lily be strong enough to do what it takes to protect a city she can barely recognize and find her way home?

So here’s the thing. When I first heard about Josephine Angelini’s Trial By Fire I was under the impression that it was about witches, and that the main character got transported back in time and met her past self. I was right about one of those things, sort of right about another, and wrong about the last. Trial By Fire is totally about witches, or Crucibles in this case. The main character, Lily, doesn’t get transported back in time, she gets transported to an alternate universe. And it’s her alternate self she meets, not her past self. That meant that when I first started reading, this made it so I was a little confused, but once I worked it all out for myself, I more than enjoyed this story. I was already a huge fan of Josephine Angelini’s before reading Trial By Fire, but this book made me love her even more. This story was captivating, and layered—every time I thought I had something figured out, something new was thrown in and I was trying to figure it out all over again. And I of course have to talk about the romance in this story. Having read (and being a huge fan of) Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed trilogy, I was definitely looking forward to whatever romance was going to be in Trial By Fire. I’ll be honest and say that the romance here felt a lot more understated. I expected it to be more in my face, but in the end I really liked the way it played out. It fit in perfectly with the story, and it made me like those characters that much more. But obviously there were also some very sensual moments. One in particular involved paint and well, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I really liked reading about Lily. I liked that once she was thrown in this world where magic was a thing she didn’t just take it in stride. Much like she never let her health issues stop her from doing what she wanted in her world, she fights back against what people are telling her in this new world. And that’s what I loved most about Lily’s character, she didn’t let anything get her down, and considering everything she was going through, that was a great attitude to have. It was also interesting to see the differences between Lily and Lillian, her alternate self. The two may have played the same role in their respective worlds, but they couldn’t have been more different. Or at least that’s how it seemed while I was reading Trial By Fire. Knowing what I know about Josephine Angelini and her books though, I might be thinking differently by the end of the next book. The same can be said about the differences between the two Tristans I met, granted I only saw one of them for a very brief period of time. The one character I only met one of was Rowan, and one was more than enough. I don’t even know where to start with Rowan. At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about him. I honestly thought he might turn out to be one of the bad guys. But I was clearly wrong because by the end of the book I was ALL ABOUT ROWAN. I definitely want more Rowan in future books and I can’t wait to have more Rowan in future books.

In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, I absolutely loved Josephine Angelini’s Trial By Fire. It completely lived up to all my expectations, and it brought a fresh and new perspective to a subject that has been dealt with previously. I absolutely cannot wait to find out what happens next.

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