Tag: Young Adult (page 1 of 107)

BOOK REVIEW – #Nerd (Hashtag #1) by Cambria Hebert

BOOK REVIEW – #Nerd (Hashtag #1) by Cambria Hebert#Nerd (Hashtag #1)
by Cambria Hebert
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Two people from completely different worlds are about to be thrown together...

In more ways than one.

She wants to keep her scholarship. He wants to stay on the team. An awkward alliance doesn't even begin to cover Rimmel and Romeo's relationship.

But that's about to change.

It starts with a dare. An initiation. A challenge.

Quickly, it turns into more. But when you're a victim of your status, there is no room for anything real. The rules are clear and simple.

Stick to your circle.

And never fall in love with anyone on the outside.

Review:

After the first few chapters of this book, I realized a few things. One the story was cute, but it probably wouldn’t be a favorite. Two I liked Rimmel, but I was so underwhelmed by Romeo. So three I didn’t get why she or even I should fall for him, he just seemed like every other cocky guy. Oh how very wrong I was! By 25% my whole view of the book shifted, and I was beyond floored. Rimmel became a favorite heroine, I started seeing that there was so much more to Romeo, and the story took a fabulously addictive turn. I’m shocked to say that this became a definite favorite, and I can’t wait to devour the rest of this author’s books!

He was absolutely infuriating! Full of himself. Arrogant. Far too pretty.
He was terrible!

This was going to be torture!
So then why was I already anticipating our next study session?

Rimmel Hudson and Roman “Romeo” Anderson find that they need each other. Rimmel has to tutor a student to keep her scholarship, and Romeo is forced to have a tutor by his coach so he doesn’t fail his classes and get kicked off the football team. Their first few tutor sessions were definitely something. Rimmel is extremely studious and doesn’t want to waste her time if Romeo isn’t going to show up or be distracted when they’re supposed to be studying. And Romeo is more interested in hooking up with girls than working on his grades. I found myself laughing, smiling and having fun, but that was kind it.

I felt like it was the first time I’d looked at someone and really saw them.
It left me shaken.
I was just tired, that’s all. – Romeo

But then everything changed, or at least that’s how it felt to me. We started seeing more of who Rimmel is, and it shattered me with how withdrawn she was. Hurt from the past, she makes herself not stand out. Her hair is always a mess, her clothes are way too huge for her and she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Well except animals. And then there’s Romeo who is seen as the student at their college. Girls want him and guys want to be friends with him. And I didn’t see it at first, even though I was looking, but Romeo has this heart and protectiveness that’s sigh worthy. You see, he starts to take his study sessions more seriously. And by doing that, he realizes what a truly beautiful person Rimmel is. Inside and out.

His fingers slid from beneath my chin and tucked the hair behind my ear. “You’re beautiful,” he said, a hint of surprise in his tone.
A rush of warmth filled my chest, but then reality came crashing back and I snorted. “Are you trying to get me to do your work again?”
He winced and his hand fell back to his lap. “I mean it.”

Thankfully #Nerd is told from both of their POVs. Because it pulled me in that much deeper to see what they thought about one another. And both of their voices were so brutally honest. They never held anything back from us, the reader. It was so much fun watching their friendship slowly unfold. And I got to the point where I wanted them to be together. Even if they’re from two entirely different worlds. His world is football, partying, a family that has money, rushing the most popular frat on campus, and he has his sights on the NFL. Whereas Rimmel is a #nerd, who keeps her head down and focused, she doesn’t have any friends or family per se, she gets by with her scholarship and wants to be a vet after she graduates. So of course it couldn’t be simple for them to be together. Especially when a challenge gets thrown in the way. And that challenge, which I won’t say what it is, flips everything they created together upside down.

“You asked me why I’m here,” he murmured, leaning in so he was so close his lips brushed mine as he spoke. “This is why I’m here, Rimmel. Can’t you feel it too?”

Aw, this book was a ton of fun! It was so easy to read and devour, and I truly don’t think I’ve ever devoured a book this size in 24 hours. But I did lol. It just became one of those book where I know I’ll remember so many of the tiny details. Rimmel and Romeo touched me that much. So if you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend you do!

BOOK REVIEW – Cursed (Beholder #1) by Christina Bauer

BOOK REVIEW – Cursed (Beholder #1) by Christina BauerCursed (Beholder #1)
by Christina Bauer
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Most days, Elea couldn’t care less about being a witch, even if she does have special powers over spirit and bone. Why bother with incantations when you’re a farm girl? Elea only uses her Necromancer magic to speed up chores and scare off suitors.

Everything changes when the evil Necromancer Tsar curses Elea. Now, she only has five years left before she burns as a ghost, tortured for all eternity. They say there’s nothing she can do, but Elea disagrees. Embracing her Necromancer ability, Elea trains as a magical assassin. Her goal? Kill the Tsar before his curse kills her. After years of preparation, Elea’s finally ready to strike.

That’s when everything goes horribly wrong.

A handsome warlock named Rowan steps up to help. Elea wants him as an ally, but she can’t ignore the mixed-up feelings that come with every one of Rowan’s crooked smiles. An assassination mission is no time to fall in love, but Elea’s heart may have other ideas…

Review:

After I had so much fun devouring Christina Bauer’s Wolves and Roses, I knew I had to try her other series.  I thought Cursed would have a similar vibe and be filled with tons of fun and snark.  But once I read the first few chapters, I realized that these two series were worlds apart.  While Cursed was an adventure that was filled with magic and heartfelt characters, it was impossible not to notice the darkness that permeated throughout certain parts of the story.  This was an entirely different type of fun, and I’m so glad I gave Cursed a try.

After so many years of hard work, the time had finally come. I would either defeat the Tsar… Or suffer forever in fire.

Elea watched her one true friend die a horrific death.  He was cursed by the Tsar, and not only would he continually burn to death for all of eternity, but she would die from the same curse in five years.  To destroy the curse, and set her and her friend Tristan free, she must kill the Tsar.  By the second chapter we jumped ahead five years where Elea had completed her training to become a Grand Mistress Necromancer. With only one week left to live, she was ready to find and take down her target, the Tsar.

Right now, my mission hinged on Rowan’s trust in me.
And mine in him.

I absolutely loved Elea!  She definitely didn’t have an easy path in front of her, but she was tough and resilient.  She always tried her hardest, no matter how dire her circumstances were.  And I loved that she thought things out and tried to make the best decisions.  She was someone I would want next to me in a battle!  Thankfully luck seemed to be on her side when a man named Rowan came into the picture.  He was a Caster who wanted to get rid of the Tsar too.

“I suppose I was worried.”
“You’re over six feet tall and large as a barn. Plus, you can cast spells that affect me, so you’re strong in magick as well. I can’t imagine what you’d have to worry about.”
“I wasn’t worried for myself, Elea.”
The impact of his words seeped in. He was worried about me. – Alea and Rowan

I still have a lot to learn about Rowan, but the little that I do know, I love!  He was brave, loyal, fierce and I saw so much good in him.  I couldn’t help but notice that Rowan and Elea had a lot of similar traits and would make a fabulous couple *smiles hugely*.  While there was definitely chemistry between them, Elea was set on her goal and tried her hardest not to succumb to his charm.  But I have tons of hope that that will change in the future.  They were too magnetic around each other for it not to go anywhere!

The sun dipped so low behind the church, it almost touched the horizon.
Panic chilled me to the core. The curse was happening.
The fires awaited me, and there was nothing I could do.

As Alea and Rowan worked together, a lot of action came their way.  But there were also slower moments, friendships developed, and clues were discovered about what was truly happening.  There was also a twist that made me feel awful for Alea, she was definitely put through the ringer!  So by the end of the book I felt like there was a little bit of everything to be found in Cursed.  And that ending left me excited to see where the rest of the series will take me!  So if you enjoy books about magick, with strong heroines, then definitely check this book out!

PS There were some typos in this book.  But I emailed the errors to the author and they are to be fixed. 🙂

*Book was kindly provided by Christina Bauer in exchange for an honest review*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Cursed #1
Review:

Jen

Concealed #2
Reviews:

Jen

Cherished #3
Review:
Jen


Crowned #4
Review:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW: What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

BOOK REVIEW: What to Say Next by Julie BuxbaumWhat to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Two struggling teenagers find an unexpected connection just when they need it most.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

 

 “What are we going to do with you?” she asks, and my stomach clenches. Freshman year, when I would find myself in trouble at school on a biweekly basis, Principal Hoch would pose this question, which is both idiomatic and rhetorical. What are we going to do with you? Like I was a group project.
Just once I’d like the answer to be: nothing.
Just once I’d like the answer to be: You are just fine as is.
Just once I’d like the question not to be asked in the first place.

Not so long ago I read and fell in love with an amazing book by this very author. It had a secretive, fun romance that stole my heart. It was laced with family drama and new relationships. It was brimming with the realities of what happens when you move to another state and start making new friends…all while your best friend is way back where, making new friends, as well. In short: It was a story that touched on many different levels with me and I devoured it within days (again, this is great for me lately lol).

It doesn’t matter whether you call me an Aspie or a weirdo or even a moron. The fact remains that I very much wish I were more like everyone else.

So, naturally, I saw this book and knew I just HAD to read it as soon as possible-but I didn’t. I saved it, waiting for that perfect moment when I could finally pick up a book by a new promising author I loved, thinking that, of course, this book would bring forth the same amount of emotion from me as her first novel did. And, for many, it accomplished that feat. As for me? I was left wondering how this could possibly be the same author.

Your outsides match your insides better now, Kit said earlier, but she was wrong. No, now my real insides are all on the outside for everyone to pick apart and laugh at. I’m like roadkill. I’ll be looked at, examined, but I won’t even be eaten. I’m not worth that much.

Sure, it was cute enough. It was interesting. It was sweet…and it even had some of the same quirkiness that her first book did. But, that’s just it-I’m reaching here, trying to grasp onto things that don’t really exist. Yes, it had its moments where I’d gear up and think, well here we goooo!, almost immediately finding that it was going in a direction I couldn’t stand behind.

Here’s the thing about making a friend that I didn’t understand before I started talking to Kit: They grow your world. Allow for previously inconceivable possibilities.

I suppose, in part, this is my fault. I had extremely high expectations and wanted another win. I wanted to fall in love as hard as I had previously, wanted my expectations exceeded. Instead they fell flat.

Miney does that sometimes, though she accompanies it with the words Can I get a woot woot? I never oblige. I have no idea what a woot woot is.

I didn’t much care for the characters. I think this is the base of my emotions. The main girl is fine, and I think she really did like David (I loved David, naturally), but it made me more mad than happy most of the time. I almost felt like it wasn’t authentic, that she was judging him the whole time. And this is a big contradiction for me-Don’t we all judge those who are we dating? I mean, yeah, of course! But….but. Seeing as he is, well, I can’t say, I just, my feelings were hurt for him on more than one occasion. And yes, that’s the way its meant to be taken-buuuuut not always. The type of sadness I felt sometimes was off, like I was sad for the wrong reasons. Anyway, back to my point- He can’t help the way he is, and I don’t know. I hurt. I hurt a lot while reading this…and I don’t quite think this is what the author had intended.

I stop listening. No, this isn’t fixable. I see that now. Reading my notebook is like opening up my brain and exposing to the uncaring world all the parts that don’t make sense. The parts that make me a freak or a moron or a loser or whatever words people like to throw at me.
The parts to them that make me other.
The parts to me that make me me.

Don’t get me wrong, I signed up for this and normally I devour these stories. This just didn’t work for me. I didn’t like the school and how they only were nice to David once he changed his look, and I don’t believe those are the reactions he’d get for what happens half way through, and, honestly, I just didn’t believe any of it-and I’m not one that is bad at suspending disbelief, so you know its off.

Catty mean girls, bully jocks, and a girl who is going through a sad time but inspires our main man…for me, there just wasn’t enough story or enough something to keep me interested. More issues than likes, I have to sadly say this book didn’t work for me. It made me, more than anything, depressed. And I wanted so badly to love this story-the guy was just so sweet. But, as they say, a spade is a spade….I just didn’t enjoy anything much about this book. Hopefully her next will be better for moi.

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Haven by Mary Lindsey

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Haven by Mary Lindsey

I’m so happy to be on the tour for Haven! This paranormal tale wove mystery and suspense throughout the pages and was a lot of fun! So check out my review below and enter a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Haven by Mary LindseyHaven by Mary Lindsey
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

"We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed."

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Review:
Time had simply been a bookmark. Something that held his place while he waited to finish the story.

Haven was a paranormal tale that wove mystery and suspense throughout the pages.  It definitely leaned heavily on the mystery side, and we started out just as clueless as Rain Ryland.  When Rain arrived in the little town of New Wurzburg, to live with his Aunt Ruby, he realized that something felt off.  And as Rain started school, met his Aunt’s coworkers and even got a job, things become even more confusing.  While little clues appeared here and there, Rain became more than determined to get to the bottom of whatever was going on in New Wurzburg.

He’d never feared losing something before because he’d never had anything worth keeping. This girl, though. She was different. And he wanted her.

While I easily guessed what the paranormal element was, there was so much shrouded in mystery that I wasn’t able to decipher.  I loved being as lost as Rain sometimes, and I had fun trying to figure it all out right along with him!  Rain was by far my favorite thing about this book.  You know I’m a sucker for a tortured soul, and with his history of a hard life and being raised on the streets, it drew me right into him.  Rain wasn’t expecting much in this little town, but moving in with his Aunt Ruby was the new start he desperately needed.  He slowly started to make connections, find hope and even some happiness.  And I have a good feeling that a lot of people will fall in love Rain just as much as I did.  He was intense, put his heart on the line and I loved that he jumped in feet first.  His intentions proved again and again that he had a heart of gold, despite his hard past.  And when Rain first met Friederike Burkhart, I loved how he saw her.

“So, you want me to listen to my instincts.”
“Yes.”
He reached out and pulled her to him by a belt loop on her jeans. Her eyes widened as she crashed into him. The contact with her long, muscular body made the blood roar in his ears and other places. “My instincts aren’t telling me to go home. They’re telling me to do this.” He took her face in his hands and covered her mouth with his.

I was so addicted to Rain, that I thought I’d easily love Freddie and their romance too.  And while Freddie was intense, tough and struggled with her father’s recent passing, I just couldn’t connect to her.  Which made me not connect to the insta-love romance either.  But I still loved watching him fall in love with her.  And I loved even more how Rain vowed to protect Freddie, when he learned that her life was on the line.  Sigh, Rain was beyond amazing.  I desperately wanted to love and be obsessed with everything that he was, yet I wasn’t.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you connect to Freddie and the romance much better than I did!

Never had he been kissed like that— like the world revolved around that moment. And he wanted more. He wanted everything.

But I still had a lot of fun reading Haven despite my inability to connect to Freddie or the romance.  So if you love stories that keep you guessing until the very end and have characters that will do anything to protect the ones they love, then definitely check this book out!  After finishing Haven I picked up Shattered Souls by this author, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I completely connect with that duology!

“I’m not afraid of dying,” Rain said. “I’m afraid of dying for nothing.”
Looking up, Petra met his eyes directly, and it struck him again how large and nonhuman they looked. “You’ll make a difference. It’s not for nothing.”

PS I loved Petra!  She’s a girl who is hmmm yeah I’m not going to tell you that lol.  But she was by far my favorite secondary character and I wish I got to spend more time with her!

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled:Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

About Mary Lindsey:

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

BOOK REVIEW: Everless by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Everless by Sara HollandEverless by Sara Holland
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

Oh, I loved this. Full of mystery, intrigue, and… well, more mystery.

The plot was super fun and unique, and for the life of me, I couldn’t predict a thing. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a page-turner here. I’m pretty sure I read the whole thing in almost 24 hours – I seriously couldn’t set it down after the 20% mark.

Really quick – a big thank you to the publisher for providing me with an arc!

In a world where time is bound to blood, and people exchange blood/time currency to live, we follow Jules, the protagonist, as she makes the difficult decision to return to work at Everless, an estate owned by one of the most powerful families in the kingdom (and dangerous, I might add.) Jules and her father previously worked there, but due to a nasty accident and threats from one of the Everless sons, Jules father was determined to keep her from ever going back.

But now she needs the money.

Sooooo Jules returns and works as a servant, though she is quickly noticed by the two sons she knew as a child. All the while, she discovers some big secrets about her past and why she was really kept away from the Everless estate. Craziness ensues when the Queen arrives. Jules’s father shows up and begs her to run away and stay far away from the Queen. BUT WHY?! So basically, we have a very confused Jules who keeps finding tidbits about her past and how its woven through a mysterious history linking back to when time was originally bound to blood iron. Which probably makes no sense without reading. Just roll with it.

Anyway, I can’t say anything else without giving up some major secrets, but I recommend going in blind. There are so many twists and turns, and wowzah, a major plot twist. I did NOT see it coming, and I always see them coming. I’m not even sure if I’m particularly happy with the direction, but I don’t care because the concept was SO COOL. My only complaint is the magic system, while it was SO AMAZING, also felt a bit muddy at times, and the book was a *touch* slow in the beginning. Whatever, I don’t even care because I loved it overall.

Basically, all the stars for the crazy cool, totally original tale. One of the most unique magic system’s I’ve ever seen. And if you’re wondering about romance? Literally, anything I say will be a spoiler, but it was fairly minimal – but a really interesting set up for the sequel. I typically have to have a *smidge* of feels or someone to root for romantically, and you’ll definitely feel that way here, so don’t worry. And if you’re someone who prefers romance to be minimal and not take over the plot, well… check. You’ll be pleased as well.

Needless to say, I’m ready for book two…

 
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