Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Genre: 

Young Adult, viagra 40mg  Fantasy

Pages: 

383 pages

Part of a Series?:

The first of the series

Release Date: 

February 10th, click 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, viagra order ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

My Review:

I had been hearing a lot of good, no, great things about this book for SO long. I knew that it was going to be a good book but for some reason I just kept putting it off. I owned a copy, even met Victoria back in April at YALLWest, and all that, but I just couldn’t make myself sit down and do it. For some reason, I finally sat down and did it and I can’t believe that I have waited this long to read it. Seriously. Because this was basically my face after I finished the book.

First off, Victoria is just a fantastic writer. She has you on Mare’s side right away. She immediately has you hooked into the story. Her world is incredibly beauty and I am so envious of her world building skills. Its flawless, and each page just overflows with intense imagery and believable realism. I’m just blown away by the story itself. The Reds and the Silvers, their story isn’t new, the oppressors and the oppressors…but Victoria has a way of making this story her own, making it unique and stand out. And I think a lot of that comes from the characters. You’re never really sure what side you want to be on, who to trust, who to like. Everyone has secrets, dark ones, and everyone is lying all the time, and its hard to pinpoint each character. You sort of keep reading because you want to get a handle on them but they keep surprising you.

Speaking of surprises, my goodness, Victoria has them at every turn. Every single time you think you have a handle on the story, or you even try to guess what could be around the next corner, she blows something up in your face and literally leaves you going, what on earth just happened…There is a huge climax toward the end of the book, that I obviously want to keep spoiler free, but she just completely yanks the rug out from underneath your feet. I honestly did NOT see that coming at all. And it totally broke my heart. How dare you, Victoria!

So with all that revelation, and the things that happen at the end, and all the action and quick events that lead unto the cliffhanger ending…I’m glad its only a mere handful of months until the release of the next novel because that book ruined my soul.

In all the good ways of course.

                                                                                                                  Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Stand-Off by Andrew Smith

Genre: 

Young Adult, information pills Contemporary

Pages: 

448 pages

Part of a Series?:

Book #2 of Winger series

Release Date: 

September 8th, page 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

It’s his last year at Pine Mountain, and Ryan Dean should be focused on his future, but instead, he’s haunted by his past. His rugby coach expects him to fill the roles once played by his lost friend, Joey, as the rugby team’s stand-off and new captain. And somehow he’s stuck rooming with twelve-year-old freshman Sam Abernathy, a cooking whiz with extreme claustrophobia and a serious crush on Annie Altman—aka Ryan Dean’s girlfriend, for now, anyway.

Equally distressing, Ryan Dean’s doodles and drawings don’t offer the relief they used to. He’s convinced N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) is lurking around every corner—and then he runs into Joey’s younger brother Nico, who makes Ryan Dean feel paranoid that he’s avoiding him. Will Ryan Dean ever regain his sanity?

My Review:

While this review will remain spoiler-free, there is no guarantee that there will not be spoilers for Winger. Please click here for that review. 

 

I was so unbelievably excited to get my hands on this novel. It took so long, to me, for this book to finally hit the shelves. I’m also pretty sure I drove everyone insane by trying to get my hands on an ARC, which inevitably failed. Sigh. So I had to wait like the rest of you for this book to hit shelves.

I went to the book event at the Grove to go see Andrew and get my hands on it. He read aloud from it, and from beginning to end, I laughed. I knew exactly what I was in for once I started this book.

And yet I didn’t know. Let’s be honest, from the beginning, this is definitely an Andrew Smith book. It made me laugh, and it had that sort of randomness, that quirkiness that just makes me so happy when I read his books. Ryan Dean is still random and smart as hell and full of random thoughts. I love his drawings and I love the relationship that he has with Annie. That is absolutely beautiful. I love that it progresses and its not all sunshine and rainbows, but there’s work to it, like any relationship. I love that realism. I love the humor. The “friendship” between Ryan Dean and the Abernathy just had me cracking up the entire book, especially every time Ryan Dean told him to stop talking. It made me laugh so hard.

But what I love about this book is how much we see Ryan Dean change and grow up and deal with the things that happened to him in Winger. With Joey’s death brings a lot of problems for Ryan Dean West, and its interesting to see a character you know so well deal with that. He’s not the same person. He’s lost a bit of his goofiness, and he’s afraid to befriend anyone, because of what happened to his best friend. I think Andrew has a way of capturing it that’s just great. You’re laughing, like always, but you’re also right there with Ryan Dean, experiencing the same things that he is, and the panic attacks felt incredibly real. I experience them periodically and those scenes hit me hard.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to the sequel. I was just glad to have Ryan Dean back. Winger is one of my favorite books period. I definitely expected a lot of laughs, and a lot of randomness and a lot of really cool comics and drawings. All of that was delivered. But the super human story of Ryan Dean and his relationship with Annie and his relationship with his roommate, Sam, and dealing with all the things that are piled up on top of him…that was unexpected but completely beautiful. Because that’s one of the things that makes Andrew the incredible writer that he is; he’s able to be funny and emotional and romantic and a hundred of different emotions at the same time, and bring it all together for a really well-written, character-driven, fantastic story. Another absolute winner, and is now sitting on my “favorites” shelves, right alongside Winger.

Basically…the whole book made me feel like this…

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

 

Book Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

22693175Genre: 

Young Adult, ed Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

389 pages


Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

October 1st, 2013

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Before:
Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After:
Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

My Review:

 

I have to admit…I was pretty wary when it came to reading this book. Not that I thought it was going to be bad. I try to go into a book with as positive attitude as possible because I find if I expect it to be not so good, it tends to be…not so good. But I’ve heard such mixed reviews! People either love or they hate it, and those kind of books make me nervous because seriously, I always tend to end up in the “hate it” category. Well, my friend Alex of People Like Books convinced me to read it and I bought it in anticipation of meeting her at RT and…well I’m glad I did it.

The book is weird. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know how to explain it but the way its written, with the flashbacks, its just weird. Like, I think you’re supposed to like Sawyer, you’re supposed to be rooting for him when he comes crashing back into Reena’s life but the flashbacks showcase what went wrong in the past and sometimes its incredibly hard to get past that. For Reena, its been years, she’s moved on, he’s changed, that sort of thing, but for the reader, its still kind of fresh and new so that was hard for me.

But what made this story the story that I grew to love was Reena and her family and her daughter. It felt familiar because I’ve had a similar story (won’t go into much more detail there, sorry) so it was an immediate connection there. But there’s something about her that makes you want to root for her. She works her ass off, she loves her daughter, she tries so hard to please everyone and falls short, and she is still hopeful and she still believes. I think its so great.

Because of Reena, I believe in Reena and Sawyer and that’s why I fall in love with them and their relationship. Reena is an incredible character and I want to root for her and her daughter and her dream to travel everywhere and write about it and I believe in Sawyer wanting to make things work and I really did love it. I love the dynamic of the two and I loved that we had a romance wrapped around a couple that had a baby. Its beautiful. There just isn’t enough of that.

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Forever with You (ARC) by J Lynn

Genre: 

New Adult, viagra Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

384 pages

Part of a Series?:

Book #5 in the Wait for You Series

Release Date: 

September 29th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Some things you just believe in, even if you’ve never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It’s out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she’s got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph’s eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick’s self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he’s knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she’s building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can’t walk away. Not when she’s the only one who’s ever made him wish for forever . . .

My Review:

I read this book incredibly fast. Maybe in a few hours. There are two reasons for this. One of the reasons is this: we went to an event in Las Vegas where J Lynn was signing and she had 30 copies of this book to give out. I got the very last copy. Being the fabulous friend I am (I’m so modest haha), I wanted to share it with my friends. I knew that I was the fastest reader and I had to finish it so I could pass it around.

I also read through this book because I think this may have become my favorite of the series. Okay, not really because I still say Be With Me is my favorite BUT this one is a seriously close second. Like by a minimal percentage between the two.

I was excited to read Stephanie’s story. Stephanie is someone we barely know through other people but I was hooked on her right away. Yeah, she’s hooked up with a few dudes, but once she is there for Tessa when Tessa comes home to find her dead roommate, I knew that she was going to be important and that I would just love her.

A few pages in and I was already so totally sure. There’s a quote from her in the beginning that immediately made me love her.

“I’ll never really understand it, I realized as I sat there, staring at the red and green flecks of the leftover peppers, why others’ sexual habits bothered people — especially other women — so much. Of all people, you’d think women would be more tolerant of other women’s choices, but sadly, a lot aren’t. In a lot of ways they could be worse than the guys. It wasn’t like I was sitting in judgement over those who waited for marriage or believed sex automatically equaled love. I could care less if someone had two partners or fifty. So why did they have to?”

That’s when I fell in love with Stephanie. She felt really similar to me. She wants to find love. She wants to settle down and have a relationship. But in the meantime, she’s going to have fun. She’s safe and all that but comfortable in her own body and if she sees a guy that she’s attracted to…she goes for it and doesn’t feel one ounce of guilt about it. And I absolutely love it. There should be no guilt for that. Its just perfect as hell.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Nick as well. And I love the story that they have. I love that an unexpected situation brings the two of them together. I love what came for the two of them from that. I love their story. I love Nick. Oh I adore Nick. I love how we have this view of him but when things change for him and Steph…he just steps up and becomes this person and I just fall madly in love with him. I love Nick.

But this book was amazing to me because of Stephanie and her story. I felt connected with her right away. And what she goes through in this book has happened to me. I know the sort of feelings it leaves, I know how it never really goes away and I know the feeling of disappointment in leaves in yourself, like you should have known, you should have done something more. I know that’s vague but spoiler free, remember? Especially since there’s still a TON of time until this book is out and I don’t want to ruin it for everyone. But I loved this book and the characters and I love Stephanie. If there was a character that was so like in J Lynn’s series, I would say Stephanie. I thought Tessa for awhile and I’m definitely still like Tessa but Stephanie…I bonded with her right away.

I’ll just say this too: we get a lot of really awesome news for other couples we’ve fallen in love with over the past few books and we see some super awesome things for them and it was allllll the feels. Such a beautiful book. Sigh. If you’re a fan of this series, definitely pick this up at the end of September!

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Asa by Jay Crownover

Genre: 

New Adult, dosage Contemporary, information pills Romance

Pages: 

400 pages

Part of a Series?:

Book #6 in The Marked Men Series

Release Date: 

April 21st, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

My Review:

Oh Asa. The finale of this series was so much fun, so emotional and just the perfect way to bring this entire family to a conclusion. I’m working on my own NA romance series and the last book of my series is going to involve a bad boy trying to redeem himself so I was excited to read this book, not only because its the conclusion, but because I was excited to see how Asa, who we meet in book two and see throughout the series, falls madly in love with a cop.

We meet Royal in book 4, Nash’s book, because she lives across the hallway from him. And immediately as soon as we met her, I knew I loved her. I knew she was going to be important. She’s gorgeous and sassy and hard working and obviously dedicated to her job as a cop. I love the connection she immediately has with Asa and I love her just period. She’s struggled with her mom, even though she loves her, she struggles with her guilty over what happened to her best friend and partner in the field and she struggles to figure out who she is and what she wants. She seems so confident and perfect in the other books but I love that you really get to see her in this book, and she’s flawed but she’s determined, and she’s incredibly determined when it comes to Asa, and seeing that he’s changed and worthy of love, and most importantly, worthy of her love.

Then you have Asa. See I love Jet and Ayden so I got a very negative first impression of Asa and even though Rome likes him, and he becomes friends with Nash and Rowdy and he’s obviously becoming a better person, its hard to get rid of those feelings about him. But once you’re in his brain and you can see what he went through and how he legitimately struggles to be a better person…its just so hard NOT to fall in love with Asa. He genuinely wants to be a better person; he does. But its hard for him, and its also incredibly hard for him because he’s determined that he’s a bad guy, he’ll always be that way and he doesn’t deserve anything better. That struggle keeps him from becoming the best person he can be and it prevents him from being the person Royal knows and wants.

But when they come together, and pick up the pieces and put each other back together, and fall in love…its just absolutely perfect. They both find a family and a new chance with each other and they are folded into the Marked family and oh, the feels were so real as I finished this book. I loved the way Royal and Asa were so magnetic and meant to be together and I love how they sort of saved each other but I also loved how everything from book one until this comes together. You see everyone in the Marked family come together, get married, start families and all of those things and I just can’t handle how it was just the perfect ending.

So…when are those Saints of Denver books coming out hmm? I’m ready for them ;)

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Genre: 

New Adult, help Contemporary, this site Romance

Pages: 

276 pages

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

July 28th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Sarina’s Website / Elle’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

My Review:

Warning: The following review is based on a book that features a male on male relationship. Yes, this book is sexy and awesome but if you are uncomfortable with this, please click away now. And probably never come back. 

I just read this book a few days ago and I am in love love love love love with it. The first time I ever read a male on male relationship was in Sarina Bowen’s The Understatement of the Year and I knew that I was totally hooked on books like this. I adore both of these authors so so so much and I’ve been pushing them on pretty much every single person I know and I was ECSTATIC when I learned they were writing a hockey book about two guys falling in love, and they were writing it TOGETHER.

Rewind to a few nights ago when this book was released. I had preordered it in order to get it around 9 pm so I could stay up all night and finish it. That was the plan. Then I had some last minute things go through on my debit card and I didn’t have enough money for the preorder to go through. I was so SAD. Luckily, a good friend of mine sent me an Amazon gift card and I was able to buy it. Saved by Chris! You rock, Chris. I’m just saying.

I stayed up all night to read it and I just…I love everything about this book. I love that it had two beautiful hockey boys. I love the romance and the friendship between those two characters. I love that you can hear both Sarina and Elle’s voices in the book but they write so beautifully together and its just perfect. I love that they teach younger kids about hockey, the way they learned it as kids. I love the sex scenes because holy moly, grab me a cold washcloth, those things were steamy as hell! But what I loved the most about this book was the character of Jamie.

There are not enough bisexual characters in YA and NA and as someone who is bisexual and struggles to keep her anger in check at the completely misunderstanding of what that means…it means a lot to have a character like Jamie in the book. While I definitely adore Wes to no end, I think the person I fell in love with the most was Jamie. Jamie struggles to figure out who he is. He likes girls but he loves Wes too, and its a hard thing to go through. Its confusing as hell but I love how fearless he can be and I love that he feels this attraction and he has these feelings for his best friend and he just goes for it. I LOVE Jamie Canning so much. I wish he was a real person that I could just hug and love and be friends with because Elle and Sarina created a great character in him. He’s real and genuine and familiar and I connected with him from beginning to end.

But just like both of these authors tend to do…they made me laugh and cry and they made me want a cold shower STAT and they just wrote an incredibly GREAT romance novel about two people trying to figure shit out and finding each other in the process. I can’t speak highly enough of Elle and Sarina and their books and I love that they wrote a book together and I loved every minute of the book they wrote together. Brava, ladies, please do it again sometime soon!

Rating: 

3.75 out of 5 Stars