Sunday, April 22, 2018

Review: Bad Boy Brody by Tijan

Bad Boy Brody Bad Boy Brody by Tijan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this eARC novel from the author. This is my honest review.
Expected release date: May 7, 2018

After Brody's brother dies in a car accident, Brody goes of into the deep end. He hides his depression through alcohol and sex, and he has gotten the nickname, Bad Boy Brody, for his new behavior.

To straighten out his reputation and get him on the right track for his acting career, he decides to do a film out in Montana about a true the middle of nowhere. Montana is not the place Brody really wants to be, but it will stick it out until the movie is wrapped up.

But when Brody hears about Morgan - the girl who lives with the wild mustangs - and sees her a few times, his life is about to change. Because not only is this movie about her family and her life, but she is the most magnificent person he has ever seen. Brody is enamored by her and is constantly thinking about her.

Morgan is more horse than woman nowadays. She would stay with the mustangs 24/7 if she didn't need food and clothing. And if the weather would stay nice all year round. But when everyone starts showing up for the movie, she finds herself curious about the main star. Usually, Morgan would avoid all contact with people, but she is now getting near the house to talk to Brody.

There is a connection between the two of them that they just can't ignore.

The more they are together, the more they want to know more about each other. But Brody and Morgan live two very separate lives from one another. Lives that don't really work to have a future together.

And with Morgan's past being brought back to the present because of the movie, the more the world wants to know more about this mystery girl.

Their worlds are about the collide, and collapse when dark secrets come to life.

This was a really great book! I think I must have signed up for it before, and I just forgot, because I was pleasantly surprised to find this in my Amazon and email account! I will say, I'm not a huge fan of the cover or the title, honestly, but I do love a story about horses and mystery, so I was still glad to dive right in when I got it on my kindle!

Brody and Morgan both have their dark past that they are trying to hide from, and they do it very differently from one another. I loved reading about Morgan connecting to Shiloh and Shoal in a connection that only very few people feel with horses. I have not had the pleasure, but I do think that that bond is a vital thing to hold on to for as long as a person can.

The instant connection between Morgan and Brody was a bit cliched for me, but I thought that the scenes with the two of them were very on fire! They got each other on a level that no one else around them understood, and I appreciated that even though they were two opposite people.

I'm very glad that I got a chance to read this eARC and I am definitely going to make it a bigger priority to read more of Tijan's books! I have a few that I've been burying in my kindle, so I need to find them and start reading them because I'm always hearing great things about them!

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Review: Aftermath by Sandy Goldsworthy

Aftermath Aftermath by Sandy Goldsworthy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this eARC novel from Red Coat Publishing. This is my honest review.

I was really excited for this novel because the synopsis sounded amazing, but I was a bit disappointed overall. I just couldn't connect with Emma and Lucas, and the story was very slow for me. I'm sure the second book would be a faster paced book, but I just wasn't a huge fan of this book, sadly.

However, it was an original book that is unlike other books I've read - which is great because a lot of YA books are becoming very similar lately.

I am sure that other readers will enjoy this book a lot, but it just wasn't for me right now, sadly. Maybe I will try it again later to see if I connect to it better than now.

I am very glad that I got an eARC of this novel, though!

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Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the island of Neverland - an island that is not that easy to find - the islanders live a different life than most. They don't age the same, they have simplistic rules, and they like their way of living.

When their lives get threatened by change, the villagers get very nervous and defensive. When Tiger Lily was first brought into the village, the people were uneasy with this different tradition. And even when Tiger Lily grew up, she was an odd little duckling - never wanting to do anything that the other women do, who can out hunt all of the men in the village, and is always roaming the forest that is dangerous and forbidden.

Tiger Lily got into too much trouble in one time, and now she is being forced to do something she doesn't want to do, but will because her father, Tik Tok, expects her to follow the tribes rules. So then Tiger Lily decides to go into the forest over and over, to see her new friends: Peter and the Lost Boys who are feared by her tribe. But they are just boys and Tiger Lily likes to hangout with them.

But her two lives are pulling her into two separate directions, and she needs to decide which one she will end up keeping in the end. When everything starts to fall apart around her, Tiger Lily needs to make a decision - one that might destroy everything she cares about...

This was a great book! I know the Peter Pan story, but I'm not a know it all about the story, so it was nice to get a different look at a substory of this fan favorite. I loved that it was through Tink's viewpoint - especially considering she can't speak but she can see and feel what everyone else was feeling.

Tiger Lily is my girl. Seriously. She is a bada$$, no drama, simple girl who only wants to live day to day. She is a girl of little words, and she doesn't show much emotion, because she doesn't want to be weak in any way. She is a survivor, and I respect that. When she starts hanging out with the Lost Boys, she starts to act like a girl - like her age - for once and let her guard down a little bit. That is her world, but she has responsibilities and duties in her village that she can't forget about.

The story with Hook and Peter and Wendy was a great twist and turn event. It was nice to see a different version of the popular story.

I'm very glad that I got a chance to read this book, and I definitely won't forget the very tragic and dark ending to this novel. It will definitely stick with me next time I watch Peter Pan in my future!

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Review: The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young

The Fragile Ordinary The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this eARC novel from NetGalley. This is my honest review.
Release date: June 26, 2018

Comet is a shy bookworm who has 2 friends, and is only trying to survive high school so she can become the person she is meant to be forever in college. High school Comet is not the Comet she wants to be, because she is shy, bullied, and invisible, all at the same time. Only her two friends keep her company - and that is becoming strained since all Comet wants to do is go home and get lost in her books.

When a new American comes to her school, she is shocked at how attracted she is to him. Tobias is so much like her book boyfriends in her books, that she is stunned when she sees him for the first time. But the more she has classes with him, the more she realizes that he is a jerk, and not at all like her book boyfriends.

When they get paired up together in their English class, Comet realizes that she may have judged him wrong too quickly. Sure, he's a jerk, but there is a history there that Tobias is trying to hide from and disappear from, so he is being a completely different guy than who he really is.

After more and more time spending together, Comet and Tobias realize that they are GOOD for each other. Comet is making Tobias realize that he doesn't have to hide his true self, and that being real is okay for him. And Tobias is helping Comet get out of her shell and live her life, rather than live multiple lives through her characters. In fact, Comet goes a few DAYS without reading, when she would always constantly have her nose in a book.

Just when things were becoming amazing for the two of them, they received devastating news that destroys them - not only doubting their own selves, but also blaming the other person.

Their days of being a new, improved person might be over before it even began, because as much as Comet didn't want to be like her parents and be dependent on one another, she has realized that she may only be this outspoken, brave person when Tobias was in her life...

This book is about every girl who fan girls over fictional worlds and characters created by authors! Samantha Young was able to get every detail of Comet down to explain to "non-readers" why a person would spend the majority of their day with their nose in a book. I know it certainly explained me pretty well!

Though I do have to say that I don't have Comet's parents issues in my life, thank goodness. I couldn't imagine my parents ignoring me and not caring about me, but would rather be wrapped up into each other so much that there wasn't enough room to let me into their lives and their love. That was so sad to read, because I know that there are parents out there like that, and no one should have to grow up in that environment. I'm very glad that Comet came out of her shell enough to finally tell them how she felt about her home life.

And the storybook love between Comet and Tobias? Classic. It was so swoon worthy when they finally realized that they both liked each other and not other people, and the way Tobias took charge when he needed to was amazing. Comet was getting her very own book boyfriend in real life, but also realizing that this can happen to her without having to read a book to get those feelings.

This was a great novel and I am so glad that I got a chance to read an eARC of it beforehand!

I am pretty sure that a lot of readers are going to be able to relate to this novel and they are going to swoon with Comet. It might also give readers hope that it CAN and WILL happen to them one day, and until then, reading books to get that feeling is an okay buffer :)

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Review: The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

The Impossible Vastness of Us The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

India is not thrilled with her mom, Hayley, right now, seeing as she is being forced to leave her life in California to move to Boston, to live with Hayley's fiance and daughter now. India was at the top of the food chain at school, and she loved being popular. No one looks at you too closely if you are the top-dog in the popularity aspect of school.

Now India is trying to find a way to become liked at her new school, but since her new sister-to-be, Eloise, is having a lot of hostility when it comes to the new people in her life, India hasn't been well received at school. And since this is an elite, high-society school, if you aren't liked by the popular group - the rich group - then you won't be liked ever.

And India really needs to be liked, because she can't let anyone know about her past. It would destroy her. India hasn't gotten this far in life without some sacrifices, so she is determined to be liked by Eloise. And her group, including her brooding, but observant and almost sad boyfriend Finn, who India is finding a connection with.

After awhile, and after Eloise's father sternly talks to Eloise, India is finally part of her group. But the longer she is friends with everyone, the more she realizes that she is not the only one with a dark, terrifying past. And the more she connects with everyone, the more danger they are of everyone else finding out about everyone's secrets, and essentially ruining everyone's lives in the end.

This was a really good book! I love Samantha Young (especially her Dublin series!), so I was very excited to venture into my first YA of Young's. And I was not disappointed! India seems to be a bratty girl, but she is really just trying to survive high school and the cruel world of teenagers and the bullying that comes along with that life.

And her past was so terrible. I can't even imagine going through what she did as a child, so I definitely understand why she doesn't let anyone close enough to hurt her. She only gives them a brief glimpse of the real India.

And Finn and Eloise? Those two broke my heart as well with their secrets and their lives. I would never want to be a daughter of a rich parent. It is too much pressure and then they expect certain things of you. Kids should be able to live their own lives and when they grow up, should be able to make their own decisions on what they want to do - where to live, what job to do, who to date, etc. Instead, the parents think, because they are rich and successful, then their offspring needs to do the same thing and be even more successful than they are. Such terrible expectations for anyone to grow up with, and that's what Finn and Eloise were partially dealing with.

There was a lot of different subjects in this book, and it was so evenly spaced out that the reader doesn't feel overwhelmed with all of the issues. Instead, Young was able to distinctly explain each of the characters and have the reader completely understand the characters and what they were going through.

I very much enjoyed this book, and I am very glad that I was able to get a copy from my local library to finally read it!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

All the Little Lights All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this eARC novel from NetGalley. This is my honest review.

Elliott's parents fight. A lot. So much, that when summer comes, Elliott goes to his aunt and uncle's house in Oklahoma to get away from the yelling and screaming and things breaking. And Elliott loves going to her aunt and uncles place - so much so that he almost wishes that he lives there full time. Though his mother won't allow that, since she got bullied a lot about being Native American and got a lot of racial slurs that she doesn't want that life for Elliott.

And another thing Elliott enjoys? Photography. He's always taking pictures of things around town. When he decides to climb up an old oak tree, he stumbles upon a girl who lives on the property of the oak tree: Catherine. And Catherine is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen.

The following summers after that Elliott always sees Catherine, but never has the gumption to talk to her. Only when it's the summer after their freshman year in college does he get to talk to her - because she caught him beating up the tree with anger and frustration.

Catherine's parents constantly fight as well. So much so, that she can still hear it from the outside of her huge, 7 room Victorian house. So when she sees a boy punching her tree, she decides to ask him what he is doing.

From that moment on, the two were attached to the hip that summer. They would walk everywhere - even though it was 100+ degrees outside, go to the ice cream shoppe, anything. They have a great summer, but the closer summer ends, the sadder they get. Both have promised to keep in touch and see each other as often as possible, but that's not what happened. In fact, they don't see each other again until the first week of senior year in high school.

Two years have gone by, and a lot of things have changed. The most changed thing, though, is Catherine. Her dad died, and her mom decided to make a bed and breakfast with their house in order to keep money coming in. Now she has cut everyone off, because she won't let anyone get near her secrets that she's been hiding for two years.

Elliott is determined to become friends with Catherine, no matter how much it takes. He sacrificed his senior year in high school to be the new kid in order to be close to Catherine. Because as much as everyone thinks Elliott is crazy, he is in love with this girl and will do anything to win her trust back after breaking his promise.

Disappearances and bullying and hostility occurs over and over in their little town, causing strain on Elliott and Catherine both. Secrets are about to be released, and life is about to explode for these two, and keeping a hold of one another may not be feasible by the end of their senior year...

This book...This author... I just love them both so much! I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, because this is one of the first books I've read that is not part of the Maddox family novels. But wow, I am so in love with this book!

There are so many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the very end. I didn't guess EXACTLY what happened, but was along the same lines of the big reveal. And then when the reveal happened? It broke my heart in many ways. I can't even imagine going through that, and keeping my sanity in check.

Elliott is my favorite. He is so determined and dedicated. I mean, the poor boy got his car and his licence when he was 16 and instantly tried to drive to Oklahoma to see Catherine and explain. If that is not determination, then I don't know what is. He was driven to make himself a better person than his father, and a person that Catherine would be proud of. I would have definitely forgiven him the second he said he came to my school my senior year to be with me, because that is just swoon-worthiness if I've ever seen it.

And Catherine. She is a poor, confused, stressed out girl who seems like she is going to drop very quickly. Having to deal with school, being bullied by Presley day in and day out for basically her whole life, trying to cope with her father's death - even two years later - and having to take over most of the bed and breakfast herself because her mother has her good days and her bad days, is way, way, way too much for a 17 year old girl. And then to have to dodge the school counselor so she doesn't get taken by the DHS because her mother isn't being quite the mother-of-the-year that she should be? Too, too much.

The suspense was amazing. The secret was amazing. The reveal was amazing. I don't know what else to say about this book, because it was everything a reader will want, I think! Jamie did a fantastic job with this novel, and I cannot wait until May so I can buy my own physical copy to put in my personal library at home!

I am so glad that I was able to get an eARC of this book, and I will definitely be raving about this book to all of my friends and patrons!

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Review: One Small Thing by Erin Watt

One Small Thing One Small Thing by Erin Watt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this eARC novel from Edelweiss. This is my honest review.

For the last 3 years, Beth has been walking on eggshells at home and at school. Ever since her older sister, Rachel, got hit by a car when crossing the street and died, Beth has tried to do everything perfectly to keep everyone happy. At school, classmates still give her the pity, sad looks, so Beth tries to pretend everything is fine. And at home, her parents act like Rachel just left for an extended time to another location, freezing everything in their house exactly how it was when Rachel died.

Beth hasn't been able to talk to anyone about how she feels about Rachel dying, because nobody wants to admit that it really happened 3 years ago.

What really triggered Beth to go wild, though, was when she found out her parents found her college applications and kept them - rather than letting them be mailed to the schools she wants to go to. Beth wants to go as far away from Darling as she can, because then no one will know about her sister and act weird around her. But her parents have decided that she is going to do just that - send her to Darling College and have her take over her father's business, making sure that she never leaves.

So on a feeling of recklessness and being in a prison, Beth decides to go to a party in another town, with strangers to feel some excitement and to feel alive. And then when she sees a gorgeous, aloof guy at the party, she decides that she wants to know this guy, possibly even make out with him.

When she sees him in school the next week, she didn't expect him to be revealed as the guy who killed her sister 3 years ago by running her over with a stolen car. Chase has been changed by being in juvie for 3 years, and just from the little bit she remembers from their night, Beth can't hate him for something that was an accident.

But with the harassment and anger Chase has stirred up by coming back to school for his senior year, the more Beth finds herself wanting to protect him and stand up for him, even though her friends and family think he should go back to jail.

Their forbidden friendship gets tested over and over, and with so many people against Chase because of his past sins, Beth may not be able to keep her new friendship and romance without inflicting even more anger and pain.

This was a good book, full of lessons learned and secrets. I liked it for the most part, but I did come to hate a lot of the secondary characters - who had no redeeming qualities by the end of the book, in my opinion.

For instance, Beth's parents are terrible. I know they are grieving, but they are treating Beth like she is going to break their hearts, when all she wants to do is be a teenager and live a great life for her senior year. They go way beyond the extreme to keep her contained to where they want her. To be honest, I probably would have ran away and joined the circus before staying in that house with those restrictions they were piling on her.

Then Beth's friends. They were getting so nasty about Chase being at their school, but they weren't really listening to Beth - Rachel's SISTER - when she said that she wasn't bothered by it and to drop it. They were making it harder for Beth, which wasn't helping her overall look on life when she had a bad home attitude and now a bad school attitude.

And then there was Beth. Don't get me wrong, I liked her, but she was always worried about what other people thought of her. I know there are a lot of people out there like this, but in my mind, she's in high school, so do what you want, because once you get to college, you can start over. Beth was always throwing a tantrum because she wasn't getting what she wanted, and that was getting old, very fast for me.

The only person who I loved, loved, loved in this book was Chase. He has had a crap of a life so far, but that has made him a better person - not worse. Instead of having juvie hardened him, he has learned what is important in life and is not going to take anything for granted anymore. He teaches Beth a lot of lessons that she takes to heart and starts inputting them into her life.

Overall, this was a good book. There were some flaws, but then again this is high school, so of course it will go through cycles to get to the great ending that Erin Watt is known for. I'm so glad I got a chance to read this eARC and I can't wait until it gets published so I can add it to my personal library!

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