Category Archives: Teen Romance

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October 31, 2015 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Darkest Dawn by Katlyn Duncan

DARKEST DAWN banner
Darkest DawnDarkest Dawn by Katlyn Duncan
Genre: YA Paranormal
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Published on September 17th, 2015
One desperate journey for the truth
Returning to Willows Lake eleven years after her mother’s tragic death, Sloane Baker knows she will finally get the answers she needs! She always suspected that there was something more sinister at the heart of the accident that claimed her mother’s life, but a cryptic note could be the key to her past…
Two lives changed forever
The small town has always seemed safe to Brianna Taylor – until a mysterious new girl arrives who looks exactly like Bri! Now everything Bri knew has been thrown into question and Sloane’s arrival has changed the world of Willows Lake forever.
Strange things are happening in Willows Lake. But when they turn deadly, Bri and Sloane must find a way to save each other or risk losing everything they hold dear…
 
About the Author:
katlyn
 
Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.
Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.
Twitter: @katlyn_duncan
My Review:
I have to say that I really enjoyed Darkest Dawn! It started out fast paced and exciting! The story is full of action, murder, mystery, romance, and paranormal goodness! It was just a really refreshing read!
I did think that Darkest Dawn had it’s more slower moments. Nothing that really took away from the book, but I thought that a lot more could have happened and that certain moments were stretched a little too far. For example, I thought that we could have seen more between Bri and her love interest…especially since I adored them. I was a little put off by the fact that I’m not going to get to see that until probably the next book.
Bri and Sloane were amazing main characters because they had such different personalities. Bri is more soft and sweet, while Sloane is more rough and in charge. That was an essential component to the story since the girls were essentially the same. I’ll be honest, though, sometimes Bri got on my nerves…
Unfortunately, for me, I did think that Darkest Dawn had a few middle grade moments…especially at the end. I don’t overly enjoy MG books. Now, this isn’t an MG book. Don’t go thinking that!  But it did have its moments. The last 15-20% of the book was geared a little younger, which made me drop my rating to 3 stars.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It didn’t take me long at all to finish it. I fully anticipate reading the second one when it releases. Darkest Dawn is a quick, refreshing read that I highly encourage YA/MG paranormal fans to read!
: ★★★☆☆
 
The Giveaway:
 
5 ecopies (mobi or pdf only) of Darkest Dawn by Katlyn Duncan

a Rafflecopter giveaway

adult books
July 10, 2015 posted by Nichole

Stay with Me (Wait for You #3) by J Lynn

stay with meAt 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

 

My Review:

So, I’m quickly starting to realize that all of the books in the Wait for Me series feature a female character that has some sort of issue. Rape, abusive relationship, third degree burns, etc. And while I really enjoyed this book, Calla’s issue really bothered me. She is described as having awful scars all over her back, chest, and half of her face. Really, it’s not that big of a deal. However, the author focused so heavily on describing her scars that I was a little revolted reading about them. I know, I know, that sounds horrible. I’m just being honest, though. It was especially difficult reading the sexy-time scenes when all that Calla focused on were her scars. The shape of the scars, how bumpy they were, how ugly they were, etc, etc, etc. It was really annoying.

The bright side of this book was Jax. OMG he was like a walking sex magnet. Jax is probably one of my favorite all time book boyfriends. Yes, I loved him THAT much. If for nothing else, I would recommend this book just for Jax [;

Calla and Jax had a rockin chemistry and a toe curling romance/relationship. I was all over them. Sometimes it was a little awkward with everything that was going on. For a big chunk of the book, Calla really just focused on her scars and it was drama worthy. For the rest of the book, it was all about Calla’s mom and drugs/gangsters/guns/etc. It was a little bit too much. I just wish that J Lynn would tone it down a little bit regarding how much is going on in a book.

I know that this seems like a pretty negative review, but I actually really enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend it! Go read it now!

 

Pages: 448

Publication Date: 9/23/14

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks 

Rating: : ★★★★☆

adult books
July 9, 2015 posted by Nichole

Be with Me (Wait for You #2) by J Lynn

be with meTeresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

 

My Review:

Holy smokes, you guys, I have been on the biggest NA kick in the world lately. I mean, seriously, be prepared for like 7 days of reviews. I haven’t read this many books in a year! And to start off my whole NA binge, I had to dive into J Lynn. She is, by far, one of my favorite NA authors in the entire world.

Jase and Tess were hot, hot, HOT. They had the perfect chemistry that I just couldn’t get enough of. Seriously, I thought I was dying whenever there was a scene without the two of them together. I needed a dose Jase and Tess 24/7. The only thing I wished there was more of were the sexy time scenes. It felt a little…..pg for a NA book. But that’s pretty much the way all J Lynn’s books go, so I wasn’t overly surprised.

My biggest complaint with this book was that there was just too much going on. First, you have the love relationship with Jase and Tess. Then, there was Tess’s whole abusive past. Then, there was Tess’s knee (which always sounded really gross during the sexy time scenes,) and finally, there was the whole abusive relationship going on between Tess’s roommate and her boyfriend. It was just wayyyy too much. All of those elements mixed together made the book seem sort of sloppy at times.

Despite my complaints, I still loved this book. However, I had to dock it down to a 3.5 due to the fact that there was just way too much going on. It’s a shame, too, since I pegged it at 5 stars for most of the book. Still, I would recommend that everyone go read this series, because J Lynn is one amazing author!

Pages: 365

Publication Date: 2/4/14

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Rating: : ★★★½☆

 

 

Book Reviews
March 1, 2015 posted by Nichole

DNF Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

boy meets boyThis is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

 

My Review

DNFing this book feels like a very sensitive, moronic, awkward thing to do. Definition: I’m not really sure how people are going to react. The title is Boy Meets Boy. Therefore, if I don’t like the book then that makes me come across as a judgmental jerk. Not the case at all. In fact, I wanted to read this title because of the male romance. I mean, come on, my favorite all time TV show is Queer as Folk. Yet, it wasn’t the male relationship that inevitable turned me away from this book. No, it was the complete fairy tale purple haze of nonsense that surrounded this book.

Everything in this book was completely unbelievable! I tried to shed away my judgment and look for some hidden meaning between the pages. I came away with nothing. There is no school, town, planet, whatever as insane as the settings included in this book. Nothing added up. Nothing made sense. Everything was way too over the top.

I’m not sure if the book became more mellow as it progressed (I only made it 50 pages in,) but I was literally getting a headache. You know that feeling you get when you’re required to read something for school and it feels like it’s taking 80 years just to finish one page? That’s how it felt reading this book. I felt as if I were being forced to read each and every page and it started to feel like a punishment. Reading shouldn’t be like that, so I put it down and picked something else up.

My judgment isn’t to say that the writing wasn’t brilliant, because it was. I was able to recognize the power of the writing and the romance Levithan breathes into every word. That didn’t cut it for me. It was just too unrealistic and over the top. And maybe that’s how the author wanted the book to be; maybe that’s why some people love the book so much. It didn’t work for me, though, and I have absolutely no interest in finishing it.

 

Pages: 185

Publication Date: May 10th, 2005

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Rating: DNF

Book Reviews
February 5, 2015 posted by Nichole

The Sorcerer Heir (The Heir Chronicles #5) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Sorcerer HeirThe delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find a way to clear their names as the prime suspects in a series of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them. 

Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.


Praise for The Heir Chronicles:
The Warrior Heir

*”Chima offers a pitch-perfect blend of high fantasy and small-town reality…” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

* “Twists and turns abound in this remarkable, nearly flawless debut novel that mixes a young man’s coming-of-age with fantasy and adventure.” –VOYA (starred review)

The Wizard Heir 
* “Chima uses her pen like a wand and crafts a wonderfully rich web of magic, while thankfully leaving some dangling threads for subsequent tales.” –VOYA (starred review)

“Chima is a talented storyteller…a strong choice for teens seeking a rousing read.” –The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

The Dragon Heir 
* “A superlative accomplishment.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Chima spins a finely structured tale that roars to a satisfying conclusion.” –School Library Journal

The Enchanter Heir 
* “A smoldering story soaked in tears, sweat and blood, constantly threatening to blaze into an inferno. Spellbinding.” –Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

“Chima continues to excel at building tension and populating her well-told tales with new and returning characters we want to know better.” –Booklist

 

My Review:

I LOVED this book! There was nothing even remotely negative to say about it. The character were amazing; the plot line was off the charts; the magic was even more magical that could be expected. Then again, I never have anything negative to say about any of Cinda Williams Chima’s works. Just…amazing. I still haven’t even recovered from it.

The only thing that slightly confused me (and it was my own fault) was that I had some confusion over some of the characters who appeared in the first three books. Realistically, I should have reread them before I read books 4 and 5 (since there was such a long gap between them) but…I didn’t. I would definitely recommend that fans of this series (or any reader in general) read or reread the first 3 books before moving on to 4 and 5. Simply for your own sanity.

I didn’t understand how this was the finale to the Heir series. I had thought and expected that there would be at least one more book. Not only do I want to read more from this series, but I also thought that the ending wasn’t finished. There’s a lot that still wasn’t covered or was just kind of left open ended. Also, being such a fan of Emma and Jonah, I expected more from their relationship at the end of the series. So, I’m pretty disappointed that this is the finale (even though it was amazing!) Hopefully, Chima changes her mind down the road and continues the Heir series.

There were so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming in this book. I had moments where my mouth was literally hanging open and I was like whaaaaat just happened?! There was never a dull moment. I felt that the action just kept right on pumping and I was entertained (and in love) the whole read through.

There’s absolutely nothing negative that I can say about this book. Cinda Williams Chima is one of my all time favorite authors, and I will promote everything that she writes with nothing but the highest regards. If you haven’t read any of her works yet, then I highly recommend that you do so! This was just so good!!!

 

Pages: 560

Publication Date: October 21st, 2014

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Rating: : ★★★★★

Book Reviews
November 27, 2014 posted by Nichole

Unmarked (The Legion #2) by Kami Garcia

unmarkedThe heart-pounding sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Unbreakable, by New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures co-author Kami Garcia.

He is here… and he could be anyone.

Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us–a demon she accidentally set free. 

Now Kennedy and the other Legion members–Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared–have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?

 

 

My Review:

I was realllly disappointed in this book… I read Unbreakable last year and absolutely LOVED it! But this one? Yeahhh….it fell flat for me.

 

First of all, the ooey gooey romance between Kennedy and Jared was just way too over the top. They were constantly all over each other and whining about their problems and their relationship. Not to mention, Jared was over-protective and grated on my nerves when he couldn’t let Kennedy take care of herself. I wanted to see more teamwork between them; more grittiness and raw emotions. What I got was a high school prom drama fest.

Another thing that was really annoying in this book was that nothing major really ever happened. All of the scenes seemed to be rushed and there was no real focus on anything super major that was happening. I guess the author tried to make one thing major, but it honestly seemed pretty ridiculous and drawn out. I mean, it took up like half of the book and I was unimpressed.

I guess I just don’t understand the whole point of this book. Everyone was supposed to try to defeat the big scary demon (I forgot his name so let’s call him that) but he didn’t seem all that big or scary to me. I mean, he obviously had powers, but it didn’t seem all that hard to contain him. Don’t worry, I’m really not giving out any spoilers. I remember in the first book he was made into a much bigger deal and my hard was pounding all over the place. In this book, though, I just had a bored expression on my face while flipping through the pages. I was bored. End of story.

I’m not sure if I really want to read the next book when it comes out… I’m really sad that I loved the first book so much and the second book fell flat for me. And, come on, I ranked Jared as one of my top ten book boyfriends of 2013. I don’t even get that now! There was nothing attractive about that boy in this book. It’s like he’s been ruined for me ]=

Overall, I would not recommend this book. I would still recommend the first book in the series since I remember loving that one…but just leave it there. Create the rest of the ending on your own.

 

Pages: 384

Publication Date: September 30th 2014

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Rating: : ★★☆☆☆

audiobook
November 14, 2014 posted by Nichole

Audiobook Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

the 100In the future, humans live in citylike spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland…before it’s too late.
Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust-and even love-again.

 

My Review:

The 100 was a good audiobook to listen to, but it wasn’t overly engaging. It definitely wasn’t something that I absolutely HAD to listen to on the way to and from work every morning….more like something I turned on when none of my stations were playing a good song. So, it took awhile to get through.

My first complaint is that there were wayyyy too many POV’s in this book. Had I actually been reading it, I have no doubt that I would have dnf’d it. As an audiobook, though, the multiple POV’s were kind of interesting. I also really liked how they had male and female vocals for the different chapters.

My absolute biggest issue was the way the audiobook was broken up into past and present segments. It wouldn’t have been annoying if someone said when they were switching tenses, but I often found myself wondering what was going on. All of a sudden we would be 6 months to a year in the past and I had no idea that it happened until part way through the new segment. Then we would shoot into the future and I would be confused all over again. This happened a million times….it’s not something that just happened a few times and can be blown under the rug. I’m not sure if that’s different in the actual book. Maybe it’s more obvious that you’re switching times. In the audiobook, though, it sucked.

There was nothing overly exciting that happened in this book. Honestly, it was more dramatic than anything and was pretty boring in several spots. There were no big explosions; nothing really happened on earth that had a huge wow factor. It was just a lot of talking between the characters and a lot of flashbacks to the past. Again, I probably would have dnf’d the book.

One thing that really ticked me off in this audiobook is that there’s a huge creepy noise toward the end (it’s on the very last disc.) It’s supposed to be some dramatic sound effect for something that’s going on in the book. Yeah….it almost made me wreck. It scared the living daylights out of me. What is WRONG with people? People listen to audiobooks in their cars! It’s not like holding the book and getting super worked up over some dramatic scene. So, I wouldn’t recommend the audiobook for that very reason.

My verdict: I’m interested in watching the TV show, but I don’t care about reading or listening to the next book. It was so underwhelming that I don’t even remember what happened at the end of it. It was okay, though…

 

Publication Date: September 3rd 2013 

Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers

Rating: : ★★★☆☆