Genre: Contemporary

What Is Family, Really? Read This Beautiful Story To Find Out

Posted October 16, 2017 by Nick in 4.5 stars, ARC, review / 13 Comments
What Is Family, Really? Read This Beautiful Story To Find Out

Quite frankly, I’m of the opinion that Robin Benway can do no wrong. Far From The Tree just went ahead and proved me right in that regards. It’s a poignant and powerful tale of love and family that struck deep with me, and is one of my favorite reads of the year. This is a book of three teens who are each at different points in their lives, but who are linked to each other through their birth mother. Far From The Tree is told in the compelling voices of Grace, Maya and Joaquin, who have grown up in very different homes. Grace has just given birth and has given her baby, who she lovingly names Peach, up for adoption. Though she knows that Peach is growing up in a good home, she’s still struggling with regaining normalcy in her life. Her grief and guilt are palpable throughout the book. My heart would ache with her. Robin Benway did such a lovely job with her characters. She made me feel […]

Underwhelming & Soooooo Annoying: A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Posted October 12, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 5 Comments
Underwhelming & Soooooo Annoying: A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Holy crap, this book was so annoying! If you haven’t noticed by now, I am so out of the loop when it comes to what books are currently out/coming out. I pretty much read what Nick tells me she thinks I will like, a romance book by an author I love or an audiobook that I think sounds interesting. This book fell into the last category. It showed up in my audiobook monthly email and I was like ‘hmmm, this one sounds like it could be pretty good’ *hits download.* Sadly, in this case I was wrong. I found myself in a constant state of annoyance. Annoyance with the characters. Annoyance with the plot. Annoyance with the way the story was told. And annoyance with myself for not being able to DNF this book because I simply had to find out just what the hell happened between Emma and her sister Henri that would make Henri turn into such a rotten bitch and Emma into a doormat. Spoiler alert, the […]

Fall In Love In 36 Questions – A Love Experiment

Posted October 11, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, ARC, review / 14 Comments
Fall In Love In 36 Questions – A Love Experiment

I heard about this book from Lucy Parker when she retweeted a link to it. I read the summary and was immediately intrigued. As much as I adore romance, there’s no denying that there’s sometimes a lack of creativity in the genre. So, the concept of The Love Experiment was a breath of fresh air. I just loved the idea of two people who would otherwise never connect falling in love through a proven survey experiment, and I thought Ainslie Paton  worked with the concept beautifully. One of the reasons why this book stands out is because of how well-developed the characters are. When authors take their time to build up their characters and flesh them out slowly over the course of the book, it makes any book a 1000 times more enjoyable. I loved what Ainslie Paton did here with our two protagonists, Derelie and Jack. Both could not be different from each other in terms of personalities, but we get to see growth and progression in both their […]

Smart & Brilliant… Yet Pointless: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Posted October 5, 2017 by Nereyda in ARC, Audiobook, review / 9 Comments
Smart & Brilliant… Yet Pointless: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

I have such mixed feelings about this book… I don’t even know where to start. In all honesty, I probably should not have read this book. I hated We Were Liars and I had a feeling that this book would make me feel the same way as that one. But,  I am such a sucker for Rebecca Soler as a narrator that I caved and ended up downloading this book when I saw she was narrating it. Despite the fact that Soler was brilliant in her performance of the book (what else is new?), I was not a fan of this book. The sad thing is that it had so much potential and the writing was great, but it just fell flat for me in more ways than one. The book starts with Jules in a luxury resort in Mexico, she’s living the life and soon we find out that it may not be her life she’s actually living. She’s  a con artist and uses other identities to live her […]

Romance, Wine & A+ Female Friendships: Legs by Kelly Siskind

Posted October 4, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, ARC, Blog Tour, review / 16 Comments
Romance, Wine & A+ Female Friendships: Legs by Kelly Siskind

I knew I loved Kelly Siskind’s writing and books, but I didn’t realize just how much until I had the opportunity to read Legs. This is the sort of romance that I love to devour. It’s got so many great elements that make it pure fun to read from start to finish. I mean I was already a fan of Kelly’s, but after this, I’m pretty much a super fan! 🙂 Rachel, the heroine, is a blast! I loved being inside of her head. She’s going through a bit of a tough time not knowing exactly what she wants to do with her life – she waffled between multiple career paths, not quite happy with any of her options. I connected with that aspect of her personality as I too went through something similar a couple of years back. She’s very genuine as a person, and witty and simply just personable. So, it’s easy to root for Rachel and her happiness. Jimmy is the perfect companion for someone like Rachel. […]

Irritating But Redeeming: Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen

Posted September 28, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 12 Comments
Irritating But Redeeming: Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen

I do believe that I downloaded this audiobook by mistake. I was sending Nick a list of the audiobooks I had to listen to so she could pick one for me to listen to next and this one was on the list. Neither of us had heard of it so once I looked it up and read the summary, I knew I must have downloaded this one on accident. Since it wasn’t that long and the summary did sound interesting, I went ahead and kept it on my list. I did struggle with this one a bit in the beginning because Wren was so damn irritating. Also, the narrator’s… raspy/skeaky voice, especially in the beginning was kind of annoying. But I kept with it, and I’m glad I did because seeing Wren grow up was so damn satisfying and totally redeemed the book for me. Wren has been on a downward spiral for the last few years. It was hard for me to figure out at first why the hell […]

A Story of Love, Passion & Hope: Completely by Ruthie Knox

Posted September 27, 2017 by Nick in 4.5 stars, ARC, review / 10 Comments
A Story of Love, Passion & Hope: Completely by Ruthie Knox

If you’ve read my review for Truly and Madly, then you already know how deep my love for this author’s writing runs. Ruthie Knox writes stories about love, family and finding yourself, that may not be unique themes, but they will touch every fiber of your being. Completely was no different. Yet again, Ruthie Knox has expertly crafted a story full of love, passion and hope, one that will speak to many romance readers. Rosemary Chamberlain is the heroine of Completely. We know her as Winston, hero of Madly‘s, ex-wife. I initially wasn’t sure how to feel about her because from the snippets we got of her in the previous book, we know that she left her relationship with her daughter fractured and ran off on an adventure. But Ruthie Knox does a beautiful job here at building up Rosemary’s character with layers and layers of complexity. She makes you understand her thought process and her motivations. All her life, Rosemary has felt like she was in the background, and […]

I Don’t Know What I Just Read But I Really Liked It: A Semi-Definitive of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

Posted September 26, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 15 Comments
I Don’t Know What I Just Read But I Really Liked It: A Semi-Definitive of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

I think I can honestly say that this is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read! I’m not even sure what category this would really fall into, it’s definitely contemporary, it has great friendships, a crazy family, a sweet sibling bond, a super adorable slow build romance, it deals with mental illness (which was done really well) but it also has some quirkiness, some mythology (maybe?), and a bit of silliness all the while hitting you with some hardcore feels here and there. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and it was such a refreshing story, nothing like what I was expecting! Esther and her twin brother Eugene have grown up on stories of when their grandfather met Death. Since then, it seems her family is cursed. Cursed with their one great fear that will eventually lead to their death. Esther’s mother is obsessed with bad signs that pretty much make her useless. She refuses to pick up her daughter from work because she saw […]

I Was In A Bubble of Happiness: The Corner of Forever and Always by Lia Riley

Posted September 25, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, ARC, review / 19 Comments
I Was In A Bubble of Happiness: The Corner of Forever and Always by Lia Riley

Lia Riley’s small-town romances are so heart-warming. I loved loved loved the glimpse we got of Tuesday and Beau in the previous book, and waiting for The Corner of Forever and Always was torture, even though it was only a few months wait! I started this book one evening with a giant smile on my face, and excitement buzzing in my veins, and I finished the book with those same feelings, only heightened. I truly think this is one of Lia Riley’s most memorable book to date, and it’s safe to say, it’s all because of the characters. Heroines like Tuesday can be very frustrating for readers. She is flighty, a little bit all over the place, and happy-go-lucky ALL THE TIME. But the author writes her here with so much personality here, that it’s easy to fall for her character and root for her happiness. Tuesday is all sunshine and rainbows, and she brings a lightness to the story that kept me in the clouds at all times. I […]

A Gorgeous & Memorable Book Every Teen Should Read: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Posted September 18, 2017 by Nick in 5 stars, ARC, review / 23 Comments
A Gorgeous & Memorable Book Every Teen Should Read: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Trigger warnings: Poignant and heart-breaking, Akemi Dawn Bowman’s winning debut novel tells the story of a half-Japanese half-white teen girl struggling with her identity, anxiety, art and family. It’s a story that shines from every page and stands out among other YA contemporaries. The book world is in for some spectacular books if Starfish is just a glimpse at Akemi Dawn Bowman’s elegant writing. Social anxiety-ridden Kiko has one dream – to attend the prestigious art institute, Prism, to pursue her dream career. Bonus, it will also help her escape her narcissistic mother, whose only impact has been to embed a deep lack of self-confidence in her daughter. Starfish is the emotional journey she goes on as she experiences rejection from her dream school, and decides to get out of her toxic home life with the aid of a friend. It’s a journey that is necessary for her growth, and one that helps her understand her self-value. Kiko is a protagonist who will speak to many teen girls, especially mixed-raced […]

When An American & An Aussie Fall In Love: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Posted September 13, 2017 by Nick in 3.5 stars, Author Interview, review / 15 Comments
When An American & An Aussie Fall In Love: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Sarina Bowen has quickly become a favorite author for me. Though I have never read anything by Sarah Mayberry, I have heard really great things about her writing and romances. So I was keen to pick up Temporary, even more so when I learned that we would be getting a hot Aussie as the lead. Temporary turned out to be a fun read for me, and despite the book feeling just a little long at times, I found myself enjoying the book and the characters. Though I was most eager to meet Callan, the hero, it was Grace who completely stole the show here. She is a great heroine, selfless, hardworking and fiercely determined. Life constantly handed her lemons, but even so, she rose up from every obstacle stronger and more tenacious than before. Taking care of her sister is not an easy task, but she does everything possible to make life easier for Olivia. I love how much love Grace has for Olivia and Olivia is her priority all […]

An Emotional Whirlwind: Play On by Samantha Young

Posted September 7, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, ARC, Blog Tour, review / 29 Comments
An Emotional Whirlwind: Play On by Samantha Young

Anytime Samantha Young announces a new book, I’m ready to pounce on it. With Play On the author takes readers back to Scotland with another intense and passionate romance that sizzles the pages, but it’s also a story that’s got a lot more depth than that. First things first, I really think that the blurb for Play On gives too much away. I know it’s a romance novel, so the endings tend to be predictable, but the events described in the summary do not take place for a while, so I’d recommend not focusing too much on it. Play On is really more than a romance. It’s the tale of the strength and resilience of a young woman who is on a journey to find herself. The book begins with Nora O’Brien, right out of high school, working minimum wage, and taking care of her disabled father along with her mother. Nora dreams of something bigger, but her circumstances force her to remain in Indiana. That is, until Jim. Sweet, […]

When An Unnecessary Twist Nearly Ruins A Good Book: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Posted September 6, 2017 by Nick & Nereyda in ARC, Audiobook, review / 19 Comments
When An Unnecessary Twist Nearly Ruins A Good Book: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Nereyda: I had no intention of reading this book. I haven’t been too impressed with contemporary YA as of late, this author’s last book was a little bit of a letdown (considering all the rave reviews) and this audiobook was narrated by one of my least favorite male narrators. All signs pointed to a no for me… but my brain sometimes (aka almost always) forgets things like this and before I remembered about all the reasons why I didn’t want to read this book, I had already downloaded the audiobook. I don’t like to not review audiobooks I receive for review (unfortunately I don’t have the same mentality when it comes to eARC’s…sigh) so I figured I would give it a try. When I say Nick talking about how much it surprised her in a weekly recap, I moved it up my list. Surprise, surprise, I actually ended up liking this quite a bit… up until the point that I didn’t… but it still wasn’t enough to make me dislike […]

Oh, My Heart! : Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Posted September 4, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, ARC, review / 31 Comments
Oh, My Heart! : Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren are a wildly popular duo in the romance community, and with Autoboyography, no doubt the YA community will also go wild for this talented pair. Autoboyography is a lovely, heart-felt book about sexual identity, religion, love and family that teens and adults alike will fall in love with. Tanner and Sebastian could not be more different from each other, but somehow the two meet, and fall in love with each other. The book is predominantly told through the voice of Tanner, a proud bisexual boy who is only out to his family in his new Utah town. He is a total sweetheart, who captured my heart with his easy-going personality and kind soul. He is outgoing, smart, level-headed, and loves like nobody’s business. Sebastian on the other hand is more quiet, and very devoted to his Mormon religion. Tanner and Sebastian meet in Tanner’s seminar class where Sebastian is the teaching assistant. Somehow the book that they have to write in the class turns out to be an […]

When A Favorite Author Disappoints: The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby

Posted August 18, 2017 by Nick in 2 stars, ARC, review / 13 Comments
When A Favorite Author Disappoints: The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby

I have loved every book by Jessi Kirby, and any time I hear about a book from her, I pounce on it. The Secret History of Us sounded very different from her typical book, but I had faith that she’d write yet another compelling, character-driven book. I’m so sad to even write this, but this book was a huge disappointment. I’ve decided to do this review in bullet form because it’s much easier for me to express my thoughts about this book this way. What I Liked The writing was lovely. As always, Kirby’s writing is stunning. I knew very early on this book wasn’t working for me, but I also was not able to put it down because of the writing. Olivia’s reaction to her amnesia was realistic. I thought the author handled that part brilliantly. When Olivia’s emotions surfaced, especially, I found the book to be very engaging. She’s obviously struggling with her memory loss and trying to figure out what happened to her over the years, and […]

Why Aussie Authors Are The Best: No Limits by Ellie Marney

Posted August 14, 2017 by Nick in ARC, review / 25 Comments
Why Aussie Authors Are The Best: No Limits by Ellie Marney

I only have one rule when it comes to Ellie Marney’s books: I read them all. We met Harris, the hero of No Limits, in the last book of the Every series, a Sherlock Holmes retelling, and while I was initially quite wary of his character, I grew to appreciate the important role he played in the series, particularly in Rachel’s life. I was very eager when Ellie Marney announced she would be releasing a standalone novel all about Harris. And folks, she’s done it again! She’s crafted a book that’s intricate, entertaining and just gorgeous in every way, and I’m in awe of her incredible talent with words. First things first, if you’re coming into No Limits expecting it to be like the Every series, then change your expectations ASAP. This book was much darker, more mature and more complex, in my opinion. Of course, it still had all those elements that make Ellie’s books Ellie’s such as the character development, as well as a vivid setting, this time of […]

The Book That Did Not Stop Surprising The Two of Us: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Posted August 10, 2017 by Nick & Nereyda in 4 stars, ARC, Audiobook, review / 16 Comments
The Book That Did Not Stop Surprising The Two of Us: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Nereyda: I had honestly never even heard of this book (to be fair, I’m so out of the loop when it comes to books) until it came up on my emails for audiobooks. I had heard good things about her last thriller even though I never got around to reading it, but there was something about this book that intrigued me. I don’t usually bother with YA thrillers because most of the time they are way too predictable, but Little Monsters managed to escape the predictability with an unexpected POV and some added twists along the way. Nick: I was curious about Little Monsters but didn’t pick it up until Nereyda mentioned that she liked it. I read it over the weekend and thought it was one of the more brilliant YA mystery I have read. What I liked the best about this book was how it kept making me second-guess my theories at basically every turn. Nereyda: When Kacey’s friend Bailey goes missing, the whole town is shocked and […]

I Was In Food And Romance Heaven: North To You by Tif Marcelo

Posted August 3, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 35 Comments
I Was In Food And Romance Heaven: North To You by Tif Marcelo

Well, this book was charming, and sweet and so very endearing! I owe Ari big time for introducing me to North To You, a foodie romance debut that swept me off my feet. It’s not always that I encounter a debut novel that immediately makes me fall in love with the author’s writing, and turn me into a life-long fan, but Tif Marcelo’s North To You did exactly that for me. This is a book that has a lot of heart to it, and it’s all thanks to the lovable characters. These are characters that are built up so solidly throughout the book that you grow to know every aspect of their personalities intimately. And what great personalities they had! I immediately clicked with the heroine, Camille, a passionate food truck owner,  because of how resilient she was. She has had many obstacles thrown her way, but she continued to rise up from every difficult situation she has faced. Camille was hardworking, and very devoted to her sister’s success and […]