Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: Folded Notes from High School by Matt Boren



Folded Notes from High School


Folded Notes from High School is told entirely through notes passed by a group of students in the same high school in the 90's. I think this was a pretty neat and very unique way to tell the story. It was very telling to see the difference between what someone writes about a situation to one person then says something completely different to someone else in another note. Ah, the nostalgia of the melodramatics of school. Tara is the main character and is definitely a bit dramatic and very wishy washy(Is it bad that I found that entertaining?). One day she loves her boyfriend, the next she loves someone else, one day she is fighting with her best friend, the next she is so thankful to have her in her life. It's kind of silly in reality yet absolutely dead serious to Tara. Being a teen is definitely an emotional time so I won't hold it against her as a character because it is actually very realistic. I'm sure I knew quite a few Tara types in my day. The layout and nostalgia made it a fun read for me and overall I would say that it was pretty enjoyable. I was kind of upset that I did not get to find out exactly what happens at the end, but as long as there will be a sequel I'm good with that. The ending definitely left me wanting more (but in a good way)! I think anyone who grew up in the 90's should pick this book up and think back on the antics of school days past.

** I voluntarily chose to receive this book from the publisher for review purposes. All thoughts expressed here are my own. **

Friday, April 6, 2018

Review: Unraveled by Kate Jarvik Birch (Perfected #3)




Unraveled is action-packed and fast paced. Wonderful ending to a fantastic series. Everything in the first two books is coming to a head so it's very suspenseful and intriguing. The main character, Ella, has done a lot of self discovery and growth throughout the series. I felt more connected to her struggles than ever and was glad to see her taking action in this one. There was a loss in this one that surprised me, although I guess it shouldn't have. I was always anxious to find out what was going to happen next and therefore found this a very quick read. I liked that it was a bit darker and more gritty than I originally thought the series would be. It's hard to talk about this one book without thoughts of the entire series leaking through but I really did enjoy each book on it's own and the series even more as a whole. It's dark and compelling with some action and romance too. I definitely recommend this series to those who enjoy a dark YA dystopian read. 

 ** I received this book from Entangled Teen through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it. **

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Review: S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett




 S.T.A.G.S. is dark and delicious with twists and turns throughout. It's definitely a page-turner that kept my rapt attention. The main character, Greer, is smart and honest. She's new to Saint Aidan the Great boarding school, also known as S.T.A.G.S., on scholarship. She's basically ostracized by the upper class student body until she mysteriously receives an invitation to an exclusive weekend to join one of the school's most elite cliques for a retreat of "huntin' shootin' fishin'." After having been ignored for a full term she just can't resist taking them up on the invite. Little does she know just how dangerous and treacherous this weekend will truly be. Although we are let in on the secret of how the weekend takes a bad turn, the journey of getting there is no less intriguing or the events that take place no less surprising. 

S.T.A.G.S. was absolutely captivating! It's a young adult thriller reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars with a bit of Gossip Girl and Hunger Games mixed in. It touched on quite a few subjects such as social conventions, entitlement, the downfalls of technology, etc. Although delivered in an easy, quick read, it still really gets you thinking. It's clever, thrilling, and a bit eerie. I don't read a lot of thrillers but if I can find more like this one, then I'm in! 


** I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. **



Friday, March 9, 2018

Review: Turquoise Mountain by Diane J. Reed

He’s a fierce protector of his land & sacred heritage—and only a strong woman can capture his wild heart…
Dillon Iron Feather is dangerous and he knows it. Hardened by his championship fighting career, he returns to his remote Colorado ranch to heal, only to discover that city girl Tessa Grove is determined to stake her claim to the old mine she inherited on a corner of his land. Stubborn to the bone, Tessa soon digs up precious gems from deep within the earth to use in her custom-made jewelry business. But those stones turn out to be sacred, and sparks fly as they begin to guide her to the secret chambers of Dillon’s heart…

My Review: 

I instantly felt transported while reading Turquoise Mountain. This book has so much atmosphere and this wonderful mystical aspect that I have come to love and expect from Reed's writing. She's always able to make every page feel like magic. It just really felt like something special from the very beginning and had me completely captivated. I loved the feisty heroine and when she meets Dillion for the first time it was hysterical and such fun. I've always enjoyed a story where the characters did not get along upon first meeting, yet later fall in love. What can I say? I don't like things to be too easy. It definitely wasn't too easy for Tessa and Dillion as they face many obstacles together as they get to know each other and fall in love. They have this slow burn sizzling chemistry that's super hot! There's definitely more to it than that though. I really liked that the story was just as much about the culture and suspense as it was the romance. It's certainly a unique story and unlike anything else that I have read. I have had the pleasure of reading some of Reed's other books and was pleasantly surprised with some of the small details that connected with another series of books. Don't worry if you haven't read the other books you won't be in the dark, but it definitely added to the interest level for me. I absolutely loved Turquoise Mountain and I cannot wait to read the next book and find out more about these fascinating brothers. Highly recommended!!!

** I received this book from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.**     


Friday, February 23, 2018

Noelle by Greg Kincaid




Noelle is a cute heartwarming story that definitely pulls at the heartstrings. Although this is the third book in the series I believe it works well as a standalone. I have not read the previous books and did not feel confused or as if I was missing anything from the story. I love Christmas stories and especially ones that include animals. There are many characters involved in the story including some four legged ones, but most of their stories tie-in together. Although I was a bit sad that we never got to see the characters from the beginning of the story again, especially the little girl that let Elle go. Elle or Noelle was definitely my favorite character. She has such a fun personality. I thought it was precious how Todd would not give up on training her and knew that she would somehow be the perfect dog for someone. I loved the overall themes of love, family, and faith throughout the book. There were a lot of touching moments, some sad, and some that made me smile and laugh out loud. Overall a pretty enjoyable read for me. I would like to read more from this author.

" I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. "

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Say you'll remember me by Katie McGarry ( excerpt, review, and giveaway ) Blog tour





From critically acclaimed author Katie McGarry, comes SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME—a story of two people from different worlds pushing themselves, and each other, to get what they deserve!
SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME is now available. Grab your copy today!


SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME Synopsis:

"Doesn't matter who did it. Not anymore. I did the time. It's over."

When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.


My Review: 

Say You'll Remember Me is captivating and heartfelt.  It was at turns sweet, beautiful, and uplifting, as well as sad and emotional. I loved how the story still felt like a lovely romance while also dealing with some tougher issues such as self-discovery, injustice, and family problems, that really gave the story depth. Drix and Elle are from completely different backgrounds but it's really wonderful how they find what they need in each other and I knew from the moment that they met that they had amazing chemistry together. The themes of self-discovery for both characters is a nice way of showing that we all have more in common than we think. Although Drix did not commit the crime he was sentenced for, he was not on such a great path before all of this. I loved that the program helped to bring out his good qualities and made him reevaluate his actions. Elle on the other hand is battling between her sense of family loyalty and doing the things that truly make her happy. She's always played the part of the governor's perfect daughter yet somehow has always felt like she was never good enough for her parents no matter how hard she tried. Elle helps Drix to see the good in himself while he helps her to realize that she is enough exactly the way she is. The back and forth between Elle and Drix's points of view was a nice way to get the story from both of their perspectives and really get to know both characters. I really enjoyed Say You'll Remember Me and cannot wait to read more by Katie McGarry. I definitely believe YA contemporary romance fans will love this one as much as I did! 

** I received an advanced digital copy of this book for my honest review. **


Order SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME here!

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EXCERPT:

~Ellison~
The two of us are different. Complete sliding scale different. The only thing we have in common, as far as I can tell, is that he appears about my age and that we are both wearing shoes. My sandals to his scuffed combat boots. His sagging jeans with rips and white T-shirt to my ironed khaki shorts and fitted blue top. My diamond earrings and gold bracelet with a heart charm to his black belt that has metal studs and silver chain that hangs from his belt loop to his wallet. 
By looks, I should have more in common with the loser college boys, but it’s this guy I’m comfortable with. “What’s your name?”
He throws the ball, and he’s right, he sucks at it. While he has unbelievable power, his aim’s completely off. The ball hits the back curtain with a loud thud, then drops to the floor. “Drix.”
“Drix?” I repeat to make sure I heard him correctly. 
“Drix. It’s short for Hendrix. Like Jimi Hendrix.”
“That’s cool.” Because it is.
I wait for him to ask for my name, but he doesn’t. Instead he says, “Are you here alone?”
He throws the second ball, and this time he hits the top of the three bottles, sending that one to the ground. 
“No. My parents are here. I’m supposed to meet them at the convention center. What about you? What happened to the people you were with? Or are you here alone now?”
“Yes, but no.” Drix pulls his arm back, releases the ball, and when the ball hits the bottom bottles, my heart lifts with the idea that he won, but only one of the bottles goes flying. The other stays completely untouched. 
He turns in my direction, but his gaze roams over my shoulder, then flickers to the left. Drix then glances behind him, and when he returns his attention to me he raises his eyebrows. “They appear to be gone.”
That’s awesome news, but I’m still stuck on his answer of “yes but no.” Honestly, I’m stuck on him. He’s a million questions without a single answer, and he makes me incredibly curious. 
“My parents weren’t thrilled about me hanging out alone at the midway, but I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. It’s just Whack-A-Mole, you know?”
“And a ball toss.”
“And a ball toss. None of it should have been complicated.”
“Shouldn’t have been.”
“Elle!” Part of me is relieved to see Andrew craning his neck over the crowd. Another part of me is majorly disappointed. There aren’t many times in my life I’m left alone. Not many times I’m able to explore new places and people without someone hovering and not many opportunities when I would meet someone like Drix. 
“Elle,” Andrew calls again. I wave at him, hoping it will buy me a few seconds, and he waves back in a way that tells me he needs me to walk in his direction. That works well for me. 
“Is that a friend of yours?” Drix asks.
“Yes, but no.” I borrow his answer because it’s apropos. Andrew’s a few years older. More friend of our family than a personal friend of mine, and I don’t like the idea of explaining that my parents think I need a babysitter.
Drix’s mouth twitches at my words, and my lips also edge upwards. “I just made you smile a third time. Is this a Guinness Book of World Records thing?”
“I liked your answer.”
“I’m just creative like that.”



Order SAY YOU'LL REMEMBER ME, register and you will receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER, a novella that features your favorite Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road characters!  
From the Pushing the Limits series, Noah, Beth, Isaiah, West and Logan are all grown up. Catch up with your favorite characters as one of them finally says, I do.
Pigpen, Eli and Addison from the Thunder Road series: Three separate personalities who still needed to find love...and still had someone important to meet.
This is a limited time offer! So hurry! Registration ends on February 3, 2018! You must register your order to receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.


Katie McGarry’s SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME – Tour Schedule:

January 22nd
January 23rd
January 24th
January 25th
January 26th
January 27th
January 28th
January 29th
January 30th
January 31st
February 1st
February 2nd
February 3rd





About Katie McGarry: Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.  

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Review: If I Live ( If I Run #3 ) by Terri Blackstock




If I Live is an exhilarating pageturner and an amazing ending to a great series. I've thoroughly enjoyed each of the books but I have to say that this one is my favorite. It may be because everything is finally coming to a head and we get to see if Casey is going to be pinned with all of these horrible things that she didn't do. Also her and Dylan's romance has become quite clear and I really love that at least something wonderful has come from all of these ugly events that have transpired. I think the way that Casey has become a believer is very realistic and I am glad that she was able to find some peace through her newfound faith in the midst of all the drama. The story was written really well and had me glued to the pages from the very beginning. Of all of the books I've read I think this may rank as my favorite suspense. It has great momentum and I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good clean suspense story. I would definitely recommend starting with book one though!

** I received an advanced digital copy from NetGalley for an honest review. **