Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Minders by Michele Jaffe

By: Michele Jaffe
Pub. Date: January 30, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley

Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?

Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She's been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she'll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There's just one problem: Sadie's fallen in love with him.

Q: What if the crime is murder?

Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.

Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?

Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford's life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Penguin Group (USA) and Netgalley.

I was so excited when I was approved for this galley. I'm usually not a fan of stories like this, but Minders sounded amazing! And it was! It was such an original concept and the author executed it perfectly.

Sadie isn't like other teenagers. She is always cool, calm and collected. In a matter of seconds, she can completely understand an entire situation and come up with the best solution. It is due to this that she is accepted into the Mind Corps and while there, she will spend the next six weeks in someone's mind. While in the mind of Ford, she can not control any situation. She is only allowed to observe. I thought that this was going to be confusing, but Michele Jaffe did an excellent job explaining everything.

The story is so interesting because even though it is told in only one point of view, Sadie's, since she is in the mind of Ford, the story is actually told in dual POV. I loved this! It was easy to feel connected to both Sadie and Ford and also care about them. I loved how the story played out, and I absolutely loved the ending. It was done perfectly!

The story did end in a way that I don't think it will be a series, but I am so excited to see what Jaffe has up her sleeve next! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Believe by Erin McCarthy

(True Believers # 3)
By: Erin McCarthy
Pub. Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pages: 232
Source: Netgalley

Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that's good and oh, so bad.

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it's a na├»ve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present. 
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Penguin and Netgalley.

After I read the first book in the series, True, I decided I wasn't going to read the second book, and I didn't, but when I read the synopsis for Believe, I decided to take another chance and read it. I am so glad that I did because I loved it! It was much better then I was expecting it to be.

Robin used to be the stereotypical college party girl. She liked going out and having fun. One night she ends up drunk and has sex with her best friends boyfriend. Waking up in bed with him, and disgusted with herself, she gives up her partying ways. Phoenix has just gotten out of jail and literally has nothing. Everything he had before prison was with his mom, and she left with no forwarding address while he was serving his time. I loved these two together. They started off as friends, and with duel point of view, we got to get inside of both their heads. I just wanted to cry for Phoenix, I felt so bad for him! I love that he is the opposite of what one might think a tattooed, just out of prison 20 year old would be!

I thought the ending was so sweet. They two of them definitely seem good together, and I really hope we get to see them in future books! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

Manor of Secrets
By: Katherine Longshore
Pub. Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Point
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley

The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems.

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Scholastic and Netgalley. 

I am a huge fan of Katherine Longshore and Downton Abbey, so I could not wait to read this book! This book was wonderfully written and I absolutely love the cover. Manor of Secrets is a quick read and I think it will appeal to many different groups of people.

Lady Charlotte wants more than the life she has. She knows there has to be more then tea parties and new dresses. Janie is a kitchen maid who just wants to be wherever her mother is, since she wasn't around while Janie was growing up. These two girls seem to be opposite in every way, but they are a lot similar then either of them could have imagined. It was pretty easy to guess what the big secret was, but I still like the way the author executed it. I loved that while Charlotte couldn't wait to leave the manor, Janie wanted to stay there and make it her home.

The descriptions were fabulous! Longshore did a wonderful job describing life of the upper class, as well as the life of the staff. I felt like I could have been Charlotte suffocated by her mother and life as a Lady or Janie, who worked hard but had supportive friends and family around her.

I loved how everything came together at the end. Manor of Secrets was a beautifully written fun story that I think will appeal to anyone, not just those who love history. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

RDL, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: Seeking Her by Cora Carmack

Seeking Her
(Losing It # 3.5)
By: Cora Carmack
Pub. Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Pages: 100
Source: Edelweiss

A few months after being honorably discharged from the military, Jackson Hunt is still struggling to adjust back to the real world. He needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he’s going to keep his own demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Bodyguard (and baby-sitter) to spoiled-rich-girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he’d been looking for, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away from the home that has felt stifling ever since his return. It would be a pretty sweet gig if it weren’t for the fact that Kelsey’s father doesn’t want Kelsey to know she’s being followed. Hunt feels guilty (and a little bit creepy) as he watches her from afar. She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When he sees her falling into the same patterns that he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know her is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and William Morrow Impulse.

I love Cora Carmack's Losing It series so I was very excited to get approval on this title. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with the outcome. I was bored most of the time. The writing was very slow paced and nothing exciting happened.

Seeing Her is a short novella told in Jackson Hunt's POV, one of the main characters in Finding It. He is a glorified babysitter to Kelsey on her wild adventure in Europe and she has no idea that her father has hired him. The first half of the novella is basically just Hunt following around Kelsey and describing every single thing she is doing. By the time they actually meet each other, I didn't really care anymore about the two of them as a couple.

It was interesting to read Hunt's POV on everything though. He is a very interesting character and I liked him a lot in Finding It. Hunt and Kelsey have a great connection in Finding It, I just would have liked to see more of them together in this novella.   

I was going to have to find some way to cope with this. If not, I was better off calling Mr. Summers and suggesting he find someone else to take over his daughter-watch.

I felt a pang of something at that thought. It was a general kind of discomfort, and I wasn’t sure whether it was the thought of returning home or something else that made that thought so unappealing.
After the cooling walk earlier, and now standing under the cool, calming rush of water, it was easier to think that I could control myself, but I knew better. It always seemed easier in my head than it really was.
I wiped the water from my eyes, and tried to think of some other way to deal. There was always the hope that Kelsey would get bored. That she would mellow out. If she only partied a couple nights a week, I should be able to resist. But that seemed unlikely.
All that restless energy; the way she’d soaked up the attention from the people around her. I couldn’t see her giving that up. And it was working for her. She was still in the phase where partying made her feel good. That was the one thing that helped me stay clean. The few times I’d slipped up since I started the program had left me miserable and angry, and even more frustrated than when I started. I’d found new ways to chase the high. And maybe that wasn’t any healthier, not when one way involved being in the midst of flying bullets.
It wasn’t the same kind of rush, but it did the trick. I pictured Kelsey again, laughing with her head thrown back, her shirt falling off her shoulder and displaying the gentle curve of her neck. It reminded me of the way she’d tossed her head back that first day out in the woods.
The memory of that caused a different kind of rush in me, and I groaned, pressing my forehead into the tile. Before I could help myself, I pictured her long legs straddling that guy in the gardens. The bright green material of her bra, and the way it conformed to her perfect chest. She leaned back, her fingertips trailing from the bark of the tree to his shoulders.
In an instant, the memory shifted into fantasy, and those were my shoulders she clung to, not his.That was my undoing. There was only so much resisting I could do in one night.

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay
By: Jenny Hubbard
Pub. Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 240
Source: Netgalley

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Random House Children's.

Emily has been through one of the worst experiences someone can go through. Two days after breaking up with her boyfriend, Paul corners her in the school library threatening her and eventually kills himself. Knowing she will never be able to function normally in that school again, she is sent to a boarding school in Massachusetts, the same school that Emily Dickinson attended.

I had really high hopes for this one, but I ended up not being a huge fan of the story. I was expecting this awesome, exciting ghost story. What I found was a boring, slow paced one instead. Emily was dealing with a lot of pain, so I loved watching her slowly heal and comes to terms with what happened though. It was so much worse then what I first imagined, and I couldn't even fathom how she was feeling.

While I wasn't a huge fan of the story, I thought the writing was beautiful. Throughout the story was poems written by Emily about what she was feeling, and these poems definitely added to the story.

Overall, And We Stay was not the story for me, but I am excited to hear what other people think about it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: Autumn Rose by Abigail Gibbs

Autumn Rose
(The Dark Heroine # 2)
By: Abigail Gibbs
Pub. Date: January 30, 2014
Publisher: William Marrow Paperbacks
Pages: 480
Source: Edelweiss

Autumn Rose has the chance to save the world she loves. But how much will she have to sacrifice to achieve it?

In Autumn Rose, book two of her breathtaking series, Abigail Gibbs draws us even further into the dangerous and romantic world of the Dark Heroines.
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and William Marrow Paperbacks. 

After reading, The Dark Heroine, I couldn't wait to read the next book in the series. While I didn't enjoy The Dark Heroine as much as I was hoping I would, I was still intrigued with the story and wanted to see where it was going to take us. Autumn Rose begins around the same time as The Dark Heroine, just in another dimension, and it eventually leads up to the same events. 

I really liked the main characters in Autumn Rose much better then the ones in the first book. Autumn was strong and honest. We first meet her in The Dark Heroine, but we don't really know much about her except that she is the first heroine. She was very dark and mysterious. In Autumn Rose we get to see her in a whole other light. She was just a normal girl! I really enjoyed watching her grow and accept her fate. Fallon, the Prince and Autumn's  love interest was a great character. I felt that there was a lot of depth to him and I loved his character for that reason. The two of them had a great connection and I enjoyed watching them first meet and eventually get together.

While I wasn't a huge fan of Kasper and Violet in the first book, I liked seeing them again and seeing what they were up to now. The Dark Heroine ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger, so I loved seeing what ended up happening to them. 

I think the whole plot of The Dark Heroine series is really interesting. We don't learn much about the other dimensions in the first book, but in Autumn Rose we learn about each one of them. There is so much story to explore and so many characters to meet. I like the idea that there is going to be a Heroine from each dimension.

Even though I am a fan of the story/plot itself, I think my problem lies in the writing. In both stories, I found myself getting bored.  I think this is what stopped me from giving either book anymore than 3 stars. I think with more practice, Abigail Gibbs can easily become a best selling author.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

(Uninvited # 1)
By: Sophie Jordan
Pub. Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and Harper Teen.

I have been excited to read Uninvited since I first heard about it. Then I saw the cover and I was even more excited. At first glance you just see a girl. Is she floating? I'm not really sure. Then you notice her hair and how it turns into DNA. So cool! I was already a huge fan of Sophie Jordan. I love her Firelight series and her NA story, Foreplay. When I saw this on edelweiss, I jumped at the chance to read it.

Davy is a normal teenage girl. She loves her boyfriend, she is going to Julliard in the fall, and she's a good student. Then she learns the results of her HTS test, which everyone has to get tested for. Turns out she has the killer gene, and in one second her life is changed forever. She gets expelled from school, her boyfriend dumps her, her friends want nothing to do with her, and Julliard takes back her acceptance. She is forced to go to public school where she is locked in a room with five other teens who also carry the gene and do her work, never having any interaction with anyone else. I felt so bad for her! It is such a horrible thing that Davy had to go through.

The premise of this story is very interesting and makes you think about nature vs. nurture. I believe that everyone has the ability to either be good or evil. And it is your experiences, your past, and your DNA that makes you go either way. Davy might have this gene, but will she ever kill someone? I think what ends up happening is very ironic.

In the classroom, labeled "the cage" she meets others with this gene. Some of them are horrible, and you know they are going to grow up to be rapists and/or murderers. Then there are others who don't seem to have a mean bone in their body. It is here that we meet Sean, a carrier of the gene and also someone who has a thick tattoo on his neck labeling him extremely dangerous. Poor Sean. Sean has been in foster care most of his life and was "diagnosed" as a child. While he is this huge guy with tattoos, he really is one of the sweetest boys ever. Always wanting to protect those who are weak, and always trying to do the right thing. He was never given the chance for anyone to see that, and it broke my heart.

I really enjoyed Uninvited and I am excited to read the next book in the series.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: Fragile Spirits by Mary Lindsey

Fragile Spirits
(Souls # 2)
By: Mary Lindsey
Pub. Date: January 23, 2013
Publisher: Philomel
Pages: 311
Source: Publisher

Paul has always known he was a Protector, fated to serve a Speaker who could hear the voices of spirits lingering after death and help those souls find peace.

Vivienne ignores the voices of the dead.

Paul has always followed the Protector’s rule book, preparing diligently for the day when he’d be matched with his Speaker and fulfill his destiny.

Vivienne never does what she’s told.

So when Paul is matched with Vivienne, they both find the pairing less than satisfactory. But a kidnapping, a malevolent spirit and power stronger than both of them may just prove that they are two halves of the same whole.

In a stunning story about the beauty of fate and the power of secrets, Mary Lindsey returns to the world of Shattered Souls with a breathtaking thrill-ride of a novel.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Penguin Books.

I was a huge fan of Shattered Souls so I was very excited to receive a review copy of Fragile Spirits. Fragile Spirits was just as good, if not better then the first. Mary Lindsey is a fantastic writer and has easily become one of my favorite authors.

Paul has studied for years to be a protector. But unlike everyone else he knows, including Alden, this will be his first cycle. He is so excited to meet his Speaker, the one he is going to be working with for generations. But Vivienne is not what he was expecting and the exact opposite of him. I loved so much watching these two go from hating each other, to finally trusting each other and forming a friendship. These two had the most wonderful connection. I couldn't get enough of them!

Paul was such an interesting guy. He is definitely a rule follower and always wants to do the right thing. I would have never guessed his back story and my heart broke for him. He never let anyone in and kept his twisted childhood to himself. Vivienne was definitely the perfect girl for him, because she knows how to his push buttons. Vivienne causes Paul to lose control, which is something he definitely needs to do sometimes!

Fragile Spirits is a companion novel to Shattered Souls and it is not necessary to read SS if you don't want too, but I recommend that you do! Lindsey does a fantastic job explaining everything to the reader, but I think it will be better to get the whole experience! These two books are wonderful! If you have read SS, then you will be happy to know that Alden and Lenzi plays a huge part in the second book and I was not expecting to see so much of them. It was such a pleasant surprise!

I am (not-so) patiently awaiting what Lindsey has in store for us next!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising
(Red Rising Trilogy # 1)
By: Pierce Brown
Pub. Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Del Ray
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley

Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Random House.

I was really excited for this one. It sounded like a very different kind of dystopian than others out there, and I am so glad I was given the chance to read it.  Darrow was one of the most interesting characters I have ever read in YA. He's only 16, but he has the brain and soul of a middle-aged man. He is desperately in love with his wife, and suffers every day working and drilling to make a better life for the future children of Mars. Darrow is considered a Red in a color coded society. Reds are basically slaves. He doesn't mind the work, knowing it's for everyone's good. He believes what he was told and doesn't thrive for anything else. When Darrow finds out the truth, he becomes a hardened man, whose goal is to revolt against the society that has lied to him his entire life.

The book takes place in a span of two years, and the amount of character growth from Darrow was amazing. I loved watching him grow, even if it was painful to read.

The writing was absolute perfect and I was intrigued the whole time. I couldn't swipe the pages fast enough on my mini iPad, and I needed to know where the story was going to take me next. Red Rising is a fast paced read and I can't wait for the next book in the series!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Release Day Launch~ Review and Excerpt: Drew + Fable Forever by Monica Murphy

Drew + Fable Forever
(Drew + Fable # 3.5)
By: Monica Murphy
Pub. Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 100
Source: Netgalley

Fantasy. How I ended up with NFL player Drew Callahan, the guy every woman wants, is beyond my wildest dreams. All I know is that once he chose me as his one and only, I sure wasn’t looking back. I had past wounds and he showed patience and concern—even taking responsibility for my messed-up kid brother. Now, once again, he’s found a way to blow my mind: an exotic wedding and honeymoon miles and miles away from home. What else could a girl ever ask for?

Reality. Now the honeymoon’s over. Drew’s football schedule takes him on the road constantly, while I need to stay put and look after my brother until he finishes high school—because God knows our sorry excuse for a mother won’t. I know Drew loves me with all his heart, and I’ll always be over the moon about him. This just isn’t how I imagined our life as newlyweds . . . dealing with the distance, missing him all the time. But we’ve gone through hard times before. We can get through this, too, right? We’re Drew and Fable, together forever. At least I hope so. 
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Random House and Netgalley.

I loved One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend, so I was so excited that I received a review copy of Drew + Fable Forever. Drew and Fable are one of my favorite couples, and Drew is definitely one of my top five boys!

What I love most about Drew is despite what he experienced in the hands of his evil witch of a stepmother he is still so sweet. He loves with all of his heart, and he will always be there for those he cares about it. He treats Fable so amazingly, and I love how he takes care of her brother Owen, as well. This short novella starts with them being engaged and eventually married, and I loved watching them go through those emotions with each other. There love is so real, and never felt forced or rushed. Without giving anything away, when Fable told Drew about *something*, his reaction to her made me fall in love with him even more. Just thinking about the whole situation again brings happy tears to my eyes.

Monica Murphy's writing is so wonderful, and she has created two of the best characters out there in my opinion. This novella also has gotten me so much more excited to read Owen's full length novel, Four Years Later

“We should check out Ocean Avenue tomorrow,” Drew whispers close to my ear, amusement tingeing his deep voice.

“What? Are you serious?” Even though I’ve come to terms with being here, it doesn’t mean I want to linger and make it a serious vacation. Besides, Drew needs to get back home so he can resume practice.

“Well yeah, remember the spot where we kissed?” His eyes are warm as they search my face, filled with so much love I feel my heart swell.

“Yes,” I whisper achingly. “Of course I remember.”

“I want to go back there.” He tucks a strand of hair behind my ear, his index finger lingering on my skin. “I want to kiss you again in that little alley and remember how wet we were from the rain. How nervous I was. I was scared you might reject me.”

I’d felt the same way. We’d dealt with much of the same feelings and fears and hadn’t even known it.

“I want to take you to that store where you got the dress that just about killed me and buy you whatever you want,” he continues, his fingers drifting across my jaw. My eyes flutter closed as memories rush back at me. “I want to sit outside the dressing room and have you come out to show me every single thing you’re trying on.”

That he remembers all the little details sends a thrill of pleasure spiraling to the very depths of my soul.

“And then I want to wander off for a bit and let you do whatever you want, secretly hoping that you’ll send me a text that says marshmallow. Though if you don’t that’s okay because I’ll send you one instead.” He offers up a crooked smile and the sight of it cracks my heart wide open, overflowing with so much pure love for him I want to cry. “Because we made a deal. Whenever we see or hear that word, the other comes running. I’ll always be the one to rescue you, Fable. You never have to worry about that.”

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

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Excerpt Blast: Seeking Her by Cora Carmack

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

No One Else Can Have You
By: Kathleen Hale
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss

Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and Harper Teen.

As soon as I saw that amazing and original cover, I knew I wanted to read No One Else Can Have You. Almost every book out there has a picture of a pretty girl looking into the distance, because that gives me a great sense of what the book is going to be about {sarcasm}. So I was instantly intrigued by this one. Then I read the synopsis, and I was hooked! I am so glad that this book lived up to the height that was already in my head.

The story starts off with the most gruesome murder scene I have ever read. And that was only the first page!! Turns out the girl who died was Ruth's best friend, Kippy. Ruth doesn't know what to do with herself now, but since the police aren't really taking the murder seriously, she believes it is up to her to find out who killed her friend. On top of that, Kippy's mom gave Ruth her diary to edit out any of the "dirty parts". Could that be anymore awkward!! While reading the diary, Ruth learns that Kippy didn't really like her that much, and just put up with her. God, if I found out that my best friend actually hated me, and now she's dead, I don't even know how I would react!

For a book that is about murder, I laughed so hard. It was so funny! I think my favorite part was Ruth's eulogy to Kippy. Best. Eulogy. Ever! I read it a few times, just because I was laughing to hard.

I also loved how the book wasn't as concrete as I thought it would be. I could not figure out who the murderer was until the very end. Maybe a chapter or two before Ruth figured it out. I hate when I figure out who the killer is in the beginning of the story!

This is Kathleen Hale's very novel and I am so excited to read what she comes up with next. She can easily become one of my favorite authors!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher

Where You'll Find Me
By: Erin Fletcher
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Pages: 211
Source: Netgalley

When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley's trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate's recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one. 
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Entangled and Netgalley.

For a book that is so short, it sure does pack an emotional punch! After reading the synopsis, I was so intrigued. I wanted to know so badly why Nate would be living in Hanley's garage. I also wanted to know what Hanley experienced that would cause her to act the way she does. I was pleasantly surprised with both outcomes, as I was not expecting either.

Hanley has no idea who the boy living in her garage is. Nate's obviously homeless, but that is really all you know about him. Nate is also not your typical homeless kid. He's clean, wears designer clothes and doesn't seem angry. He is actually very sweet and he is just trying to deal with life day by day. I was so interested to see what would drive someone to leave their home to live outside in the freezing cold. Despite everything I thought it could be, I was way off, and I love that the author surprised me like that. Where I instantly loved Nate, it took me a little bit to warm up to Hanley. I found her very annoying at first, but the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. I enjoyed watching Hanley and Nate become friends. They were so sweet and cute together.

I really had no idea how this book was going to end. I was so stressed! I really had no clue how the author was going to fix the situation, and again she surprised me. Where You'll Find Me was just full of surprises! It was original and quite different from other YA stories out there. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review: The Moment Before by Suzy Vitello

The Moment Before
By: Suzy Vitello
Pub. Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Diversion Books
Pages: 214
Source: Netgalley

“Don’t get me wrong. I loved my sister. I never, not once, wished her dead.”

Brady and Sabine Wilson are sisters born eleven months apart, but they couldn’t be more different. Popular Sabine, the head cheerleader dating the high school hunk, seems to have all the luck, while her younger, artsy sister "Brady Brooder" is a loner who prefers the sidelines to the limelight.

After Sabine dies in a horrific cheerleading accident, grief unravels Brady and her family. Once recognized for her artistic talent, 17-year-old Brady finds herself questioning the value of everything she once held dear. Her best friend betrays her. Her parents’ marriage is crumbling. And the boy everyone blames for the accident seems to be her only ally in the search for answers in the wake of her sister’s death. As an unlikely friendship emerges, Brady learns more about Sabine – and love – than she bargained for.

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

After Brady’s sister, Sabine dies is a horrible cheerleading accident, Brady needs to figure out why it happened and figure out how to live her life without Sabine. It was hard not to feel pain for Brady. She was never close with her sister, but now her entire family dynamic is different. There is also Connor, who is being blamed for the death, and the only other person who cares enough to find out the truth-though does he really care, or is he just trying to clear his name. I enjoyed watching Connor and Brady become closer. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to find the people who mean the most to you.

The Moment Before was a quick read. It wasn’t as emotionally draining as I thought it was going to be. I also would have liked the story to start with before the accident. I think it would have made me enjoy the story better. I spent the first half of the book confused because of this.

While I enjoyed The Moment Before, I was expecting a little more. So I feel very torn with my feelings about this book. I am interested to hear what other people think! 

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