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review 2017-09-20 18:18
A Short History of the Girl Next Door/Jared Reck
A Short History of the Girl Next Door - ... A Short History of the Girl Next Door - Jared Reck

This book is worth reading, so go read it, but stop reading reviews because they'll probably spoil something. Don't read the description; it'll spoil something. (Those author comparisons… come on, whoever did jacket copy!) If you like YA, go read it.

 

Okay, that being said, now I will talk about this book in ambiguous terms that jump around the major event that happens a third of the way or so through. No apologies if you're intelligent enough to guess what happens. Here's the blurb:

 

Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this unrequited love story will appeal to fans of Jennifer Niven, John Green, and Jesse Andrews. 
Seriously, how can you see a person nearly every day of your life and never think a thing of it, then all of a sudden, one day, it’s different? You see that goofy grin a thousand times and just laugh. But goofy grin #1,001 nearly stops your heart? 
Right. That sounds like a bad movie already.
Matt Wainwright is constantly sabotaged by the overdramatic movie director in his head. He can’t tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her, he implodes on the JV basketball team, and the only place he feels normal is in Mr. Ellis’s English class, discussing the greatest fart scenes in literature and writing poems about pissed-off candy-cane lumberjacks.
If this were a movie, everything would work out perfectly. Tabby would discover that Matt’s madly in love with her, be overcome with emotion, and would fall into his arms. Maybe in the rain.
But that’s not how it works. Matt watches Tabby get swept away by senior basketball star and all-around great guy Liam Branson. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough, but screwing up and losing her as a friend is even worse. 
After a tragic accident, Matt finds himself left on the sidelines, on the verge of spiraling out of control and losing everything that matters to him. From debut author Jared Reck comes a fiercely funny and heart-wrenching novel about love, longing, and what happens when life as you know it changes in an instant.

 

So this ends up being a premise I've totally thought about in a different fashion--the idea of who is important to you, but how many other people even know that you're important to them? Who has the right to grieve? Who has the agency to speak after certain events? (I told you there'd be spoilers. There's no way to do this.)

 

Matt is lovely and so very real and such a great boy character! Am I the only one who feels like boy characters are often one-dimensional in YA lit? I loved the way he interacted with all of his friends and especially with Tabby, and I loved the way that he dealt with the circumstances and lashed out and was vulnerable and real.

 

While a lot more YA deals with this than proportionally is realistic, I felt like I could see this community reacting and I could see the events playing out. From Matt's parents and family to the way he plays basketball and looks up to his teammates, I felt like Reck had really delved into the personality of every character.

 

This is so much better than All the Bright Places, and I highly recommend it for those who love tragic YA romances.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-20 16:16
Gabi, A Girl In Pieces
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces - Isabel Quintero Flores

I have very mixed feelings about this. I enjoyed the character. I liked the diversity. Gabi, being a fat Mexican girl was refreshing. 

 

This deals with a lot of difficult topics in life, teenage pregnancy, rape, overdoses, sex, etc. Many teens will probably relate to them,. 

 

I dunno, I just felt like it was almost too preachy for me to enjoy? I get it, these topics need to be talked about. But that's what it felt like this book was doing. Just preaching tough choices and tough teen issues. I wanted more. 

 

I enjoyed the poetry throughout the book. Its not terrible, just not a favorite of mine. I'd probably recommend it if you love YA contemporary. Chances are you will enjoy this one. 

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review 2017-09-20 15:02
Great Story and Characters
Misadventures of a City Girl (Misadventures Book 1) - Chelle Bliss,Meredith Wild

Madison felt she was the complete picture of a miserable divorcee. Madison thought when all the paperwork had been finalized something would change….. She herself would change . Madison was no longer the wife of the rising star. The failure of her marriage had been a devastating blow to Madison can't let her famous  and infamously unfaithful husband Jeremy  ruin her future. Although sometimes it feels to Madison like Jeremy was everywhere. Clients, gigs, and friends were still in their circle and Madison felt like she needed to get away from L A. Madison had stood by faithfully as Jeremy rose to fame. Jeremy and madison had met as naive fumbling teenagers they have been together every since. Madison had been stupid in love with Jeremy then. Madison started to look for a spa retreat as she needed a real break, something restorative. Something that could heal all the tears in her heart.  Madison needed some quiet time, maybe a few massages, and some fresh mountain air. Then she sees Avalon Springs - home cooked meals, yoga classes, a few outdoor excursions and big blocks of time  to help people recenter themselves. The owners look like hippies and the place doesn’t look like a convoluted trap for the prima donnas Madison is hoping to take a break from. So Madison booked a four week stay. Once there at Avalon Springs  a young girl tells Madison orientation is in an hour but it was more like a meet and greet. Madison would introduce herself to the other residents, do some breathing exercises and stretching and Vic and Lori will talk a little more about the springs. But Madison didn’t want to go to orientation. And she already felt she may have made an utter mistake coming to Avalon Springs. The landscape was different from anything Madison was used to. She’d been an East Coast  Girl all her life, working on her career and then when Jeremy came out west to work on his career Madison came with him.  Tears burned Madison’s eyes because she is so utterly alone. Madison had been walking for awhile and night is coming on and she doesn’t know where she is or where she is going but then she hears water and shortly after finds she finds a clearing  a well of steamy water at the center. The temperature of the water was perfect. Madison figures this is the springs and she is free to go in. So Madison strips and gets in the water. Nothing ever felt so good. Then Madison feels the need  of a man and one who won’t break her all over again. Madison tries to get herself off but just get herself there but then she can see a man through the trees and screams. Luke was not sure why he had stopped  to watch her. Another city girl from the retreat. Luke moves closer as Madison goes back in the water to hide her nakedness. Then Luke asked Madison if she knew her way back and offered to take her back to the retreat Luke told Madison she was at least a mile from the retreat Luke hadn’t been with a woman in a long time and he despises everything this one probably stands for. Luke is hot for the woman but  a week in the mountains is a fashion statement for most of the people who come to the resort. Luke had came to the mountain for solitude and peace, and a simple life. After her swim Madison had no makeup on and Luke felt she was perfectly gorgeous with no effort.Restful sleep had eluded Madison since the news of Jeremy’s infidelity was in every gossip magazine and newspaper in town. The phone calls and texts had kept her awake and unable to move on. The man in the woods had looked at Madison with pure lust the was Jeremy used to before he strayed. Luke’s grandfather had left him this land over fifty acres of mountaintop. Luke hadn’t planned on living there. But after his last tour of duty and release from the service Luke thought about going to his  old life and being part of civilian society sent Luke into a tailspin. Luke had put his own blood,sweat, and tears into his place and made it a home. It was suppose to be Luke’s escape , his haven from the outside world. Luke had thought he would have the American Dream - get married, buy a house, and have kids to fill it. But his time in the military messed that up. Luke thought he had been prepared for whatever he was going to experience while in the service . Before joining the Navy Luke had dreams of a normal life, none of them had involved living in the woods high up a mountain living alone. Luke had seen and done things he didn't want to relive or repeat. Luke didn’t have any issues until his last tour of duty. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to their assignments. The violence seemed endless. By the time Luke was discharged as a decorated Navy Seal Luke couldn’t imagine going back to “ normal life”.  Luke’s  PTSD was so severe that even the sound of a car backfiring could set Luke off. The only cure was self imposed isolation. Luke could function around people when he has to. Violence wasn’t Luke’s style or in his nature. Luke had sworn to serve and protect not attack and scare. One minute the woman was frightened the next touching him.The contact had shocked him,  completely  rocked Luke to his core. Luke grows his own food and raises livestock and cuts wood everyday to have enough wood to heat his cabin through winter and any other cold weather. The woman had worked erh way into Luke’s mind and shows up at Luke’s cabin while Luke was trying to take care of himself as he was so sexually frustrated especially after seeing her naked and doing the same thing. Madison doesn’t turn away from Luke . They enter into an intense sexual relationship.But then feelings start to grow but Luke knows his limitations and can’t leave his mountain. And Madison’s life is in L A.  Luke felt Madison had saved him but Madison he had actually saved her and turned her into the woman she was always meant to be. This was a very sweet, sexy easy enjoyable read and I loved it. I loved how Luke could not look away from Madison when she was at the springs and she didn’t look away from him in his cabin. The chemistry between Madison and Luke jumped right off the page. I loved the plot and the pace. While reading this book I didn't want to put this down, good thing it was a novella but I did want more. I loved how Luke nor Madison could fight their feelings no matter what they did. But I loved them together. I felt this was a realistic story that could happen. I loved seeing the growth between Madison and Luke. I wish I had a Luke in my life but he will just have to be one of my favorite book boyfriends. I couldn’t find anything to complain about and that is always great when reading a book. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this story and I highly recommend.

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review 2017-09-14 11:42
Review: Bad Girl Gone
Bad Girl Gone: A Novel - Temple Mathews

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

Oh dear. This was a hot mess of a book. I really didn’t like it much at all. For the post part it was okay, but then something at the end made me really want to throw something at it.

 

This book tells the story of teenager Eileen “Echo” Stone. Echo has a pretty decent life. She has two loving parents, and her boyfriend of 2 years, Andy, practically worships the ground she walks on. Then one day Echo wakes up in a mysterious location after blacking out, a sort of boarding house/orphanage surrounded by weird and mean kids of various ages and a strict matronly type lady over seeing everything.  

 

Echo is very confused and tries desperately to convince everyone she’s not an orphan. So with the help of the good looking Cole, the only person being nice to her, Echo manages to escape and runs home. Only to discover to her shock and horror – a car passes right through her. She’s dead. And has no memory of how she died or the last few months of her life.

 

The plot of the novel revolves around Echo solving the mystery of her murder and coming to terms with her memories of her life – she’s not the good sweet girl she seems to think she was.  She also has to learn how to be a ghost. The place she’s stranded in is a sort of a half way point, the other kids staying there are all ghosts like her, who have been murdered. They have to find their killers and dole out justice before they can “pass over”. Each ghost has a unique ability. Echo learns this quickly on her first revenge outing with the other ghosts. Echo’s power is (unsurprisingly) the rare and unique ability to take over human’s bodies and learn their memories and secrets. Only one other ghost has been able to do this in the last ten years or so.

 

The plot doesn’t actually sound too bad. The different abilities of the other ghosts and their backstories were mildly interesting. The actual story telling came across to me as kind of bland and rather boring. And I can’t actually say I liked any of the characters. Echo was a brat. She came across as moody and entitled and more often than not I found myself wanting to slap her. Granted, it can’t be easy seeing people you used to know and discovering you’re not as well liked as you thought, and discovering disturbing things about yourself you had forgotten. But I really just had no sympathy for this girl.

 

The boyfriend was madly in love with her and is understandably heartbroken. Echo is watching him go through this, she can’t communicate with him. And his parents and everyone else are already telling him she wasn’t so great – get over it. Hard to do when you’ve been crazy in love for some time. And of course the really popular mean girl who snubbed Echo has her sites on him and Echo is jealous. Again, understandable. But after two or three interactions, she finds herself enamoured with Cole.

 

At the same time she’s feeling very guilty about it. You can sort of see why she might feel conflicted. She’s had the same boyfriend for years, he’s still alive and grieving, but she’s sharing smoochies and new experiences as a ghost with a hot new guy. It’s a fairly interesting predicament, love triangle with a paranormal twist. Problem for this reader is I just hated the characters and as I said earlier due to my severe dislike of Echo I had little to no sympathy for her.

 

The actual plot itself as Echo uncovers what happens to her, is quite intriguing and to be fair, quite surprising and disturbing when the truth about what happened is revealed. I didn’t actually guess or see it coming. The investigation is really what kept my interest as Echo and Cole with the help of the other ghost kids dig into Echo’s past and look at the suspects.

 

This is a bit of a big spoiler for the end of the book but it really pissed me off and I want to rant about it.

 

After solving the murder, Echo still hasn’t moved on. She’s decided she needs to say goodbye to the people who loved her. Mom and dad and boyfriend Andy. Okay. Makes sense. However, she’s decided the way to help Andy move on without her is find him a new girlfriend. Not to say her goodbyes, leave him alone and let him grieve, hopefully in his own time he’ll accept things, deal and move on. It’s only high school, he has his whole life ahead of him. No, Echo decides that he needs a girl to help him. He’s been flirting tentatively with Dani, the mean popular girl. So Echo decides she’s going to “help” them get together with her ghost powers.

(spoiler show)

 

Dani and Andy have a date. Dani has a more out-going style of dress and makeup tastes than Echo. So Echo spies on Dani as she’s getting ready. Dani’s really excited – but Echo knows Andy likes her to dress a certain way, do her make up a certain why. This really really pisses me off to no end. Why should any girl have to change their appearance to suit what their boyfriend likes if they like things done a bit differently? If he doesn’t like the way she dresses or how she does her make up, then it’s his fucking problem and he can deal with it or find someone else.

(spoiler show)

 

 

 So Echo hides the clothes and makeup she knows Andy won’t like. And Dani doesn’t seem to freak out or anything. She goes on the date in the clothes and the subtle make up Echo left for her. And it’s a success. So successful that Echo with her ability of possessing people has finally hit on the idea of possessing Dani so she can be with Andy again.  Why this didn’t idea didn’t circulate before in Echo’s mind is a bit beyond me. Especially since she’s been possessing people throughout the story to learn their secrets. Which would have made for a more interesting plot, with the moral implications of this decision. Which she deals with fairly rapidly.

(spoiler show)

 

 

This particular part made me really hate the book, which I already didn’t like much. It was definitely an interesting idea, the story and characters just didn’t work for me at all. It’s concluded but left with a possibility that it could be a series. I certainly wouldn’t read any more of this.

 

Not for me at all.

 

Thank you Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for approving my request to view the title.

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text 2017-09-13 19:14
BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Misadventures of a City Girl by Chelle Bliss & Meredith Wild
Misadventures of a City Girl (Misadventures Book 1) - Chelle Bliss,Meredith Wild

Fresh off a divorce from a Hollywood hotshot, Madison Atwood needs an escape. With the paparazzi fresh on her heels and her love life splashed on every tabloid, she runs away to a swanky retreat in Northern California. Avalon Springs is the mountainside haven she needs to find herself again.

Luke Dawson lives off the grid, preferring solitude to society. When he finds a beautiful woman soaking in the hot springs on his property, he can’t stop himself from watching her. She captures his attention, but she’s just a city girl—a beautiful distraction disturbing the peace he’s settled here to find.

When Madison discovers Luke’s secluded cabin, he can’t turn her away again. They make no promises. Madison needs to feel wanted again, and Luke misses the touch of a woman. But when mother nature has other plans, they’re forced to spend more than a night of passion together. Can Luke say goodbye to the only woman who’s made him feel anything in years, and can Madison leave behind the man who brought her back to life?

 

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Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2017/09/blog-tour-review-giveaway-misadventures.html
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