Friday, July 29, 2016

Quick Pick: Run, by Kody Keplinger

  • Opening lines: {Bo}
    I'm waiting for the sirens.

    I know it don't make much sense. The police ain't coming for me - not yet, anyway - but I already feel like a fugitive.
  • Reason I picked up the book: My friend Mandy over at The Romance Bookie had a signed copy that she mailed me! I love Kody Keplinger's books, so I was super excited to receive it in the mail. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.

    Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter -- protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.

    Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

    So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and -- worst of all -- confronting some ugly secrets.
  • Favorite paragraph:
    {Agnes}
    Every small town has that family. You hear their last name and you just shake your head because you know the whole lot of them are trouble. No one will make it to their twenty-first birthday without being arrested at least once. Maybe it's in their blood, or maybe it's just how they're raised. It's hard to say. All you can do is steer clear because nothing good can come of getting mixed up with that bunch.

    In Mursey, that family was the Dickinsons.
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes interesting YA (Young Adult) stories.
  • Something to know: The author is partially blind, like her character Agnes. I actually ended up relating a lot to Agnes, as well - because of her blindness, her parents are very strict with her, and that's sort of how my parents were with me in high school as well (I'm an only child).
  • What I would have changed: I wasn't sure if Bo was in love with Agnes or not - Bo comes out to Agnes as bisexual, and it's said that she loves Agnes, but I think it ended up being more as a friend. So I would have clarified that a bit. 
  • Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here to order on Amazon.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Quick Pick: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame, by Jenn P. Nguyen

  • Opening linesBefore I even opened my eyes, I knew something was wrong. I wasn't in my bed like I should be, surrounded by the cream duvet comforter that Mom and I had gotten from Macy's last month. The fabric under my fingertips was cool and kind of scratchy. 
  • Reason I picked up the book: I found it on NetGalley, or perhaps in an email they sent out, and it sounded like it could be a fun read. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • Taylor Simmons is screwed.

    Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

    Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.

  • Favorite paragraph:
    Hmmm. This was more like it. The kiss was turning out pretty nice. Okay, if pretty nice meant awesome, blow-your-mind-out-hot.

    It was ... god, like nothing I had ever imagined. I'd read about kisses like this in novels, but I never thought that it was possible. Nothing can make the world melt away and make you forget about everything and everyone except the person in front of you. The way he smelled. His muscles and warm skin pulsing beneath your fingertips. The softness of his hair as your fingers ran through it. And his lips, soft but impossibly hot without burning as they pressed against yours, opening and moving to massage, to kiss, to taste ... 

    The first thought that popped into my head was that Evan wasn't lying about his experience. In fact, he may have underplayed it. This was some damn kiss. 
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes cute YA (Young Adult) stories. 
  • Something to know: -
  • What I would have changed: For some reason, a lot of the parents in this novel somehow magically knew what Taylor and Evan's classmates were up to - I could see this working if they were close with the classmates' parents, but the author just said things like "I heard that (so-and-so classmate) is going to this college," or other related things, and I wasn't sure how they would have heard that, so it bugged me a little. 
  • Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here to order on Amazon.
*Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Review: Some Women, by Emily Liebert

She'd made peace with her reality, thanks, in large part, to Mackenzie and Piper's friendship. 
...
Piper and Mackenzie had become her people. The ones she called crying in the middle of the night. The ones who materialized at her front door at a moment's notice when they detected even the slightest note of sadness in her voice. She'd learned so much from leaning on them. She'd learned to be her own person. To take responsibility for her mistakes and to face her fears, even if it meant stumbling like a fool along the way. 

She had no idea why she hadn't noticed how lost she'd been the past few years. 

I've read two other Emily Liebert books before, and both were satisfying chick lit - perfect for a day at the beach or a quick summer read. Some Women is no different, and follows three women, who weren't originally friends, and who are all currently having relationships issues.

Official synopsis:
An engrossing and thought provoking novel that examines the intricacies of marriage, friendship, and the power of unexpected connections…

Annabel Ford has everything under control, devoting her time to her twin five-year-old boys and to keeping her household running seamlessly. So when her husband of a decade announces that he’s leaving her, without warning, she’s blindsided. And suddenly her world begins to unravel.

Single mother Piper Whitley has always done her best to balance it all—raising her daughter Fern by herself and advancing her career as a crime reporter. Only now that she’s finally met the man of her dreams, Fern’s absentee father arrives on the scene and throws everything into a tailspin.

Married to the heir of a thriving media conglomerate, Mackenzie Mead has many reasons to count her blessings. But with an imperious mother-in-law—who’s also her boss—and a husband with whom she can no longer seem to connect, something has to give.

On the surface, these three women may not have much in common. Yet when their lives are thrust together and unlikely friendships are formed—at a time when they all need someone to lean on—Annabel, Piper, and Mackenzie band together to help each navigate their new realities.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: In Twenty Years, by Allison Winn Scotch {ends 7/23}

"Please don't get arrested," Catherine fretted. "Our parents are all in town! And we're graduating tomorrow!"

Not everyone's parents were in town, but we were past offending one another by parsing words. Only Annie's mother was here. And my parents not at all. 

But it didn't matter. What mattered was the six of us. What mattered was our star. What mattered is that in this moment in time, we were unbreakable. We were light and destiny and a meteor shower of invincibility.

We were twenty-one. We were allowed to believe impossible things. 

I'm a big fan of Allison Winn Scotch's books, and I've reviewed two of them here before, with them earning a 5/5 rating (which I don't give lightly) and 3.5/5. In Twenty Years was just as good, if not better, and was a great book to read.

Official synopsis:
Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Quick Pick: The Cresswell Plot, by Eliza Wass

  • Opening linesI carved my first star when I was six, so by the time I was sixteen there were stars everywhere in the woods. Some of them I didn't even remember carving. Sometimes I wondered if someone else had - Hannan or Delvive or Caspar or Mortimer or Jerusalem. Or my other brother, the one who died. But I think I knew it was just me. I think I knew I was the only one carving stars.
  • Reason I picked up the book: NetGalley had it and it sounded like an interesting read.
  • And what's this book about?
  • The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.

    Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.

    Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.

    Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.

  • Favorite paragraph:
    My heart was pulsing inside my veins, sending out little heart signals on tiny boats that raced through my bloodstream. Lie! Lie! Tell a lie! Tell a story! Tell a lie!
    ...
    Say you did it.


    Castella Rachel Cresswell. Tell the truth; God is watching.


    I opened my eyes. I couldn't tell if Father had actually spoken, or if I'd just heard it as if he had.
    Or maybe it was God.
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes stories about cults or religion-crazed people.
  • Something to know: The publisher is Disney-Hyperion, which I found to be interesting ... this is definitely not your typical "Disney" story.
  • What I would have changed: Not sure.
  • Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here to order on Amazon.
*Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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