Book Review: The Night We Said Yes

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The Night We Said Yes – Lauren Gibaldi – HarperTeen – Published 16 June 2015

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Synopsis

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

My thoughts

When I first picked this book up I stopped reading after just a few chapters. I wasn’t enjoying it and the resemblance to Last Year’s Mistake, which I has just finished and didn’t enjoy, was too similar. In the interest of giving The Night We Said Yes a fair chance I decided to continue reading at a later date, which I have now done. I still didn’t like it all that much, but I did finish it and I did like some aspects.

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Book Review: Fall Line

Fall Line

Fall Line – Tudor Robins – Downhill Series #1 – Published 11 June 2015

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Synopsis

Everything’s forward. Those are fifteen-year-old Chris Myers’ words for the year. The next gate, the next race, his spot on the district ski team; they’re all his for the taking. Except training is such hard work. And then there’s Jenna – the very opposite of hard work – gorgeous, curvy, and into partying. Into Chris. Instead of moving forward, Chris is sliding back. Slower times, worse results, and his best friend, Tilly, drifting away.

“The thing you want is right in front of you,” Tilly said. Now Chris just has to figure out what that thing is – and how to get it – before it’s too late.

My thoughts

I really liked this book. The snowy crisp world of skiing is the perfect backdrop for a best-friends falling in love love story. With a likeable and realistic male teen lead, great mix of sport and romance and friendship and family, this was a very enjoyable book.
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Book Review: Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & Oliver – Robin Benway – HarperTeen – Published 23 June 2015

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Synopsis

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

My thoughts

Why did I wait so long to pick up this book? It was so awesome. I devoured it, loving every minute. It is equally funny and thought-provoking and touching and sad – but sad in a good way.

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New Book Releases June 2015

New Book Releases for June 2015

Here are the books due for release in June 2015 that have made it onto my to-read list. Click on the covers for detailed reviews.

Adult Fiction

Hover Hover – Anne Wilson – Forge Books – Published 2 June 2015

Hover is without doubt my top release for June 2015. I was totally blown away by this book. Romance, suspense, action and a strong heroine, it ticks all the right boxes. I can’t wait to share this with you. Lieutenant Sara Denning never planned on joining the navy. She is only there because her brother, one more man in a very long line of Denning military men, isn’t. But for someone who wasn’t going to join up, she’s pretty good at what she does. There is just one problem- she’s terrified of water.

Adult Fiction. Military suspense.


 

Young Adult Fiction

The Witch Hunter The Witch Hunter – Virginia Boecker – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – Published 2 June 2015

The Witch Hunter reads like a cross between Harry Potter and a tale of Camelot, set in 16th century Britain. There is friendship, spells, magic, nymphs and wizards, burning at the stake, kings, evil plots, pirates, magical midwinter parties, swords and seers. Excited yet?

Overall, I couldn’t help but grin as I read it – it’s just so much fun. Light and yet dark, magical and scary, romantic and adventurous.

Young adult fiction: Fantasy. Continue reading

Book Review: Hearts Made Whole

Hearts Made Whole

Hearts Made Whole – Jody Hedlund – Beacons of Hope #2 – Bethany House Publishers – Published 2 June 2015

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Synopsis

After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s been given the post as lighthouse keeper, and the isolation where he can drown in drink and hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s none-too-pleased to be giving up her position. They both quickly realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but Ryan’s unwilling to let anyone close, ravaged by memories and guilt. Caroline’s drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?

My thoughts

It is 1865. Caroline Taylor has dutifully tended the Windmill Point Lighthouse, both before and after her father’s tragic death. Determined to provide for her siblings and continue to man the light each night, she is shocked to find that she and her family will soon have to leave. Told that lighthouse keeping is no work for a woman she is to be replaced by a returning Civil War veteran, Ryan Chambers.

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Book Review: A Worthy Pursuit

A Worthy Pursuit

A Worthy Pursuit – Karen Witemeyer – Bethany House Publishers – Published 2 June 2015

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Synopsis

Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan’s Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the little girl entrusted to her care after her mother’s death. Charlotte promised Lily’s mother she’d keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When the teacher he’s after produces documentation that shows she’s the little girl’s legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he’s been led to believe. Is Miss Atherton villain or victim? She acts more like a loving mother than an abductress, and the children in her care clearly adore her. Should Stone break his perfect record?

Then a new danger threatens, and Charlotte is forced to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone becomes determined to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he’s ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte’s heart.

My thoughts

Find a comfy chair and a cozy spot, clear your calendar, and prepare to become fully ensconced in the romantic adventure that is A Worthy Pursuit.

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Book Review: Faking Perfect

Faking Perfect

Faking Perfect – Rebecca Phillips – Kensington-Teen – Published 30 June 2015

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Synopsis

When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High’s resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:

1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?

My thoughts

When I started this book I knew it would go one of two ways – a character I didn’t like, messing her way through life, or a story about a likeable girl with a hard past determined to protect herself and with reason to project such a volatile exterior. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure which way I was leaning throughout the whole book. I didn’t hate this book, nor did I love it. I kept reading hoping for some redeeming factors, something that would make me really connect with the main characters. It was an easy read and I was interested in the story, predominately because I was waiting for Lexi to wake up or snap out of it. But let me rewind a bit. Continue reading

Book Review: The Witch Hunter

The Witch Hunter

The Witch Hunter – Virginia Boecker – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – Published 2 June 2015

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Synopsis

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

My thoughts

The Witch Hunter reads like a cross between Harry Potter and a tale of Camelot, set in 16th century Britain. There is friendship, spells, magic, nymphs and wizards, burning at the stake, kings, evil plots, pirates, magical midwinter parties, swords and seers. Excited yet? Overall, I couldn’t help but grin as I read it – it’s just so much fun. Light and yet dark, magical and scary, romantic and adventurous.

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Book Review: Drawing Fire

Drawing Fire

Drawing Fire – Janice Cantore – Cold Case Justice #1 – Tyndale House Publishers – 1 June 2015

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Synopsis

One case from her past defines homicide detective Abby Hart.With a possible serial killer stalking elderly women in Long Beach, California, Abby’s best lead is Luke Murphy, an irritating private investigator who saw a suspect flee the scene of the latest homicide. When Abby discovers that the most recent victim is related to the governor, she’s anxious to talk to him about a cold case that’s personal to her–one Luke is interested in as well.As she learns more about the restaurant fire that took her parents’ lives years ago, Abby discovers why Luke is so invested in finding the ones responsible. The more they uncover, though, the more questions they have. Can Abby find peace without having all the answers?

My thoughts

Drawing Fire is a compelling suspense, with edge-of-your-seat action, plenty of twists and touches of faith and romance.
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Book Review: Days Like This

Days Like This

Days Like This – Danielle Ellison – Bookish Group Press – Published 2 June 2015

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Synopsis

Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is you.

Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused. Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother’s disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.

Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn’t involve Cassie Harlen.

When Cassie’s mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn’t know how he’s going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface.

Neither does Cassie.

My thoughts

Cassie walked away from everything – her mother, her home, her life and her fiancé. Or maybe she ran. Now at college she is trying to pretend to be someone else. But a phone call from her ex-fiancé about her mother setting fire to the house has Cassie returning to everything she once ran from.

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