Live Me by Celeste Grande | Review

Title: Live Me

 

Author: Celeste Grande

 

Release Date: October 27th, 2015

 

Rating: 1 Star

 

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:
Broken…
 
Shattered…
 
How can you begin to live again when you’ve already been forced to… die?
 
Evangelina Ricci is trapped in a world that’s a never-ending nightmare, a constant ache in which consumes her every breath. Unable to bear the torture any longer, she does the one thing she can to take back control.
 
Run.
 
With her best friend Jace in tow, Evangelina attempts to escape her darkened past by leaving for college and diving head first into an aggressive schedule, determined with everything she is to make a name for herself. There’s only one problem – she can’t run away from the demons she struggles with. The demons that’ll forever be there, locked inside, battering her soul. Hiding behind a flawless facade, Evangelina faces her ghosts until her world is turned upside down, invaded by… him.
 
Blake Turner. Sweet, witty, flirtatious and drop-dead gorgeous, he finds Evangelina at every turn. Scared he’ll uncover the truth she keeps so well guarded, Evangelina tries her best to put on her act, deterring him like she has so many times before – only this guy’s different. He’s relentless. Utterly, absolutely and completely relentless. He sees her and he wants her and won’t stop until she’s his.
 
Will Evangelina succeed in pushing Blake away? Or will he break down her walls and be the person to make her realise life is worth living?

Continue reading “Live Me by Celeste Grande | Review”

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All Played Out by Cora Carmack | Review

     Title: All Played Out
     (Rusk University #3)

     Author: Cora Carmack

     Release Date: May 12th, 2015

Description from Goodreads:
First person to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life?….. yeah, about that…..

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience). 

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide is he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

I’ve got lots of books, both physical and ebooks, that are waiting to be read. All Played Out was not one of them, but I had a craving for a bit of American New Adult set in a college and hopefully featuring football. I don’t know what caused such a hard core craving for such a book, but I knew that Cora Carmack could fulfil the need!
I’ve read the first two books in the Rusk University series, All Lined Up and All Broke Down, and reviewed All Broke Down which you can read here. I loved both of the two previous books, because damn Cora Carmack can write some seriously good New Adult!!

All Played Out was just what I was looking for, I loved the romance that built between Nell and Torres, the football included throughout, and getting to see the characters and couples from the previous two books.

I seriously related to Nell in this book, she’s shy and sticks to school rather than hitting the party scene. And to be honest that’s kind of like me, I am definitely shy, and that, along with not particularly partaking in standard university activities, warmed me to Nell pretty quickly. 

All of the Rusk University novels so far involve a football player and a female student starting some form of relationship and usually encountering difficulties along the way. And it’s something that I love.
Torres decides that he wants to help Nellt, and that’s not a decision he makes out of the kindness of his heart, he finds Nell attractive and basically wants to be near her, and with her. I really enjoyed Torres’ forthrightness and cheeky humour and personality. The two very different personalities worked well together and there was definitely chemistry which gave the steamy sections a little bit of extra something something.

I would recommend Cora Carmack’s Rusk University series to anyone who’s looking for a bit of New Adult reading this summer!

Have you read All Played Out? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘All Played Out’ by Cora Carmack
4 Stars

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith | Review

     Title: Hello, Goodbye, and
     Everything In Between

     Author: Jennifer E. Smith

     Release Date: September 1st,
     2015

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, that does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.
Description from Goodreads:
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith , author of The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.
I read this book pretty quickly in less than a week considering I had some big old assignments to complete in that time! I really enjoy books that focus on university/college and the whole coming of age theme. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between definitely fit the bill. While Clare and Aidan weren’t at college during the novel, they’re both on their way there the following morning, and are figuring out what to do with their relationship.

Clare is pretty dead set on breaking up with Aidan before moving away to college, and I completely understand why she wouldn’t a long distance relationship, I’m not sure I’d cope with long distance myself! As a last goodbye Clare creates a list of places and things they need to see and do before the night ends. Honestly, at first I wasn’t that attached to either of the characters, Clare kind of bugged me a little to begin with, which is not something you want from a main character.

As I continued reading I warmed to Clare, and to Aidan, so much so that I was a bit of an emotional mess at some parts of the book. I’ve always been the kind of person who becomes emotionally attached to books and has the tendency to cry if a book warrants that kind of reaction, but I think being in a relationship myself, and being able to empathise with Clare and Aidan’s emotions caused a lot of emotions of my own!

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I was pretty happy with how the book ended, I definitely felt that as a reader I got closure, which I think is important! Also, I was pretty happy with how everything turned out, because I completely understood Clare’s reasoning behind wanting to break up, and Adian’s for staying together.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is a book that would be perfect to read during summer! While it’s fun and enjoyable, it also explores the transition and move to college, which I’m sure lots of people would be able to relate to!

Have you read Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between’ by Jennifer E. Smith
4 Stars

Sweet Liar by Debra Doxer | Review

     Title: Sweet Liar

     Author: Debra Doxer

     Release Date: October 20th, 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:
Sometimes lies are sweeter than the truth.

Beauty is alluring; it can disguise the ugliness beneath. But scarred beauty is even more potent to a girl who vowed never to let her heart be broken again. It was an easy vow for Candy to keep until she met Jonah, an arrogant boy with a face that would be too perfect if not for the scar that marred the skin beside his eye.

That imperfect boy earned her trust and won her heart, but the ties that bind people together are fragile, especially when lies are told. Trust is also fragile, and once broken, doesn’t heal like a heart. Trust has to be earned again, and Jonah desperately wants Candy’s trust back.

But Candy has more than Jonah to worry about. Her father is in trouble, and she intends to help him whether he likes it or not. People tell her he’s a bad man, and that may be true, but he’s not all bad. Deep down, she understands his brand of badness because she’s so much like him.

When Candy finally learns the truth, she’ll have to grow up fast, let go of old grievances, and realise that being vulnerable doesn’t make her weak. In fact, opening herself up may be the very thing that makes her whole again.

I really enjoyed the first book Like Candy when I read it back in August (read my review here), and after that cliffhanger of an ending I’ve been waiting patiently for the release of book number two. The book kicks off right from where we left off in Like Candy, which is something I really liked about Sweet Liar, there was messing about with a pointless little recap, we’re thrown straight back into the action.
One slight issue I had with the previous book was Candy’s tendency to be slightly immature. I’m happy to report that Candy definitely matured a whole lot more in Sweet Liar, sure we still got to see some funny Candy style revenge that admittedly wasn’t the most mature thing, but nonetheless entertaining!
Candy and Jonah hit it off big time in Like Candy, but then BOOM huge revelation and that relationship crumbled pretty quickly. In Sweet Liar Jonah I was totally a Jonah supporter! I understood Candy completely but damn that boy was cute!! Jonah definitely had some seriously swoon worthy lines, and yes I may have actually verbalised my swooning more than once!
“Jonah smiled gently. ‘Even though there’s a good chance you’re going to break my heart, I want you to know it’s yours.'” 
I mean come on! How cute is that?! I love a bit of sweet romance and cheesy lines in my YA books, it can make shipping so enjoyable! 
I loved the secrecy that surrounded Candy’s father’s job in the first book, and the mystery continued in Sweet Liar, sure quite a bit more light was shed on her father does and who he works for, but I still definitely have questions, because ‘The Organisation’ is certainly mysterious!
Sweet Liar missed out on 5 stars from me as although I enjoyed it, I felt like that something extra special was missing, I’d definitely recommend the Candy books, especially if you’re looking for a fun read!
Have you read Sweet Liar? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘Sweet Liar’ by Debra Doxer
4 Stars

George by Alex Gino | Review

      Title: George 

      Author: Alex Gino

      Release Date: August 25th, 2015

Description from Goodreads:
BE WHO YOU ARE.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY, wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part…because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

I’ve never read book about a transgender character before, although after discussing transgender children at uni it was certainly something that interested me. Which is why I couldn’t wait to start it.
From the very beginning George is referred to as she and her in the narrative, she’s set off as female, despite her anatomy. George is only in the fourth grade, yet has an understanding of her gender, that despite what her body is saying, she is a female. This might seem like a theme that’s too old for a child of George’s age, but Alex Gino portrayed the child-like innocence that showed George’s age. This was done through the dialogue and language used, and the insult ‘some jerk‘ that was so young and not insulting that it couldn’t help but endear you to George even more. 
In the book the school are reading Charlotte’s Web, something I have never read, but it seemed to really touch George. She adores Charlotte, and as her class are putting on a play, she wants nothing more than to play Charlotte. Her best friend Kelly is extremely supportive of George’s dream, and together they rehearse Charlotte’s lines, ready for auditions. I really wanted to see George succeed and perform his Charlotte in front of the audience, but Ms Udell had other ideas. She had no time for George’s audition, telling her to stop joking around. My heart went out to George, especially as Alex Gino oh so cleverly hammered in the ‘boy’ ‘boy’ ‘boy’ throughout the book, and I don’t know about anyone else but it gave me strongly mixed feelings towards these adults. One of which was George’s mum, I got so angry after more than one interaction that should not have gone the way that it did. I wanted to take George in my arms and hug her, telling her it’s okay. Because she clearly needed support from the people around her, and I’m glad Kelly was there to give it to her.
George is a middle grade book, therefore the language is not the most complex thing in the world, in fact I have seen some reviews where people have used the word ‘simple’. Why I am able to understand their opinions, I don’t personally agree. For me, it was the simplicity of the language and the innocence that it created that really impacted me. I was so intrigued about Alex Gino after finishing George that I went ahead and did a little bit of Googling. I found this article in which both author and book are discussed. What I really liked about this interview was that Alex Gino recommended more books with LGBTQ+ themes, which I will most certainly be checking out!

George is a brilliant book that everyone needs to read. Seriously, go out and read it right now.

Have you read George? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
– TO YOU, FOR WHEN YOU FELT DIFFERENT –
‘George’ by Alex Gino
5 Stars

Rook by Sharon Cameron | Review

     Title: Rook

     Author: Sharon Cameron

     Release Date: 28th April 2015

Description from Goodreads:
History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a saviour of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalising game of cat and mouse.

Well, knock me down and call me Susan, that was one hell of a good book. 
I first heard of Rook through the Perustopia Book Club, I wasn’t initially all that sure about the book of the month, but I saw a lot hype, took the plunge and bought the book. Boy am I glad that I did!
Sharon Cameron’s world building is something else, in a dystopian novel it’s important for the world to be believable. Although the world in which Rook is set may have been slightly confusing at first, I soon got the hang of the former Paris, the Sunken City and the Commonwealth. I loved the world that Cameron created, I could almost close my eyes and picture myself scaling a wall, or sneaking out of an Upper City apartment.
In my eyes Rook is pretty damn unique, there may be a similar book out there that I have get to read, but for me Sharon Cameron’s twist on dystopian is something I have not seen before. You may be wondering what I am talking about, the complete and utter lack of technology, stemming from the belief that it was technology that killed everyone and caused the change in the world. Therefore in Rook technology is banned, as the ruler want to avoid the dependence that killed the previous generations. So although Rook is set in a dystopian future, it is in fact in keeping with more medieval times.
Not only is the world that Sharon Cameron created brilliant, so are the characters. From the confident and self-assured Sophia, to the absolutely stark raving mad LeBlanc. It’s through reading the different POVs that the characters really develop, I loved reading LeBlanc’s POV, he was just the right amount of crazy while being able to justify absolutely all of his actions. I really wasn’t that keen on Spear, he got it into his head that he and Sophia were meant to be, and his POV actually came across a little creepy. 
René Hasard is a spectacle at the engagement party, decked out in a gold jacket and black hair powder. At first he seems ostentatious and shallow, wanting only to flirt and remain at all time the centre of attention. However, as the story progresses we see the multiple sides to René Hasard’s character. As more of René and the Hasard family got unravelled the more I fell, and the more I shipped! That’s right, serious shipping went down in Rook, the amount of times I sighed dreamily and clutched the book to my chest I can’t even begin to recount. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I felt everything with this book, and I loved every moment of reading it!
Rook gave me a hefty book hangover, I’m SO glad that I decided to buy it, and I wish I could start it all over again!
Have you read Rook? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘Rook’ by Sharon Cameron
5 Stars

Killing Casanova by Kary Rader | Review

      Title: Killing Casanova

      Author: Kary Rader

      Release Date: June 30th, 2015

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, that does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.
Description from Goodreads
A MODERN-DAY ROGUE
A smooth talking negotiator, Jared Cassidy does multi-million dollar deals for breakfast…and any number of women in between. What he can’t handle? His mother. And in a moment of insanity he told her he’d finally found a bride.

AND AN OLD FASHIONED WALLFLOWER
More than anyone, romance novel addict Violet Murphy knows where her rakish boss has been. That’s why she’s steered clear. But now, having accepted a proposal that’s only moderately less indecent than usual, she has two choices: spend two steamy and lavishly paid weeks as the pretend fiancee of a playboy no woman has ever truly understood, or use the time in Palm Beach to kill the image and reveal the man. In doing the latter, she’ll find paradise, passion, and the promise of a future she’s only ever imagined. 

I liked Killing Casanova, it didn’t break boundaries or make me weak at the knees, but it was nice yet nothing spectacular. I liked the storyline and I liked the characters, it was all very nice. Violet is Jared’s assistant, he’s flirted with her since she started the job but he’s made it abundantly clear he doesn’t want anything serious. Violet’s okay with that and makes sure to keep Jared away from her heart. things started to get a bit confusing for me when the weird dating database calculator thingy started getting involved. Apparently, all employees at the company get assessed and matched. Now is that odd? Because to me that’s odd. It gets better though, some of the ‘top’ matches, which is those that are extremely compatible, started dating and got engaged. Violet and Jared are two of the compatible matches, but as he doesn’t do serious they do nothing about it.
I personally felt that the weird dating service situation was an unnecessary added extra. It kind of confused me, and the whole one lady got two matches distracted me, and in some parts I’d rather have heard more about that plot line.
At one point when Jared and Violet enter Jared’s childhood bedroom he makes a joke that he’s not Ryan Reynolds and that their situation isn’t The Proposal. But you know what? It kind of was. Guy tells dying mother that he’s engaged to please her, they go stay with his family, flirt a ridiculous amount, he meets up with his childhood sweetheart and one woman he actually allowed himself to love, they start falling for each other and then she runs away. Spot any similarities? Bit too similar, if you ask me. I loved The Proposal, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to read a poor knock off that doesn’t even have Ryan Reynolds and the legend that is Sandra Bullock. Once I clicked on I couldn’t really appreciate the novel fully.
Now to talk about the characters, Jared is a typical playboy with commitment issues, and Violet likes to shy away from people. I get the solitude, I do, but the reasoning behind it felt a bit weak. 
Killing Casanova was an okay book, I wouldn’t urge you to go out and buy it immediately, but it’s nice and would be good as a mindless beach read.
Have you read Killing Casanova? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘Killing Casanova’ by Kary Rader
3 Stars