May 31, 2014

"The Summer I Found You" by Jolene Perry

Title: The Summer I Found You

Author: Jolene Perry

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Conpany

Imprint: Albert Whitman Teen

Publication date: March 1st, 2014

My rating: 4 of 5

(Book read on May 20th, 2014, from the review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)


All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.
Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all? 

My Thoughts on the Book:

Ok, so when I started this book, I wasn't sure if I'll like it, because of the veteran thing, but surprisingly I did. 

The Summer I Found You is a beautiful YA contemporary read about two people that had suffered a surprising event in their life that had changed their lives forever, and about how they're coping with it.

First of all, I have to mention something that I disliked after reading this book. This book isn't set in the summer, so why the title? I actually quite like the rest of the title, it fits the story, but it should've been The Spring I Found You, not summer. This book is set in spring! It's like the one that came up with the season haven't even read the book, so I really doubt it's the author, probably the publisher or someone else responsible for marketing who thought it would be better title so they can promote it as a summer book. I don't know for sure, I'm just guessing & rambling, so don't mind me. Anyway, back to the book and what was inside it ;)

Kate was likable enough character, even though she didn't want to face the reality about her health. She was just going around, pretending that nothing is wrong & nothing has changed, like maybe if she pretend it didn't happen, it will go away by itself. I could understand her acting like that, but I also liked that when someone finally got through to her about how serious it actually is, and how her decisions influense on her health & on the rest around her, she doesn't act stubborn or pretend anymore, but does everything she can to help herself, because in the end, if you don't want to help yourself, no one can help you when it comes to a condition like that.

As for Aidan, poor Aidan. He's actually quite an amazing guy, and I really liked him as a character. And I really liked that he still doesn't give up, even though often wants to. But, he pushes on & somehow goes on, day by day, even though he doesn't know what to do with his life anymore.

I really liked the interactions between Aidan & Kate. There was just something simmering between them from the moment they met, some kind of connection. They start to hang out together, more for a distraction, but what starts like a distraction, slowly turns into something more, and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship develop & I really liked them together.

What I didn't like was the fact that Kate wasn't as sincere with Aidan as he was with her, especially after he thoroughly opened up to her, and she kept hiding her condition, which I just thought it was plain not fair to him. So, of course, everything blows up in her face, and she gets quite the wake up call. I didn't want to be in her shoes right then, but she definitely deserved it.

I really enjoyed The Summer I Found You because the couple worked for me. It was good, fun & sad read, without a lot of drama, yet dealing with some serious issues, and overall I enjoyed the complete package, so I recommend this book!


"10 Ways to Handle the Best Man" by Heidi Rice

Title: 10 Ways to Handle the Best Man
Author: Heidi Rice
Imprint & Publisher: Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin
Publication date: January 14th, 2014
My rating: 3 of 5
(Read on May 21st, 2014, from the review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.) 


The maid of honor's to-do list for handling the best man:
#1 Charm him.
#2 Find out everything about him from friends and family.
#3 Size definitely matters: especially when it comes to the ego. Tread carefully if he has a big one…
Sabrina Millard has a plan and a list for everything, including her role as maid of honor at her BFF's wedding. The best man is a whole different matter. She knows Connor McCoy is trouble — she once had a disastrous encounter with him years ago. Now that he's supersexy and supersuccessful, it's even worse. Especially as he's just proved who's in charge by shattering her legendary control…under the table at the rehearsal dinner!
Connor's having fun seducing prim Sabrina. Which is so wrong — she's the ultimate good girl, while his past is…complicated. Only Sabrina has him breaking all his own rules…


My Thoughts on the Book:

10 Ways to Handle the Best Man is an entertaining enough & really hot contemporary story. Not quite my type of story, but I still liked it.

I can't say that I quite liked Connor with his dominant behaviour, but I liked him as a character because of everything he has been through, and how hard he had worked to get where he is now, and all the obstacles he had to overcome. He was one well-developed character.

As for Sabrina, she was likable enough, and in the end, they're the perfect match. Sure, they scorched the sheets, but what I really liked was the ending, they were actually quite adorable & sweet, and I would love for them to make it & get their HEA together. Yes, I know, they're fictional characters, but I'd like to think they have a great future together, because they deserve it.

Overall, I liked the story, and I'm interested in reading some of Heidi Rice's other works.


Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale by Cate Rowan

Title: Kiss That Frog

Author: Cate Rowan

Publication date: July 5th, 2012

My rating: 3 of 5
(Read on May 23rd, 2014, from the review copy received from the author via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)  


In this romantic fairy tale remix, a cynical Los Angeles artist reluctantly pet-sits for her young niece's frog and discovers magic in the terrarium--in the form of a sexy enchanted prince.
This novelette with a Regency time-travel twist is 12,000 words/45 pages. Cate Rowan's sensuous fantasy romances have won more than thirty awards.

My Thoughts on the Novelette:

This is the first time I've read Cate Rowan's work, but it won't be the last. In such a short read, she managed to entertain me, make me laugh, like the characters, and cheer them on, and that is great! So, I'm definitely interested in trying her other stories & books!

As for Kiss the Frog, I really enjoyed reading it! The heroine was funny, the prince was yummy, and the story was fun, and they were cute together.

If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, I highly recommend Kiss the Frog! It's short, but sweet, and will totally make your day. 


May 30, 2014

"Open Road Summer" by Emery Lord

Title: Open Road Summer

Author: Emery Lord

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

Imprint: Walker Childrens

Publication date: April 15th, 2014

My rating: 4 of 5

(Book read from May 18th to May 19th, 2014, from the review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)



Taylor Swift meets Sarah Dessen in this emotional summer story of love and true friendship 

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.
A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

My Thoughts on the Book:

Open Road Summer is a pretty good YA contemporary summer read. The title Open Road Summer fits the story perfectly. I didn't fall in love with this book as everyone else seems to be, but I did like it a lot!

What I liked? Well, overall I really enjoyed the story. I loved the mix of friendship, music, travelling, heartbreak & romance, it completes one pretty good story. It was fun, cute, charming, and it felt like summer is already here.

I also really liked Matt Finch - he's such a nice, fun, talented & charming guy. And I really liked Lilah, she's amazing - really sweet & really talented. But, my only problem was Reagan. I really wanted to like her. And every time when I thought I finally like her, immediately she said or did or thought something that made me dislike her, so I was really conflicted about her. She's amazing friend to Lilah, and I liked that. She was also (mostly, not always) quite likable when she was around Matt, it seems he brought the best in her. But, quite often, I found her dislikable, because she acted like a self-centered bitch. I know it might sound harsh, but that's just how she made me feel for her. It was like there were two Lilah's - the one that when she was happy & around Matt or Lilah, was quite likable, and the other unlikable one. I did like that she was outspoken, and said everything on her mind, but there were some other details when it came to her thoughts or actions that I found quite irritating. To be honest, she didn't deserve Matt.

That being said, when Matt & Reagan were together, they were great. The banter & flirting between them was so cute & charming, and they were sweet, and they made me laugh more than once. Matt was especially funny!

As I said, I also loved the friendship between Lilah & Reagan, and how they would do everything for each other, and support each other.

If you're searching for a summer read, Open Road Summer is the book for you, and I recommend it a lot!


"More Than This" by Patrick Ness

Title: More Than This

Author: Patrick Ness

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publication date: September 10th, 2013

My rating: 5 of 5

(Book read from May 12th to May 30th, 2014, from the review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)



From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. 

What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this... 

My Thoughts on the Book:

More Than This is one of those rare books that I just don't know how to review them. That happened to me last year with A Monster Calls, and now it happened again with my second Patrick Ness read - More Than This.

From the first line, Patrick Ness's amazing writing style & wonderful way with words is obvious, and you'll find yourself intrigued & ensnared by the promise of the story. And Patrick Ness definitely delivers. 

While reading this book, he managed to make me feel (along with the main character) lonely, sad, heartbroken, and hopeful. You might also feel like he's playing mind games with you, or maybe the truth is even more horrifying than it seems. I don't want to go into details, you'll just have to read it for yourself & decide. 

The pacing of the story isn't fast, it's on the slow side, especially in the first part, but it's perfectly done, it definitely contributes to the mood of the story, and will make you want to read more.
I also loved the characters. The main character Seth slowly climbed into my heart, and now doesn't want to leave. I loved how (with the way the book was written) I slowly got to know him, and before the book was finished, I loved him as a character. He's far from perfect, but then again, no one is. What I really liked was how much he actually grew with everything he goes through this book, and how he decides to cope with it all. In the end, he's one strong character - much stronger than when this book begins. Tomasz was adorable and so much fun, and I also loved Regine as a character - she was awesome!

As for the story itself, after this one big surprising thing that happened a.k.a was revealed after Seth met Tomasz & Regine, nothing else surprised me, I could predict what will happen next quite easily while reading (though not quite how it will end). Also, the first 3rd or so of the book (while Seth was alone), it was more haunting & more eerie, and more mysterious than the rest of the book.

That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. To be honest, I felt a little bit underwhelmed with the ending. I usually love open endings, but I would've loved just a little bit more, but then the book would've go on & on. ;) Patrick Ness is one amazing author, and I can't wait to read from of his books. Next - his Chaos Walking trilogy (finally).
More Than This is a haunting story that will capture you, and not let you go, that will make you think, and that will stay with you long after you've finished it. That's why I highly recommend this book!


"Her Valentine Fantasy" by Nancy Warren

Title: Her Valentine Fantasy

Author: Nancy Warren

Imprint & Publisher: Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin

Publication date: January 14th, 2014

My rating: 4.5 of 5

(Read on May 25th, 2014, from the review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.) 


Tonight's sinful dessert special…Valentine's Fantasy
The tasty dish from Benedict restaurant is everything Jessica Lafayette could want… or crave. And it's not the dessert in front of her — it's her waiter. A guy with dark, intense eyes that suggest he wants to slowly lick whipped cream off her skin. A smile so wicked it makes her insides lava-cake gooey. And a too-hot-to-handle body that was meant to be tasted…
Yup, Sam The Waiter is better than chocolate.
But what Jessica doesn't know is that her one-night-waiter is actually Sam Benedict, Upscale Restaurateur. And that her little lie about being from out of town is going to turn into a Big Deal. Now Jessica is in deep hot chocolate… because her Valentine Fantasy is starting to look a lot like a red-hot reality!

My Thoughts on the Book:

I loved Her Valentine Fantasy. Of course it was hot, but what I loved the most about it was that there was a lot more substance to it a.k.a for a hot short read, there was actually romance, and it was sweet.

I'll try not to spoil the story, but an accidental mix up brings Sam & Jessica together again. Sure, from the moment they met, there was attraction between them, it was sizzling actually, and their banter was fun, but they probably wouldn't have acted on it, if the mix up didn't happen.

After their amazing night together, they spent even more amazing day together, and they really clicked. But, both of them weren't quite honest - Sam thinks Jessica lives in Chicago, and she thinks he's a waiter. They start email each other, and keep contacting, and get to know each other even more, and miss each other. It was quite sweet & romantic, just like in a movie, and I enjoyed it a lot.

I found both of the characters quite likable, I loved that they didn't feel grudges, so no drama, and their story was quite interesting & sweet & romantic.

The only thing I have a problem with is the cover - it doesn't fit at all. They should've put the dessert Valentine Fantasy on the cover & it would've been perfect.

I highly recommend Her Valentine Fantasy, it's the perfect Valentine read!


May 29, 2014

"Crazy, Stupid Sex" by Maisey Yates

Title: Crazy, Stupid Sex

Author: Maisey Yates

Publisher & Imprint: Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin

Publication date: February 11th, 2014

My rating: 4 of 5

(Read on May 21st, 2014, from the review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.) 


How to Land the Hot Guy 1.0
A multimillionaire by the age of 27, app developer Evie James is clueless when it comes to hooking up. So she does what any self-respecting geek-girl looking to get laid would do: she programs her own app for landing a hot guy. After a few failed attempts at making contact, beta testing leads her to Caleb Anderson.
Caleb is used to female attention, but finds himself attracted to Evie because of her unique brand of awkward. A master of one-night stands, he's more than happy to show her what she's been missing in the bedroom. But he quickly discovers that one night with a woman like Evie will never be enough for him…


 My Thoughts on the Book:

I really, really enjoyed reading Crazy, Stupid Sex. It was entertaining, funny & sizzling.

First of all, I loved Evie as a character. She's an adorable & quirky, nerdy, (a little bit awkward in social situations), but brilliant character, so of course I loved her.

As for Caleb, he might be at first glance this totally charming & gorgeous arrogant guy (which he still is), but I loved how Evie taught him a few things about life, so I really liked him.

I loved their banter, and their chemistry was quite sizzling, and overall they worked great together, so I really enjoyed their story. I'll have to read more books by Maisey Yates.

I highly recommend this Cosmo Red-Hot Read. It's fun, sweet, charming & steamy, with likable characters & entertaining story!


May 28, 2014

"Heartbeat" by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Heartbeat

Author: Elizabeth Scott

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication date: January 28th, 2014

My rating: 3 of 5

(Book read on May 27th, 2014, from the review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)  


Life. Death. And...Love? 
Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with. 
But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her. 
Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

My Thoughts on the Book:

I've only read one book by Elizabeth Scott - Perfect You, which I absolutely adored. So, Heartbeat is my second Elizabeth Scott read, and I have mixed feelings about it.

The first half of the book I absolutely loved. It was really sad & heartbreaking, I had tears in my eyes for most of it, but I still found myself captivated by the story. But, after that, my enjoyment started to decline, and I started to get a little bored & the fault was in the main character Emma & her stubbornness.

The idea & the story is quite interesting, though sad. Emma - the main character, even though I didn't agree with her, for the first half of the book - I could understand her & I was so heartbroken for her, so I liked her. She's sad & so, so angry, and as I said - I could understand her why. But, after a half of this book, after some conversations were had, she still seemed to be stuck in the same place, and instead of starting to understand or accept the reality slowly, she was still obstinated, and that started getting old real fast, and I started to get irritated with her more & more, which influensed my enjoyment of the story. I still liked her when she was with Caleb, but all the other times in most of the second of the book, she was annoying & unlikable, and just not fair to those around her.

Caleb was interesting character & I really liked him. He had suffered a loss of his own, and had started coping with it in a bad way since it happened, but I liked the fact that he himself realised that he can't go on like that, and he has to stop selfdestruct himself & the people that might found themselves in his way. Even though he's still broken, he still wants to fight & live.

I really liked that they found each other. For their period in their lives, they were good for each other, and I really liked them as a couple. They were sweet, the chemistry was great, and I enjoyed watching them getting to know each other, confide in each other, and slowly falling for each other.

I really liked Emma's best friend Olivia, she was such a fun character & a great friend. I also really liked the way it was written, the way through Emma's memories, we got to know her mom, Emma herself before she lost her mom, and the life they shared, and how much that has changed for them all.

The ending I liked a lot. Once again I got tears in my eyes, and it was bittersweet ending to this contemporary novel.

If you'd like to read something different, and you're a fan of YA contemporary novels, I recommend this book.