Sunday, June 30, 2013

Uncharted: An On the Island Novella by Tracey Garvis Graves

Uncharted: An "On the Island" Novella Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Publication: July 2, 2013
By: Penguin
4 STARS!

Tracey Garvis Graves - and Anna and T.J. - return in this companion novella to the New York Times bestseller On the Island

When twenty-three-year-old dot-com millionaire Owen Sparks walked away from his charmed life, he had one goal in mind: get as far away as possible from the people who resented his success, or had their hand out for a piece of it. A remote uncharted island halfway around the world seemed like a perfectly logical place to get away from it all.

Calia Reed wasn't part of Owen's plans. The beautiful British girl - on holiday in the Maldives with her brother, James - made Owen wonder if getting away from it all might be a lot more enjoyable with a carefree girl who didn't know anything about the life he left behind.

But Owen had no idea how much his carefully detailed plans would go awry. Nor did he realize that a decision he made would have such a catastrophic effect on two passengers who boarded a plane in Chicago.

And when Owen shows up at Anna and T.J.'s door with an incredible story to tell, everyone involved will learn just how much their lives are intertwined.

Uncharted includes an early look at Covet, coming September 2013.





Thank you Penguin for this eARC.  

Here are a few things I discovered while venturing back to the Island:

1) I am a sucker for back story, epilogues, and sneak peaks and Uncharted was like my birthday and Christmas all wrapped into one!

2) Owen and Calia's story, which is just as heart-achingly beautiful as Anna and T.J.'s, is expertly woven together making this novella the perfect addition to On The Island! There is also a sneak peak of Covet which I read and thoroughly enjoyed.

3) Tracey Garvis Graves likes to write stories that punch me in the feels and I look forward to what she throws at me next. :D





 
So Long Google Reader!

As of tomorrow, July 1, 2013, you will no longer be able to follow this blog because Google Reader will magically disappear. (Kind of how this year has done. Last time I checked it was February, so yeah.) 

Anywhoo, here are a few things you need to know:

1) If you follow this blog, YOU are my favorite people! 

2) You can click the Bloglovin' button and follow me there.

3) You are awesome. Don't let anyone tell you different. 


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Blurred (Kissed by Death #2) by Tara A. Fuller

Blurred (Kissed by Death, #2)
Author: Tara A. Fuller
Publication: July 2, 2013
By: Entangled Teen
3.75 Stars!

Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.

Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.

The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?





What I Liked: The cover hits the nail on the head, love it! This is a story about love, loss, redemption and new life. It has a dual POV, detailed world-building, engaging dialogue and swoonworthy kissing, because you know I am a fan of the kissing! 
  
Both Cash and Anaya are strong characters fighting a battle of good versus evil, something that doesn't come easy for Cash and often times involves himself as his own worst enemy. But I really enjoyed Cash because he's a guys guy without being a jerk. He's been through the ringer yet he still chooses to put others first regardless of what it will cost him. The twist was a pleasant surprise, romantic too.

What Left Me Wanting More: Even knowing how this story ends, I would be perfectly happy reading an entire story (or novella) about Anaya and Tarik. ;)

Final Verdict: Great addition to the series!

Review also posted at YABC.




 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Publication: September 10, 2013
By: St. Martin's Press
4 Stars!

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for this e-ARC.
 
What I Liked: Heartwarming, engaging and humorous look at one girl's journey to find out who she is when she steps away from her computer and into real life.  Fangirl has a witty MC and colorful cast of supporting characters, several of whom aren't even real. ;)

Cath is a bit neurotic and faces all kind of challenges like, meeting new people, figuring out where the dining hall is and how to live apart from her sister for the first time, ever.  But she also learns how to better her craft, develops her own friends (apart from Wren), falls in love and discovers a strength she didn't even know she had. 

I LOVED the humor and I appreciated the sweet fragility of the romance.  And can I just say that the kissing scenes in this book are some of the BEST I have ever read? Because they totally are! *fans face*   
 
What Left Me Wanting More: I wanted to meet Levi's Mom. 

Final Verdict: The kissing scenes alone make this book worth the read!

Favorite Quote(s): "I'm the cool one," she told herself. "Somebody give me some tequila because I'll totally drink it. And there's no way you're going to find me later having a panic attack in your parents' bathroom. Who want to French-kiss?" 

"Head, heart, hands, health. They don't have 4-H in South Omaha?" 
"They do, but it stands for hard, hip-hop, and Homey-don't-play-that." 

"Stop," Reagan groaned, "don't make me look at you. It's like THE SHINING in here."


Review also posted at YABC.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Glitch #3 by Heather Anastasiu


 


Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes, this is my stop on the Shutdown Blog Tour!


About the Book
Shutdown (Glitch, #3)Glitch #3
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Publication: July 3, 2013
By: St. Martin's Press
YA/Sci-Fi
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The battle is all but over, and hope seems to be lost. Zoe and her fellow Resistance fighters are on the run, having lost their home, their protection, and their leader. They are outnumbered and outmatched by the powerful corporation that controls the world, and the cruel Chancellor is inches away from completing a scheme that would kill most of humanity. Zoe's only remaining option is to chase the impossible dream of upending the Link system, freeing the world from the hardware that controls their thoughts and emotions, and hope it will trigger a revolution.

The plot requires a nearly impossible mission to infiltrate the dangerous Community, and it is a task that Zoe must unfortunately complete alone. With challenges and surprises at every turn, nothing goes according to plan. Adrien's visions of the future now show two possible outcomes: one in which they succeed, and one in which humanity falls. It all lies in Zoe's hands.

Full of romance, high-adrenaline action and shocking twists, Shutdown is a heart-pounding conclusion to an exciting sci-fi adventure trilogy for young adults.

The thrilling conclusion to an action-packed sci-fi trilogy.




  
My Thoughts

What I Liked: Out of all three books in this trilogy, I enjoyed SHUTDOWN best! One of the things I LOVE about Zoe is perseverance. Despite everything she's been through and all she feels guilty for, Zoe never gives up - not on her friends, not on the boy she loves, and to a certain extent, the one she thinks she hates.  In addition to wanting to save as many people as possible, Zoe is also seeking forgiveness and redemption for all she feels she is responsible for and she'll have her chance, but it will come at a cost and may require more than she is willing to give up. 

What Left Me Wanting More: Adrien is the character who resonated with me the most, and watching him struggle was difficult. *sniffs*

Final Verdict: A gripping and satisfying end to this trilogy!

Favorite Quote: "I love you [spoiler].  Every incarnation of me will love you, even when this body is just bones and dust."

About the Author 
http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1305601129p5/4662744.jpg
Heather Anastasiu grew up in Texas and recently moved to Minneapolis with her family. When she's not busy getting lost exploring the new city, she spends most days writing at a café or daydreaming about getting a new tattoo.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads









SO FAR 
Glitch (Glitch, #1) Override (Glitch, #2)



GIVEAWAY

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young

Just Like FateAuthor(s): Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young
Publication: August 27, 2013
By: Simon Pulse
5 STARS!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...




My intial reaction to this book...


How I feel about Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young...


Batman's thoughts on the ending...
  

I picked this gem up at BEA and was really excited to read, not only because it's written by two fantastic authors who I had the privilege to spend a little time with, but it was touted as a "Sliding Doors" for teens. (Sliding Doors was a super cool movie from the late 90's starring Gwenyth Paltrow.) 

What I Loved: This is one of those stories that sucked me in, pulled at my heart-strings and punched me in the feels, and I loved every minute of it! (Okay, so there were a few stressful moments and some that made me cry, but still.) I was intrigued by the concept of two different fates because how many times do we go through life second guessing our decisions or asking, "What if?"

Life for Caroline is anything but awesome. Her Gram's is sick, her familial relationships are strained and she's been crushing on the same tall, dark and broodilicious boy for as long as she can remember. Then her BFF presents her with an opportunity that could change everything, all Caroline has to do is decide whether to stay or go. Seems simple enough, right?  Riiight.

I'll admit it took me a couple pages before I caught on to the "Stay" and "Go" flow of the chapters buts that's because my cupcake doesn't always have the most sprinkles. *shrugs* Once I figured out that the dual fates was much like a dual POV, I was good to go. 

Caroline's journey is filled with laughter, heartache, romance and tall, blond and utterly charming. But she learns a few lessons too, like how it's entirely possible (and normal) be angry with someone yet still love them. There are consequences to every choice and while mistakes are unavoidable, they don't have to define us for the rest of our lives. Caroline also learns that what we think we want may not be what we actually need. (Yes, there is a difference. Trust me on this. I'm old, I know stuff.) 

There were several nail-biting, chest-clutching, full-on freaking out moments where I wasn't sure how this could possibly end well. But it does, with everything tying together beautifully and leaving no unanswered questions.
 
What Left Me Wanting More: Nothing. Unless, of course, Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young would like to write an entire book about a certain Batman - with pictures. ;)

Final Verdict:  An engaging look at the choices we make with equal parts humor and heart. Read it!

Favorite Quote(s): "I forgot the corsage," he says smiling. "But we can still take photos if you like." <-- I think is where I fell in love with him - the first time.

"Ready to be immortalized?" he asks. 
"As long as you aren't planning to bite my neck." 

Review also posted at YABC.


And because I would be remiss if I didn't mention him, THIS is how I felt about Christopher...






 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett


Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes!
This my stop on the Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!


About the Book
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions, #2)
Confessions of an Angry Girl #2
Publication: June 25, 2013
By Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA
5 STARS!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*LOVE THIS COVER* 

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.




My Thoughts
What I Loved: Louise Rozett has done it again!  She truly captures the voice of Rose, giving readers a realistic look into the life of a teenager that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.  

This book deals with depression which isn't always the angsty, weepy, person who refuses to get out of bed, eat or has thoughts of ending their life.  Sometimes, it's the person whose stuck in a kind of "nothingness" that they can't seem to escape. They want to feel, but they just can't. (I have struggled with both.)

This is where we find Rose in CONFESSIONS OF AN ALMOST-GIRLFRIEND, stuck in the nothingness. She is surrounded by people and situations that should garner an emotional reaction, but don't. Yes, there's the occasional outburst of feeling - anger, desire, frustration and confusion, but for the most part, she's just going through the motions of her life. It would have been very easy for Rozett to lead us into the "nothingness" with Rose and leave her there, but she doesn't.  She chooses instead to provide a way out for Rose, a way for her discover who she is, what she wants and most importantly, how to love herself. It's raw, emotional and painful, but it's real. 

As with CONFESSIONS OF AN ANGRY GIRL, there is an engaging cast of supporting characters (everyone needs an Angelo in their lives) and while I did manage to feel more compassion for Regina and her family, I still don't trust her as far as I can throw her.

And then there is the tall, dark and brooding Jamie Forta. Rose wants nothing and everything to do with Jamie all at the same time because he actually does make her feel things. (Me too Rose, me too.) But Jamie remains elusive and just when she thinks she has him figured out, he retreats into the familiarity of his own struggles which broke my heart for both of them. I was torn between wanting to hug all of Jamie's pain away and shaking some sense into him while yelling, "YOU ARE WORTH ALL THE LOVE! JUST LET THEM LOVE YOU JAMIE!"

Did I mention this is what I imagine Jamie looks like? (Which would explain the hugging)...


photo via pinterest.


What Left Me Wanting More: FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS JAMIE FORTA, PLEASE LET THERE BE A THIRD BOOK! PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE! *bribes Harlequin Teen with cupcakes* 

Favorite Quote: "But when Jamie Forta is looking at me, I wish with every bone in my body that I were beautiful."

Final Verdict: Emotional, heartrending sequel that will break your heart in all the right ways. READ IT!

Review also posted at YABC.


Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions #1)
by Louise Rozett
Release Date: 08/28/12
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Paperback/e-book

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make…

1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)

(Sorry. That was rude.)


 

About the Author
Louise Rozett

Louise Rozett is an author, a playwright, and a recovering performer. She made her YA debut with Confessions of an Angry Girl, published by Harlequin Teen. The next book in the series, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, is due out June 2013. She lives with her 120-pound Bernese Mountain dog Lester (named after Lester Freamon from THE WIRE, of course) in one of the world's greatest literary meccas, Brooklyn...and also in sunny Los Angeles. (Being bi-coastal is fun!






GIVEAWAY
One lucky winner will get a signed copy of ANGRY GIRL, a signed copy of ALMOST-GIRLFRIEND, and a $25 iTunes gift card! 
(US only)


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V Mafia Exclusive COVER REVEAL: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

*says with a gravelly voice* 
Yanno, being part of da VMafia does have it's advantages, one of which is being able to show yuse what showed up in my e-mail last evenin', like this here cover for da Boss Lady's new book that's coming out next year. Don't worry, I won't make yuse kiss da ring or nuthin' - I'll leave that to Miss V.

Here it is....


 Author: Victoria Scott
Expected Publication: March 2014
By: Scholastic
 
In a perilous race across the world, having the best Pandora can be the difference between life and death.

Sixteen-year-old Tella Holloway isn’t happy. Her mother rushed them out of Boston and into a craptastic house nestled in Middle of Nowhere, Montana. To make matters worse, Tella’s brother is sick, and though a dozen doctors can’t determine the cause, her mother is sure Montana’s “fresh air” will help. Now Tella spends her days being homeschooled, and uses her imagination as entertainment.

But when a small blue box appears on her bed, Tella’s world is rocked. Inside the strange package she finds a white ear bud—and after she fits it into place and touches its blinking button—an unknown voice fills her head. Tella is invited to join the Brimstone Bleed, a race across four ecosystems: desert, sea, mountains, jungle. The voice in Tella’s ear explains she has 48 hours to retrieve her Pandora, an animal genetically designed to help her win.

Tella has never been the sporty type; she’s more a cheerleader than an athlete. But despite her mother’s warnings, she’s determined to compete in the race. And she’ll do anything to win, because if Tella is the Brimstone Bleed victor, she'll be granted a specific gift—the cure to save her brother’s life.

FIRE & FLOOD is a teen thriller set in modern day.


Monday, June 24, 2013

The Newcomer (Thunder Point #2) by Robyn Carr

The Newcomer (Thunder Point #2)
Author: Robyn Carr
Publication: June 25, 2013
By: Harlequin MIRA 
Genre: Adult
3.5 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

With humor and insight, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr looks at letting go of the past-and knowing when you've found something worth building your future on 

Single dad and Thunder Point's deputy sheriff "Mac" McCain has worked hard to keep everyone safe and happy. Now he's found his own happiness with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they're feeling like teenagers themselves-suddenly they can't get enough of one another.

And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac's long-lost-and not missed-ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. They're wondering if their new feelings for each other can withstand the pressure...but they are not going down without a fight.

Step into the world of Thunder Point, a little town on the Oregon coast where newcomers are welcomed, hearts are broken and mended, and the dramas of everyday life keep the locals laughing, crying and falling in love.





What I Liked: The summary focuses on Mac and Gina's relationship but fans who fell in love with Cooper and Sarah in The Wanderer need not worry, their story continues in The Newcomer too.  The real-life issues these characters face, teenage drama, mental illness, job changes and blending families are addressed in such a way that makes them easily relateable.  There's plenty of romance too because the men of Thunder Falls are equal parts masculinity and vulnerability making it difficult for even the most self-sufficient woman to resist.
  
What Left Me Wanting More: There is a story recap in every few chapters which felt a little repetitive but I'm guessing that was included for those readers who didn't read The Wanderer first.

Final Verdict: Good addition to the Thunder Point series.

Favorite Quote: "When I said I loved you, it wasn't conditional. And it wasn't temporary. And it's not something you have to live up to or down to--it just is."




GIVEAWAY 
1 PB Copy of THE NEWCOMER (Thunder Point #2)
U.S. Only
Must be 13 years old to enter.  
 
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Faking It (Losing #2) by Cora Carmack

Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes
This is my stop on the FAKING IT Blog Tour! 

*hands you a cupcake because, well, it's Cade* 


About the Book

Author: Cora Carmack
Publication: June 4, 2013
By: William Morrow & Co.
Genre: NA
4 Stars!



Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.




Thank you Cora Carmack for giving us Cade's story, which made me do this....



 
What I Loved: Cade was a roundhouse kick in the feels for me when I read LOSING IT and I was really excited to read his story! FAKING IT is fast paced, well written and full of swoonilicious romance.  It also has it's fair share of face fanning steam but compared to a lot of other NA on the market, it's not explicit which was nice. 
  
Cade and Max are both strong characters who meet through unlikely circumstances. They assume they're total opposites based solely on their appearances, but like any good romance the more they get to know each other, the more they realize that they really aren't so different. If they can help each other learn to leave the past where it belongs, they might discover that being yourself is a lot easier than pretending to be someone you aren't. (Been there, done that and it's exhausting.) 

Milo and Spencer play good, albeit entertaining supporting roles and we even get a glimpse of a few familiar faces, one of which has a British accent. *grins really big*

What Left Me Wanting More:  I would love (LOVE) to see what happens with Cade and Max a few years down the road. *hint hint Cora* Not that you're not busy or anything. ;)

Final Verdict: This makes a great companion to LOSING IT!

Review also posted at YABC


About the Author
I'm Cora Carmack,  a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. I've done a multitude of things in my life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). I enjoy placing my characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too.  My first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.

Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary.





Friday, June 21, 2013

Four Summers by Nyrae Dawn

Four Summers
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Publication: April 27, 2013
By: Createspace
Genre: YA
4 STARS!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Charlotte Gates is tired of being Charlie Rae. She loves the lake she was raised on, their rental cabins, and spending her nights under the stars…but inside she yearns for more.

After his freshman year, Nathaniel Chase’s family spends their first summer at The Village. From the beginning Charlotte intrigues him. She’s the girl who always says what’s on her mind, wins at night games, and each time she looks through her telescope, gets lost in the sky.

Over the course of four summers together, Charlotte and Nathaniel become best friends, share firsts, mend broken hearts, protect each other’s secrets, overcome tragedies…fall in love. And say goodbye…

Charlie wants out of The Village. Nate wants her to have her stars. And they dream of being able to do it all together. But life isn’t as easy as their summers.

Each summer is told in alternating points of view between Charlie and Nate. Journey with the pair, and their friends, as they share their story about growing up, discovering who they are, making tough choices, and falling in love again and again.




Thank you Nyrae Dawn for providing me an e-book copy for review.

So here's what happened...The fantastic Nyrae Dawn e-mailed me a couple of months ago asking if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her latest YA, Four Summers? I said yes, she sent it over, I loaded it onto my Nook and FORGOT ALL ABOUT IT because clearly, I am a horrible, horrible person! *head desk*

I'm pretty sure I forgot because LIFE happened, then end of the school year happened (we homeschool so this is kind of a big deal) and then BEA13 happened. Anywhoo, I was organizing my TBReviewed pile this week and this little gem popped up prompting me to FREAK.OUT. because it had slipped my mind. *ALL THE APOLOGIES TO NYRAE*

I rushed it to the top of my list, for obvious reasons, and then everything else fell by the wayside because I could.not.put.this.down. I was irritated when I had to set it aside and you know, cook dinner for my family. (I mean really, isn't that why I instituted "Survivor Dinners", because Mommy is reading?)  I stayed up until 1:00a.m. trying to finish because I HAD TO KNOW what happened!

What I Loved: Anyone whose read Nyrae's other YA books knows that she *gets* the teenage voice, especially the boys, and Four Summers is no exception. The alternating POV's add insight and depth into the character's thoughts as we watch the love story play out over the course of four summers. *clutches heartstrings* 

There are happy times, sad times and whole lot of toe-curling swoonilicious times but it isn't overly dramatic. It's realistic and mature in the sense that Charlie and Nate grow-up over the years and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them do so! (I'm fairly certain you will too.)

What Left Me Wanting More: I didn't want it to end!

Final Verdict: Fast-paced, sweetly romantic and fabulous! Makes for a great summer read!




GIVEAWAY
 1 e-book copy (Nook or Kindle) of Four Summers by Nyrae Dawn
 International
Must be 13 years old to enter.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Covet (ARC) by Tracey Garvis Graves

CovetAuthor: Tracey Garvis Graves
Publication: September 17, 2013
By: Dutton Adult
4 Stars!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

From the author of the New York Times bestseller On the Island.

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.




The picture above does not do the actual cover justice, I picked this up at BEA113 solely because of the cover love I felt when I saw it.  This book should also come with a box of tissues.

Covet is told from three alternating points of view which flowed seamlessly together despite being varied in length. I went into this book hesitantly because I was expecting it to be about infidelity based on the synopsis and while that topic does play a key role, it is not what defines this book.

Tracey Garvis Graves gives a realistic look at what can happen to a marriage when things get hard, feelings are hurt and husbands and wives go from communicating to merely existing. It's painful, damaging and lonely and the loneliness is where the danger lies. (Especially when a ridiculously good-looking single person treats you like you matter when your spouse doesn't.)

Claire has been tasked with all the responsibility while her husband Chris focuses on creating job stability by traveling four days a week. Their relationship has been through the ringer for the past year and as hard as she tries to stay positive, Chris doesn't make it very easy. While his eye is on getting further ahead with his boss, Claire's eye is on her crumbling marriage and Daniel's eye is on Claire. 
 
Claire and Daniel meet, strike up a friendly relationship, fully aware of what they're doing the boundaries they're testing and the devastating impact it could have if certain lines are crossed. They're also both in denial that their relationship is strictly platonic. The alternating POV's give the reader insight into the character's thoughts, struggles and feelings, all of which are gut wrenching, relateable and oh-so-human.
 
I wasn't sure how this could possibly end well for anyone but I was pleasantly surprised.
 
"Maybe that's how it starts. You stumble upon something that helps you cope, fills a void....And before you know it you're in so deep that you can't find your way back out."

 "Maybe love is like a pendulum. It swings back and forth, slowly, steadily, and sometimes you don't know where it will come to rest."