Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Elixir by Jennifer L. Armentrout + FREE Download!

Official Synopsis

Aiden St. Delphi will do anything to save Alex. 
Even if it means doing the one thing he will never forgive himself for. Even if it means making war against the gods.

Pages: 80
Published by: Spencer Hill Press (November 27, 2012)
Genre: YA paranormal romance + mythology

My rating for Elixir (Covenant, #3.5):

**You will not be lost if you read/begin Apollyon before Elixir, but the events/dialogue in Apollyon will impact you more if you read Elixir first. Make sure you read this after the first 3 books though.

Probably the best novella I've read. 

Elixir was from Aiden's POV and I know I said Deity was the "Team Aiden" book, but really, THIS is the book that represents Team Aiden through and through!

It's called Elixir because Aiden had to make the choice of putting Alex on the elixir to temporarily break the connection between her and Seth and gain some time. I loved seeing Aiden's struggles and love for Alex first hand. His struggles and inner demons were heart breaking, but mainly, I just loved being in Aiden's head. I actually picked up Elixir when I was around page 100 in Apollyon and there were times that I gasped when I realized what something in Apollyon had been referencing to.

Updated link: Click HERE for a free (legal) download of Elixir.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis

Official Synopsis

Jaque Pierce was just an ordinary 17 year old girl getting ready to start her senior year in high school in Coldspring, Texas. When a mysterious foreign exchange student from Romania moves in across the street, Jacque and her two best friends, Sally and Jen, don't realize the last two weeks of their summer was going to get a lot more interesting. From the moment Jacque sets eyes on Fane she feels an instant connection, a pull like a moth to a flame. Little does she know that the flame she is drawn to is actually a Canis lupis, werewolf, and she just happens to be his mate; the other half of his soul. The problem is Fane is not the only wolf in Coldspring, Texas. Just as Fane and Jacque are getting to know each other, another wolf steps out to try and claim Jacque as his mate. Fane will now have to fight for the right to complete the mating bond, something that is his right by birth but is being denied him by a crazed Alpha. Will the love Fane has for Jacque be enough to give him the strength to defeat his enemy, will Jacque accept that she is Fane's mate and complete the bond between them?

Genre: YA paranormal romance
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I've been working on this one for a while and just decided to call it quits.

Short and sweet: Cool concept, poorly executed. Wolves are great, but there was too much description and explanation so I never had that urge to read on to learn more, because there was nothing more to learn.

This could have been a good story, but I thought it had WAY too much description. Too much description to the point where there was just no mystery to it. Nothing grasped my curiosity or attention because all my questions were answered by Jacque or Fane's thoughts the second the questions formed in my head. In books like this where a human is introduced to the supernatural world, I want to learn WITH them as they start piecing everything together, make my own predictions. I couldn't do that with this because the book is written from Jacque AND Fane's perspectives. Once the perspective switched to Fane's, the reason for everything that just happened in the last scene was told and for me, that got old fast. I think I would have kept reading it if it was solely from Jacque's perspective, because I would still be asking myself WHY and HOW.

All the writing errors, in the 34% of the book that I read, were distracting and that pulled me away from the story as well.

The one thing I did like was how weird Jacque and her friends were together. It was a smidge overdone, but I liked that the author made an effort to make memorable characters.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #6: Favorite Reads of 2013!!!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find more TTT lists from book lovers and bloggers by clicking their blog name. 

This week's topic:
Top Ten Books I've Read in 2013 (so far)

I always love to read and reply to your comments so if you leave one, please hit the 'subscribe by email' button so you can see my reply, and don't forget to leave a link to your TTT! I need to discover some more future favorites!

These 4 books are SO amazing, they're seriously interchangeable for my FAVORITE read of this year. They're all very different, but one thing that connects them is that they all deal with mature/hard subjects. They're emotional reads and they will grip your heart. They all hit my all-time favorites list, but to elaborate a little further...

#1: Vain: I can hardly use words to accurately describe how beautiful and pure genius this book truly is, but I managed to write something about it in my review of it so please check it out. If you haven't read Vain yet, you seriously need to make it a priority to do so. The second I flipped to the last page, I flipped to the beginning and reread it. I'm not even joking. You will not forget this story.

#2: Pushing the Limits: Echo and Noah do not have easy lives by any means and after they enter each other's lives, they're lives get complicated, but at the same time, they start to straighten and make sense because what they have absolutely beautiful. My full review...

#3: The Sea of Tranquility: Nastya doesn't speak to anyone for two years...until him. Practically every person Josh has ever cared for has died...and then she enters his life. This story is heart-wrenching, breath-taking, makes-you-want-to-savor-every-word beautiful. Full review TO COME.

#4: Hopeless: The emotions in this one are CRAZY! Colleen Hoover is an absolutely brilliant writer and if you love NA romance and haven't read this, you are truly missing out! You can see my old review HERE while I'm in the process of editing/re-reviewing it on my blog.

#5: The Covenant series: Maybe this is a smidge of cheating, but I read this series (4 novels, 2 novellas, and the last installment is still to come in November) throughout the last few months and it's so amazeballs that I couldn't pick just one as my favorite for this list--so I chose the whole series! The writing is fantastic, lots of dialogue if you are a dialogue lover, the characters are so lovable and funny, the romance is fabulous, and the Greek mythology and action is wonderful! I have reviewed Daimon, Half-Blood, Pure, and Deity so far. Elixir and Apollyon reviews will be up within the next two weeks. :)

#6: My Life Next Door: Sweet, makes-you-feel-good, summer read! I totally recommend it! My full review...

#7: Running on Empty: So many wonderful components to it, but the thing I like most about this series is that the experiences are very realistic. My full review...

#8: Shatter Me: This was probably the best dystopian/romance YA novel I've ever read. Just saying. My full review...

#9: Callum & Harper: Such a guilty pleasure read for me! After falling in love with Fisher Amelie and her writing in Vain I had to check out her other books. My full review...

#10: Find Your in the Dark: I finished this last night so review is still to come, but I couldn't help but add it to this TTT list. The characters are lovable (except when you want to punch them) and it's funny (except when it's dark and sad...which it tends to be, especially towards the end). It's kind of a messed up read, the love is irrational and it leads to some not-so-good things, but I loved it all the same! I'm going to read the sequel soon, which seems like it won't be as dark of a read!! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Official Synopsis:

"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. "

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden. 

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome. 

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed. 

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...

Pages: 330
Published by: Spencer Hill Press (November 6, 2012)
Genre: YA paranormal mythology + romance

My rating for Deity (Covenant, #3):
All I have to say are two words:

Team Aiden!!!!!

Yes, that sums up my thoughts quite nicely.

If you've read my other reviews for this series, then you know what I think about this series and all my past opinions remain the same for Deity: the mythology is sweet, the action is present, the characters are wonderful and intriguing, but also funny. The pacing of the plot, the romance, the evil, the action was all perfect and it kept me wanting more. Those elements have stayed the same throughout the series so here's what's different about the characters and story.

Aiden and Seth took some big leaps to change in this novel. The closer Alex got to her eighteenth birthday, the more Seth's behavior changed. Seth really shocked me in Deity because I was not expecting him to be the way he ended up. I was really liking Seth in Pure, but he really took a toll for the worse in this one. He was a bit of a plot twist for sure. In contrast, the choices my dear Aiden made in this one made me leap for joy, thank the heavens, sing Hallelujah, pumped my fist in the air, do a victory get the picture. I LOVE Aiden! 

“That simple act stole my breath, my heart. But even as he pulled away, I realized that he couldn't steal something he already had.” 
Alex got herself in the same amount of trouble she always did, but this was the last component of the series before the big BOOM! More questions are formed in this book and it was kind of like "the suspense" of the series. As everyone knows just from the title of the fourth book, Apollyon, Alex was now the Apollyon and that's when the major stuff begins. Deity was like the brewing and bubbling of the stew, all the last things that had to happen before Alex became the Apollyon happened here. It ended so climactically--I cannot wait for Apollyon!

Recommended to readers who like: YA, greek mythology, romance, love triangles, suspense.

Sexual content: medium (love scene, but very very mild on the description)
Links to my reviews for other Jennifer L. Armentrout books:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review: So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

So Not Happening (The Charmed Life, #1)
Official Synopsis

New York's social darling just woke up in a nightmare: Oklahoma. Problem is, it's right where God wants her.

Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy's MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.

When Bella's mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet--a factory worker with two bratty sons--Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less!

Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers.

At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying--but kinda hot--editor of the school newspaper.

But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it's not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter's instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.

"How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be giving her the total smackdown?

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a cute book and quite a juvenile YA read. It wasn't really my thing since I like books with more mature topics and heart wrenching/heartwarming emotions, but if I were younger, I think I would have really liked this. There's nothing really serious about this book. Just kind of dramatic and humorous. I think pre-teen and early teen girls, or just girls who like light and humorous reading material will enjoy this book.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…
The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Pages: 366
Published by: Entangled Teens (August 14, 2012)
Genre: YA science fiction/romance

My rating for Onyx (Lux, #2):
At the end of Obsidian, I was really proud that Kat was sticking to her guns, telling Daemon that she wanted a real relationship from Daemon and she wasn't going to accept anything else. Daemon spends this book first trying to get Kat to give in and admit her attraction to him, to goad her into kissing him. That was a lot of the book and there was a lot of tension between the two of them that made the book exciting. Daemon changes during the book, but by the time that Kat realizes how much he does care for her and how much he should trust him, its too late. That was frustrating to read about because Kat was making some seriously stupid decisions that landed them in baaad situations. It was really heart breaking to see Daemon accuse Kat of not trusting him, of seeing how hurt he was because of her decisions. BUT the romance in this book was lovely to read! I know this review is quite mixed, but I did like the romance just as much as I did in Obsidian, even if it was frustrating at times.

The story was pretty systematic. Nothing really shocked me. The typical conflicts that move a story were there and I guessed them all. I still enjoyed the book, it just wasn't anything amazingly creative.

I loved and hated this book because of the decisions that characters made, but I'll definitely be reading the third book to see where Kat and Daemon go next. I'm kind of afraid Daemon is going to be a big ol' softy in this next book, but I guess we'll see.

Recommended to readers who like: Jennifer L. Armentrout, science fiction, aliens, romance, young adult books, typical story plot lines.

Sexual content: medium (sexual tension and an "almost" situation)


Apart from the Lux series, Jennifer L. Armentrout has another series called the Covenant series, a couple stand-alone novels, and she recently began writing new adult novels under the name J. Lynn. Find out more about Armentrout and her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads

Here are my reviews for the books of hers I've read so far:

Add Onyx on Goodreads.
Buy on Amazon and B&N.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Becoming More by Bayli Lane

Title: Becoming More
Author: Bayli Lane
Cover Designer: Angie Fields
Photographer: Michael Drohomyretsky
Expected Release Date: Late July
Genre: NA romance

Book Blurb:
At first it was all freedom, fun, and games for Lilly Fairfield. Being a freshman in college was supposed to create some of the best memories of her life, especially with her best friend, Lauren, and longtime boyfriend, Sander, by her side. But the excitement begins to slip away when the people closest to her start to change. They begin moving in a direction Lilly doesn’t want to go, forcing Lilly to be faced with a decision. Should she fight for her relationships with both Sander and Lauren or move on to something different? Something unknown. Someone like…Colton Davenport. Colton isn’t Lilly’s typical type. He's shockingly sexy with his colorful tattoos, shiny silver lip ring, and ear gauges. His smile alone leaves her breathless. Then again, she hasn’t had a specific type other than Sander. When she meets Colton she feels an automatic attraction that stuns her into utter stillness. She can’t look away, doesn’t want to look away. Lilly must decide between a life with Sander, a life she always thought she wanted, and an unknown path with Colton. Will Lilly make the right choices for her future, Becoming More?


And now for the full jacket!!

What do you think of the cover? Let me know in the comments below!

Would you like the chance to WIN an ebook copy of Becoming More? Leave a comment on my Exclusive Interview with Bayli Lane any time from now until the release date and you will have that chance of becoming a winner!

About the Author: 

Bayli Lane didn’t realize how much she loved creating a world from nothing until college. She went to Marian University where she majored in Communications but in her spare time wrote and read. Her love for reading is what really brought out her desire to create her own novel. After starting loads of stories and not finishing them, she finally decided it was time to put her passion to work. Becoming More is her first novel but certainly not her last. Bayli lives with her husband, Tim, in Indiana where she is probably sitting with a large cup of coffee and her computer working on her next book.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Top of my Summer Reading List!

I'd like to note that I DID in fact post this on Tuesday but because I was having a cover reveal on the same day, I made this say it posted on Monday so the two posts weren't conjoined on my blog...I'm picky that way.
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find more TTT lists from book lovers and bloggers by clicking their blog name. 

This week's topic:
Top Ten Books at the Top of my Summer TBR List

#1: Losing Hope: July 9th it releases in ebook format and I cannot freaking WAIT much longer! It'll probably be my favorite read this summer! I hope Colleen remembers to send me an ARC of it!

#2: This Girl: This released in April, but because I already pre-ordered the paperback copy that releases in August and I don't have an endless amount of money to buy ebook and paperback copies of every book I read...I must wait for August to read it :(

#3: Becoming More: One of my BEST friends has been working on this book since January. The cover reveal released on THIS Tuesday as well, so I was super stoked to have the cover in order to add it to this list! The ebook releases late July and I'm SO freaking excited to read it!! Bayli's kind of nervous for me to read it because I'm not a huge NA romance fan, but I MUST read her book and I cannot wait to do so :) You should check her out: Bayli Lane Author.

#4: A Tale of Two Centuries: It's about a girl from sixteenth-century Europe who time travels to present-day United States. Obviously it's a huge culture shock for her and there's also some romance. I've wanted to write a book like this so when I discovered it in April, I was super stoked!! It releases in August.

#5: Opal: I've had this on request at my library for over four months and it still isn't available yet. Yep, it's eating me alive.

#6: The Boy Who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window: I've heard wonderful things about this book and it seems SO sweet.

#7: Secret for a Song: It's about a girl with a disorder that effects her entire life. It seems intense and I like those kind of books!

#8: The Raven Boys: I really like Maggie's writing and I've heard good things about this new series so this should be a good one!

#9: Anathema: FREE on Amazon/B&N. I've heard wonderful things about K.A. Tucker. I can't wait to get to this series!

#10: The Summer I Turned Pretty: I've been looking for cute, GOOD, summer romance novels. This one has great reviews and seems perfect!

Comment below and leave a link to your TTT list!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie | Updated Book Review

Official Synopsis 

Life sucks for orphans Callum Tate and Harper Bailey. Kicked out of their foster homes because they suffer the 'eighteen disease' with nothing but a hundred dollar check from the government and a pat on the back, they're forced to rely on a system that failed them miserably. So they sit. They sit inside Social Services, waiting for their social workers to call their names and offer them the miracle they know will never come but they sit anyway because they have nowhere else to go, no other options on their very literal and figurative empty plates. But as they sit, they notice the other. Although captivated, they each come to the conclusion that life is complicated enough without throwing in a boiling tension that can't ever be acted upon because they're both too busy thinking about where their next meal will come from but when their names are called and both are placed on a year long waiting list for permanent housing, suddenly relying on each other seems like a very viable plan B. And, oh, how lovely Plan B's can be. Well, except for the psycho from Harper's past that haunts her and, oh, yeah, there's the little issue that neither of them knows they're in love with the other. Needless to say, Callum & Harper's life just got a bit more complicated. “One day, you and I are gonna’ wake up and be alright. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day. One day. I promise you.” - Callum Tate

Pages: 256
Published by: Fisher Amelie
Genre: mature YA/NA romance

My rating for Callum & Harper (The Sleepless, #1):

Originally Reviewed on June 15, 2013. Updated on July 13, 2015.

This is a story about what lengths someone will go to for love and the romance of this novel was one that tore me in half with how much I simultaneously hated and loved it. Eventually, my love for these characters and their relationship came out on top of my frustrations I had, but I'll first discuss my distaste. Callum and Harper grew to love each other super at-times-eye-rollingly quickly. Instalove at its finest. Here were two eighteen year olds, just released from the State's custody with next to nothing in life, and their attraction, trust, safety, and belonging to each other was just as bizarre as it was immediate. I was able to overlook this by keeping an open mind (because if there is such a thing as love at first sight, this duo is the epitome of it), but as the story continued and they fell harder for each other, they both made the same unbelievably ridiculous decision, which snowballed into one big lie where neither was 100% happy for years. This was unfathomably frustrating because if someone in real life had been in this situation, all they could have (probably would have) done is tell the truth and all would be swell.

Another downfall had to do with Callum and Harper's values and faith. Although I admired how these topics which are often neglected in YA literature, these discussions seemed out of character. Callum and Harper had really crappy lives before they met. No one cared enough about them to even introduce or influence any sort of faith in their lives so I find it hard to believe that they would be so optimistic and faithful about the cards they had been dealt.

"I loved her so much I could barely see straight. I wanted her so much I could barely breathe straight. I needed her so much I could barely think straight."

In spite of it all, I'm thrilled I was able to work through my frustrations because Callum & Harper has become my guilty pleasure instalove. They are sweet as honey, perfect as peach, delightful as a dandelion, bright as the sun, and all those lovely metaphors wrapped into one. The unconditional love they had and showed each other was incredible. It was a such a joy to read about the small aspects of their relationship such as their daily encounters, time spent with great friends, and their efforts to build a life together. Their love filled this book and my heart. Sometimes their ridiculous snowballing decisions I previously mentioned wasn't such a bad thing either because it urged me to keep reading and wishing for a HEA. I couldn't get enough of them and their story amounted to a feel-good tale. In fact, according to my original review, the ending was so "frighteningly wonderful" I "literally sunk OUT OF MY CHAIR and onto the FLOOR". So yes, I think I was quite able to overlook its faults and love it for everything else.
"One day, you and I are gonna wake up and be alright. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day. One day. I promise you."
Recommended for readers who like: Fisher Amelie, instalove, love at first sight, sweet relationships, not entirely realistic tales.
Sexual content: Medium - mature thoughts/feelings; the end is less conservative. I would recommend to 16+. 

Find everything Fisher Amelie and her novels HERE!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Official Synopsis: 

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger... 

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Pages: 332
Published by: Razorbill (August 16, 2007)
Genre: YA paranormal + romance

My rating for Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1):
I first read Vampire Academy around 2009 and had the urge to reread it! So since I stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it, I figured why not write a review too? :)

I enjoyed Vampire Academy just as much as I did four years ago if not more because this time around I was highly anticipating my favorite aspect of the series: Dimitri Belikov. Dimitri is the most badass, makes-your-heart-stutter love interests ever! I love him beyond comprehension and I loved him even more as I started the series again! I internally squealed every time I read Dimitri's name, which ended up not being that often because the first book doesn't contain much romance; that was a disappointment, but I KNOW what happens throughout the rest of the series and I cannot help but internally squeal at that!!

The main character though, Rose Hathaway, is probably the strongest leading woman I've ever read and I love her so much as well! She doesn't put up with crap and that often lands her into trouble, but she's so determined and fierce when there's something she wants that I cannot help but admire who she is. She has awesome comebacks and smart remarks and actually, the writing itself is witty. I'm not very witty or quick-on-my-feet so that's something I really admire about Richelle Mead's writing. Rose is observant, which grows even more throughout the series; she sees through people and society and that's refreshing to see a character see things for who they are and not just how she wants to think. Rose also has a soft side that comes out when she's with her bestie, Lissa, or Dimitri. As I said, LOVE her!

As I said, there wasn't much romance in this book, but it had a lot of other strong elements. There was vampire-lore, action, suspense, social and political issues within the vampire society, school drama with boys, girls, and cliques, friendship, and I've always admired the character development! Sometimes I don't care so much about the side characters in books, but the side characters in this series all hold a great purpose and I can feel that as I read. I'm not bored reading scenes where there are only side characters involved because they're entertaining. I love the dynamics of the vampire society and I recently found out that Richelle Mead did extensive research on Romanian folklore and mythology to create the vampires in her book! 

Some things that might bother readers? There are more than a few times when Rose flashes back to something that happened previously and some may find those parts boring. You may even miss the transition from present to past if you aren't reading carefully enough. But I found all those scenes pertinent to the story so they didn't bother me. I don't have much about this book (or series) to complain about! It has lots of strong qualities!

Recommended to readers who like: strong female lead character, paranormal, vampires, magic, good mix of action and romance.

Sexual content: medium (references and an "almost" situation, but next to no description).

**Did you know that Vampire Academy is being made into a movie? Filming started on May 28, 2013 and it's expected to release on February 14, 2014!

Learn more about Richelle Mead and her books (she writes adult and young adult fiction) HERE.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

*In place of my Top Ten Tuesday this week (whose topic is "Beach Reads") I'm choosing one book I'd qualify as a "beach read" and reviewing it because I don't really like this topic, lol.

Official Synopsis: 

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another. 

One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.” The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? 

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Pages: 394
Published by: Dial Books For Young Readers (June 14, 2012)
Genre: YA contemporary + romance

My rating for My Life Next Door:
+ summer kisses
This book was a beautiful summer romance, but it was also so much more than just romance. 

My Life Next Door wasn't a fast-paced read. It wasn't action/drama packed. It's written at a casual pace that isn't boring to read. Even though it wasn't full of action or even dialogue, I still was filled with satisfaction at what I was reading. Every word held a purpose and kept me reading.

Romance is involved throughout the whole book, but I wouldn't say it's a romance novel. A huge part of this book is on the dynamics of a family and each family controls their lives and handles situations differently. In this story, there are two families: the Reeds, a mom and two daughters, who are wealthy and successful and live in what seems to be a close to perfect life, and then there are the Garretts, a mom and dad and their too-many-to-count children, who are barely making ends meet, never see a clean family room, but where smiles even when they want to kill each other. 

Over the course of the book, Sam, the 17 year old daughter in the Reed family, really got a taste of what life was like for someone not like herself. She grew to love the Garretts and so did I--I couldn't help but smile at the silly things the little Garrett children said--and, of course, I loved Jase Garrett: the cute, summer love interest.

This book didn't have any extraordinary elements in it, but the casual, realistic approach that Huntley Fitzpatrick took (with the story line and the characters and their actions) still managed to wow the crap out of me! I loved that their wasn't particularly anything special about the characters. Jase wasn't the stereotype "bad boy"; Sam wasn't a snotty rich girl. Those two had awkward moments, didn't always speak eloquently, and things didn't always turn out as planned for them, and while I can't label these things as being "romantic", they DO happen in real life and I loved and appreciated these aspects immensely. All of the characters had room to change and grow, or go further downhill, just like real life. And then when the relationships and bonds changed for the better, that's when my heart really started to warm. This story resides in a deep, soft spot in my heart.

Recommended to readers who like: a casual, contemporary read about friendships, relationships, family, change, and simply just life. Great for the summer too!

Sexual content: Medium (fade-out).


Show Huntley Fitzpatrick some love on her website, Facebook, TwitterTumblr, and Goodreads account!

Add on Goodreads.
Buy on Amazon and B&N.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: A French Star in New York by Anna Adams (CLOSED)

Title: A French Star in New York (The French Girl, #2)
Author: Anna Adams
Genre: YA contemporary romance

Maude thought her life couldn't get any better: her first music album is a hit, she’s about to meet her extended family and she’s looking forward to her first date with teen pop star, Matt. But when scandal strikes Maude must part ways with Matt, and watch Soulville Records fall into the hands of an ambitious Alan Lewis, who will stop at nothing to turn Maude into an unparalleled star. Between glamorous parties, an unauthorized tell-all book, a web of lies, new revelations about her French past and her rivalry with Lindsey Linton attaining a whole new level, Maude must fight for her voice to be heard and decide if being a star is more important than her love for music.

Find out more about Anna Adams and her writings on her website.

Add A French Girl in New York and A French Star in New York onto your Goodreads TBR list. 

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win 1 of 3 ebook copies of A French Star in New York, expected to release July 31st, 2013. The giveaway is OPEN from June 10th - July 31st!

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Blog Tour: Mending Hearts Series by L.B. Simmons

Welcome to my stop on the Mending Heart series Blog Tour! I heard about the tour quite last minute, so I'd like to thank L.B.Simmons and Brandee, the host of this great blog tour, for responding to my many messages, providing me a copy of Recovery, and allowing me to join the tour!

Here you will find my reviews for Running on Empty and Recovery, a little quoting game, and the chance to win a signed copy of Running on Empty and Recovery, as well as book swag! So first up:

Running on Empty (Mending Hearts, #1) by L.B. Simmons
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Published: January 4, 2013
Pages: 292

About the book:

I had the perfect life. 

Beautiful and loving husband. Three gorgeous little girls. Successful career. The only thing missing was the white picket fence. I really wanted that fence. 

Three years ago, I lost that life. I lost my husband. And I lost myself. But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness. I’ve made peace with my new life. I have my girls, and that’s all that matters. They are my world. I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse. 

But then he came back into my life. On a freakin’ motorcycle. 

There’s no way I’ll let him turn my life completely upside down. Absolutely no way. 

The question is…How long can I keep pretending that I’m happy with my life being right-side up?

My Review:
I read Running on Empty in March and let me tell you: it is one beautiful story! I initially posted a review of it when I finished it so go HERE to read it, and then come back for more? :)

Recovery (Mending Hearts, #1.5 - novella) by L.B. Simmons
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Published: June 13, 2013
Pages: 145

About the book:

I have the perfect life.

I’ve finally found my happy ending. 

I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a lifetime of happiness.  Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems. 

What really happens after the fairytale ending?  

What happens after the prince rescues the princess?  

After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live happily ever after?


This is our story.

My Review: 
This was the perfect companion novella for Running on Empty fans to get a second glimpse of Alex, Blake, the girls, and Harlow again. I missed these characters and this short look into their lives after RoE was just the right amount to put a smile on my face and it was enough to hold its own. Without giving away any of its contents, I'll just say that this short book is filled to the brim with elements and real life conflicts. I was actually surprised with how much there was in it. I guess that's why I'm so satisfied with it. Although it was short (I feel like it was even shorter than 145 pages), it covered quite a span of time and events and, thus, didn't leave me feeling like there should have been more because more wasn't necessary.

At the end of RoE, we are left with Alex and Blake choosing each other, to make each other a part of their lives. In Recovery, we get to find out exactly what that entitles, if they are able to make their lives become an "ours". Alex and Blake struggle to balance their new lives and relationship. Old habits interfere as well as a couple other huge matters and they're truly put to the test. Recovery not only showed the loving aspect of a relationship, but the misunderstandings and mistakes that lead to a not-so-happy relationship and I loved that because not enough romance novels showcase the "ugly" side to a relationship.

Alex's girls are as cute as ever in this novella, Harlow is, well, Harlow, and we're also introduced to the main characters of L.B. Simmons' upcoming book, Running in Place: Tatum and Noah. I know I'm already going to like them too! All in all, it was great to have this companion to Running on Empty.

Who Said That? - GAME:
So now for a little fun! I pulled some of great quotes from Running on Empty and Recovery, mentioned which book they're from, but I'm not telling you who said them! Leave your guesses in the comments below saying what characters you think said which quote. :) There's no prize for this part of my post, but I hope they excite/urge you to pick up these great reads! P.S. if you read my RoE review, you get a freebie quote! :) Hope you have fun!
"You are mine. Without you, I am nothing." Recovery
"You need to focus, ____. Focus on what you love." Recovery 
 "But you'll never have your happy ending unless you're brave enough to open the book and start your story." Running on Empty 
 "I've been waiting to call you mine my whole life, and tonight I plan on showing you just how mine you are." Recovery
"There isn't anything I wouldn't do to see that beautiful smile on your face." Recovery  
"He reminds me every day that when you’re running on empty, you won’t ever get where you need to be. Both in Life and Love. (And sometimes Suburbans…)" Running on Empty
"Mommy, I can see your feet. How come you only have one foot?" Recovery 
"You are my family." Recovery 
"You go on, each day, as though you’re happy and at peace with your life. Or at least trying to convince yourself that you are. But you also go on, each day, not really living." Running on Empty
"Live your life without fear, and love with no regret." Recovery
"Yep, ___. Everything works out eventually. You just have to have patience." Recovery

Giveaway Time! 
 Enter for your chance to win one set of autographed paperbacks of Running on Empty and Recovery and book swag! Thank you for making a stop at my blog!

About the Author:
L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets. 

Brandee's Book Endings