How To Keep a Boy From Kissing You | Blog Tour | Review

Title: How To Keep a Boy From Kissing You

Author: Tara Eglington

Release Date: October 25th, 2016

Rating: 3 Stars

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:
Sweet sixteen and never been kissed – and that’s the way Aurora Skye wants it to be. She’s too busy finding guys for her two best friends, counselling her sensitive New Age dad (the NAD), and dealing with the unexpected return of her long-absent mom. But always in the background there’s Hayden Paris, the boy next door, the bane of Aurora’s existence. Smart, funny, and always around toes her at her worst, he ‘gets’ her like no-one else… and that’s what makes him so intriguing.

When Aurora and Hayden are coerced into the lead roles in the school production of Much Ado About Nothing, things can only get worse. How is Aurora going to save her first kiss for the secret admirer who wooed her with poetry and a spectacular bunch of flowers on Valentine’s Day is she doesn’t know who he is and she’s obligated to lock lips with Hayden in the play’s final dramatic clinch?

Aurora’s clever manœuvres keep her away from kisses, but they can’t seem to bring her any closer to her secret admirer – a potential prince. A humorous take on the trials and tribulations of crushes, secret admirers, and first loves, How To Keep a Boy From Kissing You will keep you laughing up until the page.

This title totally intrigued me, because usually in YA books the aim is to get a boy kissing you, not to stop it from happening.
The first thing that hit me when I started reading How To Keep a Boy From Kissing You was that it definitely has an immature tone. The girls are not the most mature group of friends in the world, and Aurora has a serious drama queen, over the top thing going on, and to be honest it did get on my nerves a bit. After just going with it and reading through the annoying, I got over it, but there were still times when the annoying picked up again.
Despite the two new boys who arrived on the scene, it took literally minutes of reading for me to figure out that Aurora and Hayden were clearly going to be romantically linked. It was also pretty clear that Hayden liked Aurora, and Aurora’s deep and OTT hatred for Hayden was just bizarre! 
Despite the immaturity and other issues I had with the book, I did still enjoy reading it. It’s not something I think I’ll feel the need to read again, but I did enjoy it while I was reading. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for YA set in high school with a bit of Shakespeare action, and of course the romance!

About The Author

Tara Ellington grew up in Byron Bay, Australia. Her hobbies when she’s not writing include watching endless cat videos on YouTube, planning pretend holidays to the Maldives, and day-dreaming about who would play Hayden Paris in a film adaptation of How To Keep a Boy From Kissing You. The novel’s sequel will be published in 2017.
‘How To Keep a Boy From Kissing You’ by Tara Eglington
3 Stars

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Confessions of a Wedding Planner | Blog Tour | Review

Title: Confessions of a Wedding Planner

Author: Michelle Jo Quinn

Release Date: July 26th, 2016

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Amazon

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not effect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.
Description from Goodreads:
He may be the best man, but he’s the worst man for her…

Wedding planner, Veronica Soto-Stewart believes everyone deserves a fairy tale – even her ex-boyfriend. Unable to refuse his request, and with the help of of Bliss Events motley crew, she finds herself creating the most magical even for the perfect couple.

But nothing is ever perfect…

Levi Laurent can’t believe his luck. Thanks to his best friend’s wedding, he finally has a shot at the woman he’s always wanted – Veronica. From San Fransisco to Paris, and back, he pulls out all the stops, so she knows where she really belongs – with him. But Veronica wants nothing to with the rich, sexy, irresistible playboy.

Can Levi convince Veronica that her perfect happily ever after is closer than she ever realised?

I am a sucker for anything wedding related, so the title of this book 100% hooked me and drew me in. The synopsis added to that so I’m so glad that I got to review Confessions of a Wedding Planner for the blog tour!
Nica is a wedding planner who takes her job very seriously, and she somehow ends up agreeing to plan her ex-boyfriends wedding to the woman he left her for. I’m just going to put it out there that that is not something I would ever do. I was with Chase, Nica’s best friend, on this and thought she should have said no. But she said yes, and the story goes from there.
Jake – the ex – is a doctor and good looking, and he has an equally gorgeous best friend, who turned out to be French, Levi. Levi is the classic gorgeous guy with a bad-boy, man-whore vibe. I thought that it was pretty clear that there was going to be some sort of relationship between Nica and Levi, you can’t hate a gorgeous man so passionately in a contemporary romance and not end up having the other kind of feelings for him too.
So yes there was a slight predictability to Confessions of a Wedding Planner, but it didn’t sully my enjoyment of the book. I read the book pretty quickly in the space of an afternoon, it was a really easy and enjoyable read, made so by the style of writing, which I ate up.
I loved that the book didn’t stay static in San Fransisco, we got to go to Paris, which was a brilliant setting for the Nica/Levi budding relationship. I also loved that Nica, while somewhat a pushover when it came to Jake and his fiancé Sandrine, stood up to Levi and got all powerful woman on his ass!!
I found the book really entertaining and humorous at times, and loved the relationships between Nica, Chase and Levi. One of the only things that really bugged me was the fact that Nica set out to try and win Jake back, I’m not particularly about that and I’m of the opinion that if it is so very very over, like Nica and Jake were, you’ve got to just accept and move on.
I would have loved to have had Levi’s narrative in the book too! I’m a fan of split-narrative in books, and definitely think it could have worked in this book!
I would definitely recommend Confessions of a Wedding Planner, its a really enjoyable contemporary romance, and while it doesn’t break any literary boundaries, it is seriously enjoyable and definitely worth the read!

About The Author

Michelle’s love for writing blossomed when her father gave her a diary, but instead of recounting her daily life, she wrote stories of fictional people. Like most of her characters, she believes in happily ever after. Naturally, she finds harmony in writing romance. She enjoys creating stories that make readers laugh, cry and fall in love.
An unabashed, self-proclaimed foodie, Michelle loves to try new food whenever she travels. She once had triple creme brie and duck rillette for lunch on top of Grouse Mountain.
She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two kids and a pup named Scarlet.
‘Confessions of a Wedding Planner’ by Michelle Jo Quinn
3.5 Stars

The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day | Blog Tour | Review

Title: The Possibility of Somewhere

Author: Julia Day

Release Date: September 6th, 2016

3.75 Stars

Goodreads | Amazon

Description from Goodreads:
Together is somewhere they long to be. 
Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he always wanted – he’s admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There’s only one obstacle in Ash’s path: Eden Moore – the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way? 

All Eden’s ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college – and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks… When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have mor win common than either of them could have imagines. They’re both in pursuit of a dream – one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?
The Possibility of Somewhere could not have come at a better time; I was in a deep deep contemporary reading place when I picked this book up. I made my way through a considerable amount of Young and New Adult contemporary novels over a short period of time, one of which being The Possibility of Somewhere.

I enjoyed the diversity between Ash and Eden, they were both from extremely different backgrounds, yet are both intelligent with similar aspirations. The relationship between Ash and Eden was enjoyable to see grow and develop, from barely speaking unless forced to in group projects, to sharing a clandestine relationship. They were a couple that I definitely liked, I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re my favourite OTP, because that would be a vast overstatement. However while I was reading I wanted them to succeed in their relationship and overcome the obstacles in their way.

Speaking of obstacles, I understand that are people that view people from different cultures and races in the way that some characters did in The Possibility of Somewhere (I’m talking about the racism and prejudice), however it’s really not something I’ve ever experienced or witnessed. Therefore I found the blatant racism expressed by some of the characters an intriguing element to the setting, because really, how can people still think like that?! So I suppose part of the reason I liked Ash and Eden together was that they were pushing and crossing the racial boundaries (cliques in which people of the same race stick together) set within their town and school.

I also liked Eden’s friend, Mundy. She added to Eden’s character and therefore as a reader I was able to see the growth of Eden. While I did like Mundy and Eden’s friendship, I found that the conversation between them, and various other characters, was annoying. I was not particularly fond of the dialogue style, in my opinion it was rather stilted and appeared random at times. While it in no way stopped me reading the book, it did bug me.

I would recommend reading The Possibility of Somewhere, I think the storyline is important; a book advocating diversity and challenging prejudices.

If you’ve read The Possibility of Somewhere let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘The Possibility of Somewhere’ by Julia Day
3.75 Stars

In Real Life by Jessica Love | Review

     Title: In Real Life

     Author: Jessica Love

     Release Date: March 1st, 2016

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:
Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to do, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah’s surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

This book broke my two month reading slump, and for that I am so so thankful. I uhmed and ahhed over my rating for In Real Life, and since writing this review I’ve demoted it to 3 Stars!
In Real Life is a classic contemporary YA, there’s a shy female protagonist who sticks to the rules and finds new situations stressful. She has a male best friend who she shares everything with, and of course they both have secret feelings for each other. Sounds pretty generic so far, but the element that takes In Real Life away from the standard YA contemporary is the simple fact that Hannah and Nick have never met, they’ve communicated for years texting, messaging and calling each other. I definitely felt that this added more interest to the book, and saved it from being just another YA contemporary.

Pretty early on in the novel Hannah decides to take a trip to Las Vegas, surprise Nick and confess her more-than-friend-feelings for him. The synopsis tells us that this isn’t going to go to plan, and you know I kind of wanted it to, because how sweet would that have been? Alas, it did not. I can’t say the surprise was overly surprising, but then actually there were two main surprises, one was kind of expected, and the other, not so much.

I enjoyed seeing how the virtual friendship transferred to real life interactions, because isn’t everyone different behind a screen as opposed to face to face? Hannah’s friend and sister totally sucked, they abandoned Hannah, and I understand that they wanted to enjoy their holiday too, but I felt that they didn’t need to be as harsh on Hannah as they were.

In Real Life struck me as quite a standard YA contemporary, it was enjoyable and it broke my slump, but it wasn’t anything extraordinarily special.

Have you read In Real Life? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘In Real Life’ by Jessica Love
3 Stars

The Heir by Kiera Cass | Review

     Title: The Heir

     Author: Kiera Cass

     Release Date: 5th May, 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:
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon – and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection – no matter how fervently she protests. 

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her… and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

I was a really big fan of the Selection series way back when, I eagerly anticipated the release of each book and fangirled with my sister while on holiday because those books just brought out the inner fangirl! I’m the first to admit that I was sceptical when I heard that Kiera Cass was writing another book in the Selection world, I thought The One finished things off really well, and the world didn’t need tampering with! And then when I heard that it wouldn’t even be in America or Maxon’s POVs, well, I was pretty peeved. So I put off reading The Heir, especially when I saw reviews saying that Eadlyn isn’t exactly the nicest character. I finally bit the bullet over my Christmas break because I really couldn’t put it off for much longer!
To kick start this review I’m going to come right out and say that I didn’t particularly like Eadlyn, she was immensely annoying and arrogant, which isn’t what you want in a main character! I completely understand that she wasn’t happy about being forced to undergo the Selection process and find a husband, I know that’s not something that I’d want to do! I’m all about meeting, dating and marrying someone for love, because you deeply care about the other person, and not to settle political unrest in a country. But as the princess, and heir to the throne, you’ve got to do what is required of you, and do it with a smile. I got a definite spoilt vibe from Eadlyn, she struck me as someone who felt entitled to everything, and rude when denied something. Speaking of which, she was a full on biatch to the candidates. 
Basically Eadlyn annoyed the hell out of me, bring back America and Maxon! 
Despite how annoying I found Eadlyn, I now need to read the next book, The Crown. The book ended so suddenly, I honestly thought that I had another 3-4 chapters left, I kept swiping on my Kindle to turn the page before I had to finally admit that the book had ended. So even though I found Eadlyn to be an annoying character, I’m going to read The Crown because I need to know who she chooses, if she does in fact choose someone.
The Heir is by no means my favourite Kiera Cass book that I’ve read, but at the same time it wasn’t awful, it was a solid 3 stars, and hopefully The Crown isn’t awful either! 
Have you read The Heir? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
‘The Heir’ by Kiera Cass
3 Stars

Ready To Reach by Inglath Cooper | Blog Tour | Review | Giveaway

      Title: Ready To Reach (Nashville #1)

      Author: Inglath Cooper

      Release Date: October 4th, 2012

Description from Goodreads:
Ever thought a dream might pass you by?

Nineteen-year old CeCe Mackenzie is determined to make her dreams come true. She heads to Nashville with not much more to her name than a guitar, a Walker Hound named Hank Junior and an old car she’d inherited from her grandma called Gertrude. But when Gertrude ends up on the side of the I-40 in flames, Nashville has never seemed farther away. Help arrives in the form of two Georgia football players headed for the Georgia dream as well. When Holden Ashford and Thomas Franklin stop offer CeCe and Hank Junior a ride, fate may just give a nod to serendipity and meant to be. Because while CeCe is chasing after her dream, she might find love as well.

I was stupid again, I didn’t realise that Ready To Reach was a short story, so I was pretty surprised when it suddenly ended. I was really enjoying the story following CeCe and her journey to living in Nashville, and I really liked the Southern guys that came to her rescue. The fact that the story was so short didn’t leave all that much room for character development. Although I liked the characters I didn’t feel like I knew them. 
The American South and Nashville are two things that really intrigue me, and that’s why I was drawn to Ready To Reach. These elements came across well in the story, I even started to believe I could have been in Nashville!
Honestly, the only thing that let this story down is the general lack, of length and character depth and growth. I would recommend Ready To Reach, but I’d advise you have the next instalments ready, because that damn ending!
Will you be reading Ready To Reach? Let me know in the comments!

About The Author

Rita award wining author Inglath Cooper writes books that aim to giver her reader a min-vacation. A stretch of time during which they can visit other places and other people’s lives. Her books have reached the top 100 Amazon Kindle Bestseller list, with Truths and Roses hitting #11.
Inglath Cooper’s Nashville series became a reality after she spent time in Music City, writing lyrics with other songwriters. She fell in love with the community and gets to revisit regularly through her characters.
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

‘Ready To Reach’ by Inglath Cooper
3 Stars

Allegiant by Veronica Roth | Review

      Title: Allegiant

      Author: Veronica Roth

      Release Date: 22 October, 2013

Description from Goodreads:
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

I’m going to start off by saying that I didn’t love either Divergent or Insurgent, while I didn’t think they were bad I just didn’t really connect to them. It was three years ago that I read the first two books in the series, so before I could even pick up Allegiant I had to do a little bit of research, which translates to reading what went down in each book online. Despite that, I still encountered quite a few characters that stopped me, making me question who the hell is that?
When I started Allegiant I actually enjoyed it for quite a while, I think that the split POV prevented the issues with Tris that I’d had before. Which, yes, did arise. I don’t know what it is about Tris that I don’t like, I never felt that I connected to her character. She seemed marry and dramatic, the whole selfless act quickly became annoying! Tris always seemed to be the leader of things, from plans to opinions. If she starts hating someone then everyone else follows suit. Peter got it spot on when he said something similar to Tobias when he briefly joined ‘the club’.
In the previous books I liked Tobias, the dark, mysterious, handsome and not at all talkative persona really worked in his favour. He was the unattainable older guy I couldn’t quite believe Tris got. Things might have changed in Allegiant, the split narrative didn’t work for Four. He too became annoying, the whole woe-is-me jig got a little tiresome. I’ve basically decided that I like the characters I read about in the Divergent books, but once I get in their head they’ve lost me. 
I’m going to try and conduct the rest of this review without giving away any spoilers for those of you who haven’t read the book yet, and if you’re not planning on reading just watching the film then shame on you child. If you have read the book, then you’ll know what I’m referring to when I say ‘the event’.
I’ll start off by saying I like Peter and Caleb, so that along with my dislike for Tris shaped my opinion of the event. Who the hell picks the guy a few people hate to volunteer for such a life changing act? That is not the way nice, normal people go about things. A small group of people disliked Caleb, not the whole universe, so Tris and her small army need to get down from their high horses and take a look at themselves.
I wasn’t emotionally affected by ‘the event’, sure I sort of knew before I even started reading, but I felt no sadness or remorse. I was more affected by the choice that Peter made, because I liked him, he was one of my favourites.
Aside from the characters of Tris and Four I enjoyed Veronica Roth’s writing, the whole reason for the city inside the fence was really interesting, and I loved the addition of the new characters. I’m not going to be rushing to re-read the Divergent series any time soon, but I’m glad that I read Allegiant before the final films come out.
Have you read Allegiant? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth
3 Stars