Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.
But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.
His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.
He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.
You guys…if you haven’t read the Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer, then that’s your next reading assignment. I fell in love with her work last year in both Storm and Spark, and I was not disappointed with her novella, Breathless. This is a very short story, 65 pages in length, focused on Nick Merrick. Nick’s been in all of the books, so far, but we’ve never really got to get up close and personal with him. And this….this was just…. WOW. I did not see this coming from a mile away. We get to learn about Nick’s deepest, darkest secret. Let me tell you…it’s a good one!
I didn’t realize just quite how much I liked Nick’s character before reading Breathless. But he’s a keeper! I’m really excited to learn more about him in his own book, Secret, which comes out January 28th, 2014 from Kensington Teen. I’m making my prediction right now that Nick’s book will be my favorite out of the whole series…and that’s simply based on this novella.
I don’t read very many novella’s, and I’m assuming that that’s pretty standard for most of you who are reading this. Actually….I can’t think of another novella that I’ve read. I’m sure that there has to at least be one out there. Anyways, this has convinced me to read more novella’s in the future. LOVED IT! If you’re new to the series, I would read them in the correct order. However, you could read Breathless without reading any other books/novellas by Brigid Kemmerer. Wonderful read!
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Publication Date: April 30th, 2013
The only thing that 17 year old Barbie Starr wants to do is graduate high school so she and her little brother, Everett, can get out of Alabama. She doesn’t care about the rumors that are spread around about her like wild fire. Rumors are nothing new to her. Sure, maybe she could change her reputation, but why bother. She is leaving Alabama as soon as she can. That is, if she can pass algebra and graduate.
The only thing Dylan Knight would like to do is go through high school unnoticed; he has had enough of the drama that is high school. He took the whole of last summer to bulk-up: finally he is not being called names or being shoved into lockers. He wants to remain on the outside of the circle of constant rumors that surround the so-called popular kids who get all the attention. He would not, however, mind if his long time crush Katie took notice of him.
But it is Barbie who notices Dylan and she offers him a deal he can’t pass up: if he helps her pass algebra, she’ll help him get the girl of his dreams. Dylan agrees, but, as it turns out, nothing is simple when it comes to Barbie. Somehow, she can’t help but draw attention to herself — and to him. Soon Dylan finds himself tossed into the whirlwind of rumors that seem to follow Barbie everywhere. Can he save his reputation and still get the girl of his dreams? Or will Barbie be the one to break through his carefully-built facade?
Barbie Girl is a light and fresh read that also broke my heart over and over again. It’s about a girl, Barbie, who basically lives a horrible life. She lives in a run down trailer with a druggy for a mother, an autistic brother, and a reputation as the biggest slut in her high school. It doesn’t matter that she’s never been with a guy before. Nope. All that matters to the other kids in her school is how she looks. And since she LOOKS like a slut, she just must be one.
On the verge of failing her math class and having to stay an extra year in high school, Barbie gets Dylan Knight to tutor her with the promise of getting his long time crush, Katie, interested in him. But hanging out with Barbie is bad for Dylan’s reputation, and he wants nothing to do with a skanky girl like her. The promise of finally getting Katie to notice him, though, is too much to resist, and Dylan soon relents.
Barbie is aware that Dylan pretty much hates her guts, but that’s not going to stop her from passing math and graduating high school so that she can get the hell away from that place. But before she knows it, Barbie starts to develop feelings for Dylan. Barbie Girl is told from both Barbie and Dylan’s POV and explores the topics of bullying, labeling, love and abuse.
I found myself instantly hooked to Barbie Girl. I especially loved Barbie’s character. Barbie reminded me a lot of Leah from Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols. She lived a shitty home life and was ultimately trying to make something of herself. Her home life was heartbreaking. My only wish is that the book would have been more about her home life. I wanted more emotional scenes. I got some, sure, but I didn’t really hit the point where I was a blubbering mess.
Barbie Girl also talks a lot about bullying and labeling. If you follow my reviews, you might have picked up on the fact that I love that kind of stuff in books. Those types of topics are so real…so raw…I can’t get enough of it. It was pretty hard to go through an entire book with everyone labeling Barbie as a slut…and even having Barbie consider herself one when she really wasn’t….but it was beautifully executed. Those topics are not going to be for everyone, though. So be warned.
The one downfall of Barbie Girl was Dylan. I didn’t just dislike Dylan, I hated him. Throughout the entire book, he was a total jerk to Barbie. He didn’t even want to be in the same room as her, because he was terrified of his precious reputation. He wasn’t even a popular kid! Even toward the end of the book, he was still acting like a jerk. I know that this is a series, so I’m assuming that Dylan’s character matures a lot in later books, but he didn’t in this book. There were several times during Dylan’s POV that I just had to skim the pages. The writing was still amazing, but Dylan’s character was just too much for me.
Overall, I really enjoyed Barbie Girl. It was a great first book, and I’m really interested in continuing the series. I would recommend that all contemporary fans go read this simply for Barbie’s story. Beautiful!
Publication Date: November 1st, 2012
Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy’s mom decides they need to take a break.
Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who’s always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.
Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?
Rachel Hawkins’ delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as theNew York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!
I guess I should start out this review with a confession. Here goes….I’ve never read the Hex Hall series. There, I admitted it. I mean…I OWN the first book, Hex Hall, but I’ve never had a chance to actually read it. And then, of course, someone borrowed it, and now the book smells way too strongly of smoke to even read it. Note to readers: Do NOT loan out your books to smokers! Anyways, there you have it. The honest to goodness truth. I, the queen of reading all books in a series, read the first book in a spin off without reading the original series. Shame on me. The good news is that School Spirits was AMAZING, and people who want to read this book without reading the original series don’t have to worry about a bunch of spoilers. Honestly, I wouldn’t have known it was a spin off unless I hadn’t read about it.
School Spirits is about a demon hunter, Izzy, who has been enrolled in a new school to try and catch and contain a ghost that has been haunting and trying to murder people. Of course, Izzy has never been to a school before, let alone interacted with kids her own age. Needless to say, she is so out of her element. There she meets some awesome new friends and has the chance to embrace a life she’s never been offered before. Unfortunately, it’s not going to last long. Her mom gave her a mission: to kill this pesky ghost. And as soon as the ghost is out of the way, so are they….never to return.
This book was so stinkin adorable. I loved it. I’ve been wanting to read something by Rachel Hawkins for the longest time now, so I begged Disney-Hyperion to let me read and review this one for the site. The main character, Izzy, is an amazing girl to follow. I loved her from the get go, and I never got tired of her. The friends that she met along the way are equally as delightful. There wasn’t one negative character in this whole book!
Mystery is a key component in the book, and I have to say I am DYING for the next one! I kind of wish that I hadn’t read this one quite yet, because I know that I’m going to have to wait like another year for it…and that just sucks. The ending was just too suspenseful! I need to know what happens! I need to know more about the guy in the mirror, Torin, and what happened to Izzy’s sister. I need to know what’s going to happen with Izzy and Dex. Yes, it’s a bit annoying that I don’t have the next book right now. But I loved this book. Loved it!
The one negative thing about this book…well not really negative…but Dex was a really awkward character/love interest for me. I don’t mean this to be offensive at all, but Dex just didn’t come across as straight. And that’s no problem at all! But it made it a bit awkward when he was straight, and he had a think for Izzy. If he wasn’t taken by Magnus, I’d introduce Dex to Alec. I think that they would have a better relationship.
Another thing is that the book was slightly juvenile, but not in a bad way. It just seemed like more of a middle grade book than a young adult book. I love middle grade, so that didn’t bother me at all, but I could see this type of read not being for everyone. Not me, though, I was on board from the very first page!
Overall, I loved School Spirits. It was fun, suspenseful, and full of the supernatural! I could totally see this one as a tv show. Everyone MUST go read this one!
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Publication Date: May 14th, 2013
Teaser Quote: “You are my new hero. Seriously, I might actually be in love with you now. Would it be awkward if we made out?”