To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | Review

    Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

    Author: Jenny Han

    Release Date: January 1st, 2014

Description from Goodreads:
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

They aren’t love letters than anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved – five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

I finished reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before a couple of weeks ago now and I can’t get it out of my mind. In fact, as soon as I finished reading this book I went onto Amazon and ordered the sequel.
To begin with I didn’t think I was going to enjoy To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean struck me as immature, young and definitely gave the impression that I was going to be getting annoyed. I was wrong. It didn’t take me long to fall for Lara Jean, what I once saw as childish and annoying  became charming and endearing. She was such a relatable character!
It’s scary when it’s real. When it’s not just thinking about a person, but, like, having a real live person in front of you, with, like, expectations. And wants.
In my opinion she came out of her shell when her sister Margot left for university in Scotland, and when Margot came back it was pretty damn clear that Lara Jean had matured.
Okay, let’s move on to OTP. I did not ship Lara Jean and Josh, at no point did I want them to end up together. Firstly, it’s not cool to date you sister’s ex. Secondly, he only becomes interested when there’s someone else in the picture. He acts on jealousy and that not’s fair. If you’ve read the book then you’ve probably guessed that I was a Peter fan. He’s absolutely lovely with Kitty, and if you ask me the way into a girl’s heart is by being lovely and sweet to her younger siblings.
I really enjoyed how Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship came about, both of them with ulterior motives, trying to prove that they’re over people. The purely platonic start to their relationship allowed for the much coveted slow-burn romance. Through fake dates,  sweet notes, teasing and spending a crap tonne of time together they get closer and start to realise that maybe it might not be that fake after all. I could have jumped up and down and screamed hallelujah.
I really loved To All The Boy’s I’ve Loved Before, my Lara Jean and Peter shipping was strong, which is always a good thing! My review of P.S. I Still Love You will be up soon!
Have you read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han
5 Stars
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Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips | Review


  
     Title: Faking Perfect

     Author: Rebecca Phillips

     Release Date: June 30th, 2015



I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.

Description from Goodreads:

When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High’s resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules. 

1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her best friend (an unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for that last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?

On the outside Lexi is the image of the perfect and popular American high school girl, she’s part of the ‘in-crowd’, wears what’s fashionable and her hair and makeup are always on fleek. Buts she’s hiding behind this facade, and, as the title suggests, she’s Faking Perfect.
From the get go I didn’t like Lexi’s so called friends, the cool kids that care way too much about what everyone else thinks, in particular Ben. What is that guys deal? Lexi tries to write his behaviour off as being the result of bad girlfriends, but can all of those girls really be wrong? I know the girl’s got a HUGE crush on Ben, and that can sometimes make you blind to people’s flaws, but the guy had far more than a couple flaws. Seriously though, when Lexi had a guy like Tyler, sure he’s not the most popular and he doesn’t have the best reputation, but he likes her! It’s obvious that he starts developing feelings for Lexi and it was just so sweet!
I really liked Lexi and Tyler together, they were such a cute couple but sometimes I just wanted to shake her. I wanted to tell her to get over the Ben thing and see what was right in front of her, who was right in front of her. Praise the Lord for Lexi seeing the light.
So aside from the weird Ben obsession, Lexi was a really great character. Her relationship with her mother left a lot to be desired, they treat each other more like sisters rather than mother-daughter. No wonder Lexi feels so screwed up, she’s had to put up with a flake of a mother and her various nasty-ass boyfriends. I don’t really understand how a mother could be like Lexis, but I can say that I did like the way Lexi handled herself. 
I’ve already said I can’t understand how a mother could treat her daughter like she treated Lexi, but what I really just can’t fathom is how she’d just not tell her daughter the truth about her father. My jaw dropped a little when all of that was revealed. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that I really liked the was Rebecca Phillips went about everything, I feel that Lexi acted the way any other normal teenage girl in her situation would, so bravo Rebecca Phillips. 
Have you read Faking Perfect? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Also, let me know what you think of the new layout, I was trying something new and would love your feedback!

‘Faking Perfect’ by Rebecca Phillips
4 Stars

No More Confessions | Blog Tour | Review and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does no affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.


Description from Goodreads:
For Rose Zarelli, freshman year was about controlling her rage. Sophomore year was about finding her voice. With all that behind her, junior year should be a breeze, right? Nope. When a horrific video surfaces, Rose needs the one person she wants to be done with, the person who has broken her heart twice – Jamie Forta. But as the intensity between them heats up, Rose realises she isn’t the only one who needs help. the thing is, Jamie doesn’t see it that way – and that could cost them everything.


***

Rose Zarelli is done confessing because confessions are for people who have done something wrong. And I haven’t done anything wrong. Here, I’ll prove it to you.

1) After my mother got that call, I ‘borrowed’ her car. (Because you can’t steal your mother’s car, can you?) I don’t really remember driving downtown, but I do remember…

2) …getting past the bouncer at Dizzy’s (I mean, it’s his job to spot a fake ID, so that’s on him)…

3) …and then later, telling my mother the truth about the bar but lying about how I got n. (A truth totally cancels out a lie, right?)

After all, what’s a little duplicity when finding Jamie Forta is the only thing that’s going to keep you from losing what’s left of your mind?

See? Junior year is off to a great start.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Read my reviews of book one Confessions of an Angry Girl and book two Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend!
Well, gosh darn, wasn’t that something. I’ve not hidden the fact that I’ve adored this series, and things didn’t change in No More Confessions
Rose has definitely sorted her life out a whole lot more than the previous two books, until a video surfaces that wrecks her carefully crafted Junior Rose. And what a video. I was actually shocked when I read what the video actually was, from the description I knew it was going to be bad, but man, no one should have to see that. 
Rose has really matured through the series, she’s got her own thing, a style and image, a guy in her life and steady friendships. It’s nice to Rose see with her sh*t together, she’s a lot more positive about everything, her relationship with her mother is considerably better than in Confessions of an Angry Girl. I like to think that my mum and I have a really great relationship, so I it bemuses me when girls in YA barely communicate with their parents. I really like that their relationship has developed over time, sure it’s not perfect but it’s making progress. 
Now let’s talk about Jamie. Jamie, Jamie, Jamie. Self-destruct is definitely something that Jamie understands, and I’m glad that Rose stopped burying her head in the sand and accepted that Jamie has a problem. A pretty serious problem. And it was about damn time!
One of the things that I love about Louise Rozett’s writing is that you think that you know where things are going, you’re settled and comfortable, but then WHAM she slaps you with something totally unexpected! It happens a couple times in No More Confessions, and one of those times I just had to take a moment. My brother was actually concerned that something awful had happened to me, so I guess my shock was pretty verbal. 
I read the series over four days, and now after finishing the three books I feel lost. I want another book! I hope Louise Rozett comes out with another book in the series because I would DEFINITELY read it!
Have you read the Confessions series? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

About The Author

Lousie Rozett is an author, a playwright, and a recovering performer. She made her YA debut with Confessions of an Angry Girl, followed by Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, both published by HarlequinTEEN. The next book in the series, No More Confessions, is due out January 2015. She lives with her 120-pound Bernese Mountain dog Lester (named after Lester Freeman from THE WIRE, of course) in sunny Los Angeles, and pines for New York City. 

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No More Confessions’ by Lousie Rozett
 5 Stars

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett | Review

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.



Description from Goodreads:
Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year – everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around…

…but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed foes unpunished) and possibly worst of all…the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.

Check out my review of the first book in the series, Confessions of an Angry Girl!
Well, Louise Rozett’s just gone and done it again. I thought that I loved Rose in Confessions of an Angry Girl, that she was a fantastic character that I could relate to, but you know what? She got a whole lot better in Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend
Book two in the Confessions series really allows for Rose to grow and develop as a character. Through both books she’s matured before my very eyes, sure she’s still a teenager that’s figuring out where she fits in in the world, but it works because she really seems like a fifteen going on sixteen year old girl. Hell, I should know, my sister turned sixteen a couple months ago! So, yes, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfirend is realistic, it’s believable, and that’s something I look for in Contemporary YA.
In the first book Rose is struggling to find who she is and what she wants to do through high school and beyond, the book ends with an epiphany of sorts, and a better relationship between her and her mother. Rose sticks with her new found dream of singing in some way, auditioning for the school musical, but the friendlier mother-daughter relationship doesn’t seem to stick.  In fact it takes a 180, so much so that mother-daughter counselling is now a thing. 
The counsellor is called Caron and she’s Rose’s mum’s friend. In the sessions they talk about all sorts of things, including the website Rose created for her father. I’d never have thought of creating a website for a deceased loved one, but I can totally see why Rose did. This blog is mine and I love it, I’d hate for anyone to tamper with it, and if someone did, and that someone happened to be a parent I’d feel extremely betrayed. I don’t want to say too much, but Rose’s mum needs to give the girl a bit of space and stop acting like a therapist. I love that as things happened Rose would detail what other people would say and tell her to do, including Caron. I found Rose’s narrative extremely funny and I just loved her!
Rose is stubborn and can be rude, hurting others, she has a lot to deal with, and most of the time her actions are understandable. And you know what, I actually like the sarcastic and sassy Rose 2.0, especially when she tells Jamie Forta what’s what (go Rose!!!). Jamie’s an older guy, and one of the main reasons she suffered through hell as a Freshman, and that seemed to be okay because she was going to prom with him, until Regina happened. I left the last book thinking something would work out between them through the summer, but no. Jamie basically abandons Rose and she doesn’t hear a peep, so in my opinion she has a right to be angry. I’m all for the mysterious good-looking guy, but maybe Jamie is a bit too mysterious, he needs to be upfront and tell Rose what’s going on in his life. The girl can’t wait forever.
As more was revealed about the other character’s lives I started to understand their motives, the reasoning behind Regina’s mega-bitch status became much more apparent, and I didn’t hate her all that much anymore, either. In fact through my understanding I felt rather sorry for her, and I guess that’s what Louise Rozett was going for. 
I feel like this review is just me spewing a whole load of positive, but I really don’t have anything negative to say. I really really like Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, it’s definitely one of the better Contemporary YA books that I’ve read in a while. It’s so refreshing to read something that’s just SO good, there’s no ‘well I liked this, but couldn’t stand that’, or ‘I guess she was alright, but he was just dreadfully annoying’. I read it in an afternoon with a sleeping puppy on my knee, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
‘Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend’ by Louise Rozett
5 Stars

Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett | Review

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.
Description from Goodreads:
Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make…

1. I’m livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I’m allowed to be irate, don’t you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

3. high school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and “seeing red” means angryget it?)

Here are some other vocal words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don’t know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)
(Sorry. That was rude.)

It’s been a while since I was 14, never mind in comp school, so maybe the life of fourteen year old Rose shouldn’t have appealed to me as much as it did. But it did appeal to me, and I ended up loving it. Rose kind of reminded me of me when I was that age, she has no clue about hair or makeup, not too bothered about popularity, and to top it off had a stupid crazy crush on a boy. There are obviously some more extreme circumstances that Rose faces, that luckily I have never had to face, but nonetheless the familiarity warmed me to her immediately, after only a few pages I loved her.

It’s not hard to emphasise with Rose, her father passed away and she’s shoved into the big bad world of high school, her friends are changing around her, and she’s clearly struggling to find where she fits in. Throughout this experience Rose’s narrative was really enjoyable, aided by the humour and observations that Rose made, and at the end of the book I came away liking Rose.

I’m the first to admit that when it comes to the American grade terminology I’m clueless. Jamie Forta is older than Rose, and older than others in his year. But as I don’t now what age he should be, his age was lost on me. I’m not one to advocate a fourteen year old dating a twenty-one year old, but as I have no clue how old Jamie was (although I’m pretty sure he’s younger than twenty-one) I can’t really say how I feel about their age gap, but what I can say is that to me Rose felt like a mature fourteen-going-on-fifteen year old, so an age difference was not really obvious.

Regina becomes Rose’s bully, scribing hateful things in hot pink nail varnish throughout the school. In my opinion Rose should have said something to someone, because the girl was nasty and she needed to be stopped. That said though, I liked where the end of the book was going and I’m looking forward to seeing what goes off in book two!

Confessions of an Angry Girl is a book I really enjoyed, Rose definitely grew as a character and it was lovely to see. I’m looking forward to even more character and plot development in book two, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend.

‘Confessions of an Angry Girl’ by Louise Rozett
5 Stars

Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross | Review

Description from Goodreads:
Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas’s life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she’s living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie has dreams of her own – most of which involve placing first at every track meet… and one starring the Royals’ super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. That last thing she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn’t just a game. It’s life. And sometimes, it can break your heart…

Straight away I liked Whatever Life Throws At You, it’s funny and just generally enjoyable.
Annie gets herself into some really awkward situations, for example interviewing a gorgeous and nearly-naked player in the dressing room. And there’s so much sass in that interview. I loved her straight away.

The sass doesn’t stop there, Annie becomes friends with Lenny, the number one player’s daughter. She has her own family issues, and an idiot for a brother. Lenny takes Annie into her world and they quickly become best friends.

Annie starts to crush on Brody pretty quickly, he is hanging round her house practicing with her dad after all, so it’s only natural! The two year age gap poses a threat though, she worries that he sees her as a little sister, worse than the friend zone for sure! I really liked that the age gap was so small and that they were both still teenagers, it made the whole crushing on each other a lot more believable.

That’s right, I said crushing on each other! He likes her back. But he’s a respectable guy, and he really likes her dad. Which means he doesn’t want to jeopardise his relationship with him by dating his daughter. And I don’t blame him, because Annie’s did is incredible, well, apart from the whole wife thing. He’s super protective and supportive of his little girl, who he raised basically all on his own.

I mentioned in the first impression review that I (thankfully) found Annie to be rather mature. After finishing the book I can happily say that that opinion stood true. Although there were moments of immaturity, these could be overlooked as they really did not predominate.

I really loved Whatever Life Throws At You, the fact that I barely understood the baseball terminology had no affect (don’t judge, I’m English). I liked that Julie Cross made Annie athletic too, she wasn’t a pathetic Jason Brody fangirl, or a shopaholic spending her daddy’s money (I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those types of characters, it just really wouldn’t have worked in this novel). Although Annie may beg to differ.

No, I’m a Jason Brody groupie. That’s even worse than mentally unstable.”

Have you read Whatever Life Throws At You? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘Whatever Life Throws At You’ by Julie Cross
5 Stars

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger | Review

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.
Description from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. 

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realises with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

This is the third book by Kody Kiplinger that I’ve read (read my reviews of Shut Out and A Midsummer’s Nightmare), and honestly the one I was most skeptical about. But what do you know? I loved it. I loved it so much that I read it in a matter of hours. I love the world of Hamilton High that Kody Kiplinger’s created, and the characters that go there!

Duff: Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend.

Let’s start off with Bianca, I really liked her. She’s realistic, sarcastic and cynical. Honestly? She can be a bit of a bitch. But that’s what makes her realistic! And she is realistic, hell all of the characters are. I think that’s partly what’s so special about Kody Keplinger’s novels, they’re full of realistic characters, her books aren’t overt pieces of fiction, there’s realism which makes you believe that Hamilton High and everyone there exist. 
Bianca turns to Wesley as a form of escape and a distraction from her home life. I could see why Bianca would want to escape, her mum files for divorce and her father falls back into alcohol. The issues at home were pretty hefty topics, but they were handled very well.
Shut Out, the first Keplinger novel I read, was based on the Greek play Lysistrata. I really loved that Keplinger was bringing Greek literature into a YA novel. Well, in The DUFF she did it again. Both The Scarlet Letter (which I must admit I’ve never read) and Wuthering Heights (don’t even get me started on how much I love this book!) were referenced and evident in the plot. And by that I mean Bianca got herself into a Cathy situation, stuck between choosing Heathcliff or Linton (and we all know who she chose, and how badly that ended up). I loved the modern day parallel, and hope that it’s a recurring theme of Keplinger’s work.
Yes, Wuthering Heights is usually considered a love story, but I disagree with that. It’s almost a ghost story, and there’s more hate than romance. Every character is atrocious and spoiled and selfish… It’s kind of like watching an episode of Gossip Girl in the 1800s. Except, of course, much less ridiculous.”
Perhaps this quote has no real relevance to the review, but I just really really liked it.
Wesley was a tool. Who approaches someone and tells them that they’re less attractive than their hot friends? He does. Obviously he’s hot, and obviously he know’s it. But, you know what? He pulls it off, because he turns out to be a really great guy.
Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you.”
*swoon*
There were quite a few laugh out loud moments in The DUFF, not audible snickers, actual laugh worthy moments. That’s because I loved the characters oh so much.
I really enjoyed The DUFF, I want to read more of Kody Keplinger’s work ASAP. Have you read The DUFF? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
‘The DUFF’ by Kody Keplinger
5 Stars