Category: Review (page 1 of 242)

BOOK REVIEW: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

BOOK REVIEW: More Than Maybe by Erin HahnMore Than Maybe Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

Growing up under his punk rocker dad's spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn't in front of a crowd, it's on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada's got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom's boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil's music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley's prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor's summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

Thank you to Wednesday Books for an early copy of my book in exchange for an honest review!

I met my other half three years ago, and as far as I know … she has no idea.

More Than Maybe is Erin Hahn’s second YA book, which yet again, is focused on music and the role it plays in our main characters’ lives. It’s told through alternating POVs, shuffling between Vada, a music blogger, and Luke, a son of a former rock-n-roller, and current podcaster. Luke is also a secret songwriter/composer, but doesn’t want the same life that his father had. The setting is Ann Arbor, Michigan, which was a nice change than the typical LA/NY music scenes. I will always appreciate a Midwest setting, especially college towns in the Midwest, which are unique in their own right.

Through a school project and a shared love of music, Vada and Luke slowly get to know each other. Music is a medium in which they share how they are feeling and brought a lot of cool references to us readers. I’ll be honest, I only knew some of them, but it was still neat to read.

“It seems we both have our secrets, and I’m honored to be one of yours, Vada.”

There’s a lot of wonderful side characters, including Cullen, Luke’s brother, and Zack, Luke’s best friend and Cullen’s boyfriend. Luke is very supportive of their relationship, but he is definitely feeling left out of their world at times. Another great character was Phil, Vada’s boss and stand-in father, who is worlds better than her actual father. I loved her genuinely beautiful relationship with him and was thrilled every time he made an appearance. Both Vada and Luke have complicated family lives and thought the familial issues were written really well.

Music is my obsession, my life’s blood. It runs through my veins, coloring my skin. My natural inclination is to rock, but that’s not enough if I want to make music my career.

If you read Hahn’s first book, More Than Maybe, then you’ll recognize a lot of similar themes: music is ever present. You’re going to get a lot of lyrics, a lot of references and just a lot of general talk about how important it is. It’s not necessarily necessary to get these references, but I’m sure it helps. There’s also a lot of complicated family dynamics and relationships. There’s also mentions of religion, which wasn’t as prevalent in this book as it was in the first. The Luke/Vada relationship is both a bit of insta-love and slow burn oddly. I wish it would have had a bit more tension and angst to counteract the insta-attraction.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and even more so than You’d Be Mine. I really liked Luke and Vada, but I thought several of the side characters were really great. It was a cute story, with fully realized teenagers on the cusp of adulthood, with a great setting.

We stare at each other, the room erupting around us, but don’t move. I’m afraid to. At last I close my eyes, taking a picture in my mind. I want to live in this moment forever, and maybe I’d like it okay if Luke were here, too.

BOOK REVIEW: Finding Him (Covet #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: Finding Him (Covet #2) by Rachel Van DykenFinding Him (Covet #2)
by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: Amazon
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Synopsis:

A novel about a shattered family, broken hearts, and healing love by Rachel Van Dyken, the number one New York Times bestselling author of Stealing Her.

Coming out of a coma was one hell of a wake-up call. While I was in the dark, my estranged twin brother, Bridge, had replaced me in the company I owned and swept up my fiancée in the takeover. With my ruthless reputation, can I blame them for falling in love? I have to look long and hard at where I’ve been and where I’m headed. Alone time? The universe has other plans.

Our family’s secluded Vermont cabin comes with a gorgeous—if at first, unwelcoming—surprise. She’s renter Keaton Westbrook, a social media superstar struggling with her own private grief. As a winter storm bears down, we’ve found something to keep us warm—an intimacy neither of us expected and both of us need.

After we say goodbye, what happens then? Keaton and I are longing to reconcile with our painful pasts. I can’t bear to do it without her. Is it too much to ask of fate to give us a second chance at life and love?

Review:

“You’re the annoying twin, aren’t you?”
I narrowed my eyes at the back of her head. “Actually, I’m the charming one.”
She looked over her shoulder. “Hmm, can’t see it.”

Finding Him was beautifully emotional and one of my favorite books this year!  By that first chapter, I already had tears in my eyes.  Twice.  And as the story unfolded, I had tears for a past love story, tears for brothers and of course tears for Julian and Keaton.  But there was also so much to smile and swoon about.  This book was sexy, funny and had the best banter.  So if you’re a fan of romance, a tortured hero and the most beautiful happily ever after, definitely add this one to your list.  I can’t recommend it enough!

“You’re going to get drunk while I take care of our basic human needs?”
“Think of it this way . . .”He smirked. “If you don’t build a fire, we’re going to have to get naked and share body heat, and I highly doubt that would be your first choice, since you’re already so fucking frigid.”
I almost picked up the knife.
I almost threw it at his perfect face.
Instead, I took the high road, flipped him off, and went in search of my coat.

Julian and Keaton got off on the wrong foot, and then some.  Julian was forced to get away from life and find some peace after waking up from a coma, losing his fiancée to his twin brother, and having his mother pass away.  Keaton wanted to write her past love story, but away from all of the lime light.  Neither of them expected to find someone else at that cabin.   And neither of them wanted to be the one to leave.  So what unfolded was an emotional roller coaster that had me completely addicted.

Because my heart might as well have been buried in that casket next to my mom’s. God knows that’s how my soul felt, like the dirt was trying to pull me under, trying to bury me along with my mother.
I was just as dead as she was.
And I had to wonder if maybe, maybe the world was better off without Julian Tennyson fully existing in it.

Julian fascinated me in Stealing Her, and as we got to know him in this story, I loved him even more than Bridge.  His thoughts bled from the pages, since he was consumed by the pain of his past.  His decisions, actions and who he was haunted him at every waking moment.  Yes he had done horrific things, but at the same time it felt like he had been so easily cast aside.  His whole world changed in the blink of an eye.  So of course he was an asshole to those around him.  Especially when we saw how little he thought of himself.  He broke my heart again and again.  So tortured doesn’t even begin to describe Julian.  Yet, he could be so thoughtful and considerate.  Well, when he wanted to be lol.

I would always need a weapon and armor.
Because Julian Tennyson up close was lethal.
And Julian Tennyson thinking about me, holding me in his arms, felt too good.
I shivered again.

And while Julian was battling his own demons, Keaton was there.  She was sassy and I loved how she had no problem standing up to him. She would go toe to toe with him and wouldn’t back down!  They definitely didn’t like each other in the beginning, and they had no qualms letting the other know it.  It was awkward and funny, and I loved how the messed with each other.  The “test” had me laughing so hard I was gasping for air! 

“Just because you type the end to one story doesn’t mean you don’t get to start another,” he said wisely as he stood and made his way back to the stove.

Yet at the same time, Keaton had her own personal struggles.  Her parents were celebrities and she was a social media sensation.  Keaton fell in love with a normal guy who sadly ended up passing away from cancer.  And she was writing their love story for a book.  So while there was lightness within Keaton, she was still drowning in her own pain too.  Just like Julian.

We were polar opposites. The media painted me like a saint. And Julian Tennyson? Hell’s number -one sinner.
I wasn’t stupid enough to believe it was just mind-blowing sex.
It wasn’t.
Not with Julian.
It felt raw, aggressive, violent in the way it crashed over me every time he touched me.

Finding Him truly had it all.  There was love, friendship, redemption, forgiveness and it was emotional every step of the way.  There was also sexual tension, steamy moments and scenes that had me laughing so hard. And the journey Julian and Keaton faced, after leaving the cabin, had me even more obsessed with what would happen next.  Finding Him had everything I always look for in a romance novel.  It was uplifting while also gutting.  If made me laugh, smile, cry and best of all, I fell madly in love.  This story will always hold a special place in my heart and I hope you’ll discover Finding Him too!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3) by Laura Sebastian

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3) by Laura Sebastian

I’m so excited to be a part of the Ember Queen tour! So check out my review below, along with some of my favorite quotes. And enter in a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy! ♥

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3) by Laura SebastianEmber Queen Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling series "made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir" (Bustle), Ember Queen is an epic fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo's blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers.

Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way.

The Kaiserin's strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart's sister.

Review:

Ember Queen was a beautiful weaving together of friendship, trust, tears, love, and sacrifice.  This series completely enchanted me and I devoured it in no time at all.  I fell in love with these characters.  They held my heart in the palm of their hands during their action packed journey!  So if you’re a fan of young adult and fantasy, definitely add this series to your tbr.  Here are some of my favorite things about this final book…..

 

✮Sacrifice and Tears:
Oh, Ember Queen made me cry.  Not only was life and war brutal and unfair.  But the way some of the relationships played out tore my heart apart.  These characters became real to me.  I felt everything they did and I was with them every step of the way.  So it was impossible for them not to mark my heart with their emotions.  It was impossible not to find tears in my eyes or falling down my face.  The sacrifice and certain moments in this story made me cry sad and happy tears.  It was tragically and beautifully emotional.  I loved it!

 

✮Friendship:
Friendship has played such a strong part in this trilogy.  And in Ember Queen, it got even more complex.  There was hurt because of decisions that were made.  There was deep love between some of the friendships.  And there was trust threaded through some of my favorite friendships.  Through it all, it was fascinating watching how they protected each other.  For those around Theo, my favorites were definitely Søren, Artemisia, Blaise, and Heron.  Plus some from the previous books and ones we met in Ember Queen…but those names I’m keeping a secret.

 

✮Trust:
Just like sacrifice played a huge part, so did trust.  In this final book, trust was put on the line and tested.  And some of the things that happened, oh, I didn’t even see coming.  I felt the knife to my heart, right along with Theo.  But it all made for an exciting journey, plus I loved getting to see exactly who we could and couldn’t trust as things unfolded.  It left me always wanting to know what happened next.  So while there was tension, fighting, politics, and strategizing, there was always trust.  And sometimes it took my breath away.

 

✮Love:
I don’t feel like I can say much about this, because of spoilers.  But just know that the love in this trilogy was epic, heart felt and I was rooting for it from that very first book!

 

I absolutely loved this series and can’t recommend it enough.  I binged this trilogy in a matter of days.  And that never happens with me.  I’m usually a much slower reader.  So now I can’t wait to see whatever Laura Sebastian releases in the future, she’s definitely made a lifelong fan!

 

 

Goodreads I Amazon I Book Depository I Barnes & Noble I iTunes: I Kobo I Google Books

 

Favorite Quotes:

“I died the Queen of Peace, and peace died with me,” my mother told me. “But you are the Queen of Flame and Fury, and you will set their world on fire.”

✮✩✮

When the world turns on its head and I’m not sure of anything, I’m sure of you. No matter where we are or who we fight against, I am always fighting for you.

✮✩✮

I survived for so long by not trusting anyone. It was a necessary lesson to learn, and I wouldn’t be alive today if I hadn’t learned it, but now I don’t think I can make it to the end of this war without trust. There is nothing I wouldn’t trust Artemisia, Heron, and Blaise with—not my life and not the future of Astrea, if it comes to that.
The three of them exchange looks before nodding.
Yana Crebesti,” they say.

✮✩✮

Suddenly I miss Søren so much that it feels like a dagger between my ribs, twisting and carving away at my flesh. I don’t know if it’s the hopelessness and uncertainty of this looming battle or if it’s merely being here in this unfamiliar place, alone, but I miss him all the same.

✮✩✮

Even if we have the numbers to win this battle, we won’t do it without casualties. Their blood will be on my hands. And I don’t even know their names.

✮✩✮

“There’s no shame in breaking,” I tell him. “Gods know I did often enough. You just have to put yourself back together again.”

 

 

About Laura Sebastian:

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Her debut ASH PRINCESS, the start of a YA fantasy trilogy, will be out April 24th, 2018 from Delacorte (Random House).

Website I Goodreads I Twitter I Instagram

 

Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

BOOK REVIEW: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay KristoffAurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2)
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Review

HAHAHAHA I HAVEN’T READ A CLIFFHANGER LIKE THAT IN YEARS. I’M 38 WEEKS PREGNANT I CANT HANDLE THIS SHIT.

I…..honestly don’t even know where to begin with this review. I have been SO excited for Squad 312’s journey to pick back up since I read Aurora Rising also as an ARC back last March. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again—being able to be one of those people who are lucky enough to read ARCs is AWESOME. Who doesn’t want to get these books as early as humanly possible, am I right?! However. There are also TWO main downsides to this. 1) You are VERY limited to the number of people you can fangirl to about the book you just devoured and 2) you are now forced to wait EVEN LONGER until the next book comes out. In the case of Aurora Burning….I might die. This GD book ends on THE CLIFFHANGAR OF ALL CLIFFHANGERS, PEOPLE. I honestly couldn’t even tell you the last time I read a book that ended with me furiously trying to swipe left on my Kindle over and over and over to no avail, praying that my Kindle was just frozen and that I didn’t just read the end of the book and am stuck wondering, WAITING to see what happens for over a year. Sigh.

I’ve seen a few reviews already that have said they loved this one even more than the first. While I’m not sure I can quite agree with that, they were at least on an equal level. Getting to know everyone just that little bit more (especially more on Zila’s past) was great. There were a LOT of twisty parts, especially towards the end that just left me reeling. There are things that we end the book not knowing that will drive you BONKERS. Basically a good word to describe this book is ~frantic~. They’re all in a rush to not get killed, to learn more about Auri’s powers, to find the Weapon, to save the galaxy—you know, real important things.

Aside from ALL THAT though, even just seeing them grow is a family unit made my heart swell. They are all affected from the situation with Cat, understandably, and none of them really want to take this connection they all have for granted in any way. We see certain romantic relationships grow which made me so happy and I’m hoping that we’ll see more…*cries*…of that..*sniffles*…in the next book. I really don’t want to give ANYTHING away, just know that this was the sequel that I had been looking for and I will be counting down the mother-custard-ing days until that last book is out.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for the chance to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. Hernandez

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. Hernandez

I’m so excited to be on The Resistance Tour! In case you don’t know, The Union Series is one of my favorite series ever! So check out my 5 star review of the latest book and enter in a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. HernandezThe Resistance (The Union #5)
by T.H. Hernandez
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fighting back is twice as hard when battling on two fronts.

Living in an encampment in the Ruins, life is harsh for most Unis in the Resistance, but for Cyrus and the other Ruins survivors, it's just more of the same. While training for their ultimate mission to take down the Uprising, tragedy strikes, turning Evan's and Cyrus's world upside down. Before they can recover, they discover someone in their ranks is working against them.

Facing tougher odds than they ever imagined, the group realizes the only hope they have of saving the world they know is to find help. When no one is above suspicion, even accomplishing everyday tasks is fraught with danger, but seeking out reinforcements could mean the end of the Resistance and all of them along with it.

Review:

The Resistance was an action packed ride from start to finish.  All of our favorites were back and the stakes were even higher.  With fabulous twists and turns, and characters that continually pulled at my heart, this book sailed right onto my favorites list!  If you’re a fan of young adult, dystopian and romance then you definitely need to add this series to your tbr!

I take one step forward, then another, heading to an unknown future, fear spiraling through me, on the verge of twisting me apart.

 

✮ Twists and Turns:

“It scares me.”
I reach out and locate her hand in the darkness, giving it a gentle squeeze. “What does?”
“I don’t know what’s real anymore.”
Leaning forward, I find her lips, devouring them with a searing kiss. “You and me. We’re real. That’ll never change.”

I absolutely loved how throughout this book, so many of the puzzle pieces were falling into place.  It made me feel confident with where the story was going.  I should have known better, since moments started making me gasp out loud.  My mind was blown.  Multiple times.  I had some guesses that were sooo wrong and there were twists I didn’t even see coming.  Looking back, the clues were there, I just thought they were leading me elsewhere. The Resistance unfolded so effortlessly and the unexpected twists made for a fun and exciting read!

 

✮ An Emotional and Action Packed Journey:

“Cyrus!” Evan yells as if she’s entered a tunnel . “Oh my god! Cyrus!” Cool hands cradle my face that feel like ice against my raging skin. “Cyrus.” One sob follows another as she continues to yell my name, softer and softer, as if she’s fading away.

One of my favorite things about this series, is how emotional moments and action packed ones were seamlessly intertwined.  With love, family and friendship splashed across the pages, it made for an emotional story.  The characters became a part of my heart and soul.  And since that first book, I have felt everything they have felt.  So it wasn’t a surprise that I found tears pouring down my face multiple times.  And once those tears would dry, then I’d find myself with sweaty palms.  I was scared to death over the fate of those I loved, since there were so many moments where I was on the edge of my seat.  This book impossible to put down!

 

✮ The Heart of This Series:

“All the shit we’ve weathered , we’re still us, Ev. We go from one disaster to another, but we never lose who we are. I’m sorry I forgot that. No matter what still lies ahead for us, that’s all I need. Just… you and me.”
“Always,” I say, squeezing his hand. “That will never change.”

The hurdles thrown in their way seemed insurmountable at times.  Yet these characters, who I love with my whole heart, kept pushing forward.  Even when the odds were stacked against them. And that’s because they have all grown so much since they first appeared in this series.  Especially Evan and Cyrus.  Their moments together were powerful and I loved how they’ve learned to communicate. Even if it was hard at times.  It made my heart so happy watching the two of them be such a formidable team.  And when you throw in the rest of their group of friends and family, they were a true team.  I loved how they worked together.  I couldn’t be prouder of all of them!

 
When our lips meet it’s a sultry dance of desire, forgiveness, and undying love.

I loved The Resistance with my whole heart!  With a heroine I’d love to have by my side, a book boyfriend I want to steal from the pages and a storyline that had me turning the pages faster, this book was such a huge win!  Add in the fact that there was a strong redemption theme in this story, how could I not love every single thing about it?  Okay maybe I didn’t completely love Bryce.  Yet.  But that yet is all I’m admitting lol!  So definitely add this series and book to your tbr, it’s a must read!

 

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 
 

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About T.H. Hernandez:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

 

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