The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Review

Title: The Unexpected Everything

 

Author: Morgan Matson

 

Release Date: May 3rd, 2016

 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:
Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.
 
Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around). 
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby – pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who need’s anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.
 
So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.
 
Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the sam house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all – working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

Continue reading “The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Review”

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Summer Days and Summer Nights | Blog Tour | Review

    Title: Summer Days and Summer 
    Nights: Twelve Love Stories

     

    Edited by: Stephanie Perkins

    Release Date: May 17th, 2016

I received this book free from the author 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:
Maybe it’s the long crazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult authors and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love. 

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert,  Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

I’ve said it before in reviews, but I’m not the biggest fan of short stories, but I’d heard great things about the collection of short stories My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins 
 released way back when in 2014. So I went into this collection of short stories with a very open mind, and I’m glad that I gave short stories a chance!! 
Now, I’m not about to say that I adored all twelve of these stories, because that wouldn’t be true. There were some that didn’t appeal to me, and others that I loved! 
In particular these short stories stood out to me as favourites:
Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo
The End of Love by Nina LaCour
In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins
Inertia by Veronica Roth
Before reading these short stories I’d never read anything by Leigh Bardugo or Nina LaCour, and yet they were the authors of two of my favourites!! And that’s something I found that I really liked about this book, I was able to read a variety of different authors, many of whom I’d never read before. I’ll definitely be looking up some of these authors to find some of their books to add to my TBR, so if you have any recommendations please let me know!
I definitely felt that Summer Days and Summer Nights had a range of YA love stories, with something for every reader to enjoy! It’s a great collection and definitely a book that would be great to dip in and out of during summer!
Will you be planning on reading Summer Days and Summer Nights? Let me know in the comments!
‘Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories’ Edited by Stephanie Perkins
4 Stars

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You | Blog Tour | Review | Excerpt

     Title: The Only Thing Worse 

     Than Me Is You

      Author: Lily Anderson

     Release Date: May 17th, 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:
Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West – and his horrendous new moustache that he spent all summer growing – down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books – well, maybe not comic books – but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Brownouts v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-lullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on – and they might not pick the same side.

I usually always like Young Adult contemporary romances, they’re the kind of books that are just super enjoyable to read! The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You was no exception! While it contained many elements of YA contemporaries that I love, high school, a love-hate relationship, drama and scandal, The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You had so much additional geeky nerd and I loved it!! The Messina Academy for the Gifted is no ordinary high school, every pupil is a super genius which made for a very interesting read!

We follow a group of really nerdy characters, they’re into comics, and fandoms, and all things sic-fi. I loved reading the references to the nerdy world, I’m a bit of a nerd myself, so I guess you could say that I bonded with the characters through the nerdiness. I liked pretty much all of the characters in the book, their relationships and group dynamic were really enjoyable to read. I didn’t get the feeling that any of the relationships were annoyingly cheesy or so ridiculous that they’d only be possible in fiction. The friendships all seemed realistic, yet they had a little extra something that made them stand out from the real world.

The main romantic relationship in The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You was between Trixie and Ben, enemies since an infamous monkey bar incident, so of course we have a love-hate relationship going on! I have to admit that I really enjoy a love-hate relationship, there’s always so much tension and it’s so enjoyable to read. Lily Anderson has Trixie and Ben throwing insults at each other left, right and centre, they aren’t the usual high school jabs that many have probably experienced, these are intelligent, intellectually referenced slanders, and boy were they entertaining!

The development from hate to not-hate wasn’t a particularly natural progression between Trixie and Ben, I don’t want to say too much and give away any spoilers, but the change in their respective outlooks on each other required some outside information. This was honestly one of the only areas of the novel that I had issue with, honestly I saw through and predicted what was going on, and don’t particularly understand how so-called geniuses didn’t see it too? So yes that edge of predictability was a slight annoyance to an otherwise very enjoyable book.

I mentioned earlier that the characters are nerds, Trixie reads comics and makes so many nerdy references throughout the novel. I have to say I enjoyed all references to all things Marvel, DC, Doctor Who and Sherlock, I might not be a huge comic girl myself, but I do love superheroes! One line that caught my attention in particular, and made me love Trixie a little more was this;

And the dead sexiness of Tom Hiddleston

I freaking love Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki, in my opinion he is significantly better than Thor! I’m also happy to admit that in general I really do like Tom Hiddleston and could not agree with the quote more!

I really enjoyed The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, I started reading it on my Kindle app to kill time, and then spent my Sunday lounging in the sun in the garden finishing off the book! I haven’t been reading an awful lot recently but I’m really glad I finished and enjoyed The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You!

About the Author

Lily Anderson is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theatre tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in North California. The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is her debut novel.

‘The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You’ by Lily Anderson
4 Stars

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn | Review

     Title: Firsts

     Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

     Release Date: January 5th, 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:
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfils a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time – the kind Mercedes never had herself. 

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy – so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married . But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn – or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Firsts is a one-of-a-kind Young Adult novel about growing up.

Mercy leads a life very different to mine, in fact her life is pretty much the opposite to mine. Her relationship with her mother is pretty much zero, whereas my mum and are stupid close and I tell her pretty much everything. And Mercy has a very different view on sex than I do, while I’m not about to go sprouting my views to you all, I will say that I would never want to sleep with someone who had a girlfriend, and I’m definitely more of a relationship girl than a ‘Wednesday Friend’. For those of you who haven’t read Firsts, you’re probably wondering what the hell I’m going on about, well Mercy has a standing Wednesday lunchtime bedroom appointment with Zach, her ‘Wednesday Friend’. I really liked Zach, he’s after a relationship with Mercy, and he sticks around. And really, who doesn’t like a guy who sticks around and tries to be a damn good friend, and perhaps even more?
Mercy justifies her de-virgining through creating perfect first times for the unknowing girlfriends, as she had as far from a perfect first time as possible. The details of Mercy’s first time aren’t revealed until very late on in the novel, but throughout small hints and clues are revealed, so I had a pretty good idea of what had happened. This may be annoying for some, because there wasn’t really that much mystery once one or two hints had been made, but it didn’t bother me too much.
I don’t know about anyone else but I thought it was pretty obvious that Charlie was into Mercy, that Charlie was a creep and inappropriately hitting on Mercy, especially considering he’s dating her best friend. In fact I got shushed quite a few times from my family due to my loud reactions. But in my defence, does verbally reacting to a book show engagement and enjoyment or what?! So I didn’t like Charlie, and I wanted Mercy to catch on and not like or trust Charlie too, because then there would have been a lot less mess! Charlie was a complete tool and a really horrible guy, and he went ahead and did something awful, and he was probably the only character that I didn’t like in the whole book, and seeing as he’s meant to be disliked, I’d say well done Flynn.
Faye became the friend that Mercedes really needed through all the drama, she stood up for her and stayed by her, and I ended up really liking her. In fact part of me wanted the sexual tension and flirtation to mean more and become more. In my opinion that would have been a nice little twist to the book, the girl who takes boys virginities ends up with the beautiful and confident new girl.
Firsts is all about character growth and development, both of which are things that I saw Mercedes undergo through the novel, and don’t we all just love a bit of character growth?! In my opinion Flynn created some very likeable characters, I ended up really caring about Mercy and I wanted to see her happy, and oh boy did I want to drag Angela away from the creep she called a boyfriend! 
I found Firsts to be a very enjoyable and quick read, I broke the Kindle back out for this book, and I’m glad that I did! 
Have you read Firsts? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘Firsts’ by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
4 Stars

Like Candy by Debra Doxer | Book Tour | Review | Giveaway

      

      Title: Like Candy

      Author: Debra Doxer

      Release Date: July 28th, 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:
Revenge is sweet, just like candy.
Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolises him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school. Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch you back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favourite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much.When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.

To begin with I wasn’t sure if I liked Candy all that much, she struck me as extremely immature, perhaps down to her character or the the writing I’m not sure. I therefore resigned myself to reading Like Candy for the tour, with no real expectations. 
How wrong I was. Sure, Like Candy started off at bit immature, with a lot of focus on rather juvenile things, but as the book got going I started liking Candy a lot more, and I really started to like where Debra Doxer was taking the story. 
There’s a mystery surrounding Candy’s father, there’s a general awareness that he does bad things for a living, the synopsis openly states that he’s an assassin and possibly a spy. This ambiguous nature to his job is maintained throughout, building the mystery as to just what is happening and why people keep trying to break into their house.
I definitely got sucked into the story, I got through it really quickly because I just wanted to know what the hell was going on. So obviously I had my own little ideas about what was going to happen and who was behind it, and can I just say CALLED IT! Before you go thinking that Like Candy is predictable, I wouldn’t go that far. I didn’t guess everything, in fact I was left quite shocked when one rather huge revelation was unravelling. So definitely don’t be put off if you dislike predictable books, hopefully you won’t figure it all out and Like Candy can surprise you.
Candy is blown away by Jonah’s good looks as soon as she lays eyes on him, but then his personality puts her off. There was clearly chemistry between the two but it didn’t feel fake, forced or rushed into, so basically what I’m saying is there was no insta-love. In fact as far as I’m concerned their relationship still needs to develop a bit more before the L word can be dropped. I liked the dynamic of Jonah and Candy together, he was really sweet and thoughtful, and I could see why she was enamoured.
I think my initial feelings towards this book were probably due to the difference in age between myself and the high school characters, I’m sure that if I’d have read it when I was still in high school myself I’d have loved it from the get go. But as it was I needed a little bit of warming up.
Something I was not prepared for in Like Candy was the cliffhanger, that’s right. One minute I was happily reading away and the next, there were no more electronic pages left. It only means one thing, I’m going to have to wait for Sweet Liar to come out so I can find out just what happens!

About The Author

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks her when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “when I run out of time.”
Connect with Debra, she loves hearing from readers!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

‘Like Candy’ by Debra Doxer
4 Stars

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

Reaching Rose by J. P. Grider | 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 Duncan is dancing on Broadway. She’s spent hours a day for the last two decades to get there, and now she’s living the dream. She’s happy, she’s driven, and life couldn’t get any better. 

Ben Falco is a pitcher whose only goal is to make it to the Major Leagues. He keeps his grades up, he doesn’t party, and he stays away from committed relationships – they’ll only distract him. 

But when Ben meets Rose, she’s no dancer and she’s certainly not happy. In fact, she doesn’t seem to be happy at all. Yet something about her makes him want to know what’s turned her into this she’ll of a person, and if he can be the one o reach inside her mind and pull her out. 

Ben doesn’t want a relationship. Rose doesn’t want to get better. But once their hearts collide, it’s a whole new ballgame. 
Reaching Rose is a story about Rose and Ben, and a little about their friend Johnny Gleason – a genius who has plans of his own until they too slip from his grasp. This is a tale about love, loss, and guts, and the ability to play hardball when life throws you a curve. 

After getting hit by a delivery truck Rose has to face the fact that her leg has been amputated, which to her means she’ll never dance again. Rose can’t handle this news, she shuts down and doesn’t talk, an understandable reaction to such life altering news. She’s burying herself in denial, trying to escape the truth of her present situation, and by doing so she’s missing out on living her new life to the fullest. 
Now, I’m not going to go and criticise the way Rose dealt with finding out about her leg amputation. I can only imagine how life changing having a limb amputated would be, and I completely understand why Rose dealt with it by shutting down. Sure, there were probably better ways to react, but the girl woke up with a huge scar and no leg beyond the knee. If you ask me, that’s pretty huge.
I loved that we got to meet Holly and Mick again, it took me a while to realise that they were in the same series, but once I caught on I appreciated that detail. I like when a series follows different sets of characters because there’s nothing worse than an author screwing a perfectly good relationship in the second book! That’s definitely not been done in the Hunter Hill series, and I’d happily read about other characters in another book. 
As I was reading Reaching Rose at no point did I feel that I was reading a piece of fiction. By that I mean that it was believable, it didn’t feel I was reading a story created by J. P. Grider for our enjoyment and reading pleasure. I liked how believable and realistic Reaching Rose was, and I’d definitely read more of J. P. Grider’s work. 
‘Reaching Rose’ by J. P. Grider
4 Stars