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Review: This Is What HAPPY Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

March 20, 2014 4 comments

This Is What HAPPY Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: This Is What HAPPY Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Headline (4th April 2013)
Blurb:

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

It’s June – seventeen-year-old Ellie O’Neill’s least favourite time of year. Her tiny hometown is annually invaded by tourists, and this year there’s the added inconvenience of a film crew. Even the arrival of Hollywood heart-throb Graham Larkin can’t lift her mood.

But there is something making Ellie very happy. Ever since an email was accidentally sent to her a few months ago, she’s been corresponding with a mysterious stranger, the two of them sharing their hopes and fears. Their developing relationship is not without its secrets though – there’s the truth about Ellie’s past…and her pen pal’s real identity. When they finally meet in person, things are destined to get much more complicated. Can two people, worlds apart but brought together by chance, make it against all the odds?

Spanning one fateful summer, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel proves that life – and love – are full of unexpected connections and happy mistakes.

Rating: ** (2 stars)
Review:

THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE is the second stand-alone novel from author Jennifer E. Smith. It tells the story of Ellie O’Neill – a seventeen-year-old who lives in a coastal town in Maine. The story takes place between June and July, whilst a film crew (and the typical holiday makers) invade the town. The narrative is split between emails between Ellie and her mysterious pen pal, and chapters following the story of Ellie and her pen pal.

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Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

January 30, 2014 4 comments

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Title: Antigoddess (The Goddess War: Book One)
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Orchard (10th September 2013)
Blurb:

He was Apollo, the sun, and he’d burn down anything that tried to hurt her . . .

Cassandra and Aidan are just your average high-school couple. Blissfully unaware of her own power, Cassandra doesn’t even know that gods exist.

Until now.

Because the gods are dying – and Cassandra could hold the answer to their survival. But Aidan has a secret, and he will do anything to protect the girl that he loves from the danger that’s coming to her. Even if it means war against his immortal family . . .

Stunning romance and relentless suspense – discover the first incredible book in THE GODDESS WAR trilogy.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

ANTIGODDESS is the first book in Kendare Blake’s new young adult trilogy THE GODDESS WAR. Blake draws characters – both mortals and gods – from Greek mythology and sets the story in a small town in the state of New York. The gods are slowly dying, and not all are disappearing with a whimper. They seek a way to save themselves.

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Review: The Pleasures of Autumn by Evie Hunter

November 28, 2013 2 comments

The Pleasures of Autumn by Evie Hunter

Title: The Pleasures of Autumn (Pleasures #3)
Author: Evie Hunter
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Erotica, Romance
Publisher: Penguin Ireland (31st October 2013)
Source: Penguin Ireland
Format: Finished Copy
Blurb:

Passion must have its way . . .

When Sinead O’Sullivan is charged with stealing the Fire of Autumn – a dazzling ruby with a notorious history – investigator Niall Moore is hired to stop her fleeing and to find the jewel. Though Sinead needs to convince Niall of her innocence, telling him everything she knows exposes secrets she is desperate to keep hidden.

Sinead and Niall may not trust each other an inch, but they find it impossible to ignore the fierce carnal heat between them. Niall, an expert interrogator, uses every trick of the trade – and every weapon in his erotic armoury – to get the truth. Sinead, a fast learner, counters his every move with one of her own. Thief and thief-taker fight for dominance and there can be only one winner.

But what happens in their red-hot game of cat-and-mouse when criminals chasing the precious jewel come after Sinead . . . and the stakes become deadly?

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN by Evie Hunter is the third book in the PLEASURES series. It tells the story of Sinead O’Sullivan a museum curator who stands accused of stealing the Fire of Autumn, and of Niall Moore who is charged with returning the ruby to the museum it was stolen from. From the beginning things do not look good for Sinead, although she continues to plead her innocence.

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Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

June 14, 2013 2 comments

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire (UK cover)

Title: Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (2nd April 2013)
Blurb:

Travis Maddox lost his mother when he was very young. Her parting advice? Love hard. . .Fight harder . . .

Travis ‘Mad Dog’ Maddox is an underground fighter, from a family of tough older brothers. The original Bad Boy, he takes a different girl home every night. That is, until he meets Abby Abernathy . . .

Notorious around campus for his reputation with women, it is no surprise when Abby refuses Travis’s advances; the best she will offer him is friendship. However, Travis is determined to fight his way into her heart . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

Walking Disaster is the second book in Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful series. It tells basically the same story as the first book in the series Beautiful Disaster, but has the events narrated through Travis’ eyes rather than Abby’s. Walking Disaster gives an insight into Travis’ character that is unavailable in Beautiful Disaster.

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Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

March 18, 2013 3 comments

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publiser: Simon & Schuster UK (14th August 2012)
Blurb:

GOOD GIRL

Abby Abernathy doesn’t drink or swear and she works hard. Abby believes she has buried her dark past, but when she arrives at college, her dreams of a new beginning are quickly challeneged by the univeristy’s one-night stand.

BAD BOY

Travis Maddox, sexy, built, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs – and wants – to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight club, and his days as the notorious college Lothario.

IMMINENT DISASTER?

Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain celibate for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time.

OR THE START OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL?

Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match. Or that this is the start of an obsessive, intense relationship that will lead them both into unimaginable territory . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

I have to admit that it was the cover which first drew me to this book, then I read the blurb and I was intrigued. It sounded like it had a lot of potential, and then there were the reader quotes on the back of the book compairing it to Twilight and Shades of Grey. . . If that is the kind of book you’re looking for, then I suggest that you look elsewhere.  There are no sparkly vampires, no Native American werewoves, and no BDSM. Beautiful Disaster is a dark, complex, messy story.

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Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Authors: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: MiraInk (5th October 2012)
Blurb:

I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the self, please.

At the urge of her lucky-in-love brother, sixteen-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of dares on her favourite bookshop shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept.

Curious, snarky Dash isn’t one to back down from a challenge – and the Book of Dares is the perfect thing to keep him occupied this Christmas.

As they send each other on a snowbound scavenger hunt across Manhattan, they’re falling for each other on paper. But finding out if their real selves share their on-page chemistry could be their biggest dare yet.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

I picked this book up in my local bookstore on a whim. I’d heard over the blogosphere that this book is the perfect book to get you in the mood for Christmas, and whilst I was somewhat dubious about these claims I thought I’d give it a go. Instead of a book full of Christmas cheer, I found a charming, unputdownable contemporary romance that stole my heart a little.

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Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

December 10, 2012 2 comments
My Life Next Door cover

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Dial Books (14th June 2012)
Blurb:

“ONE THING MY MOTHER NEVER KNEW, AND WOULD DISAPPROVE OF MOST OF ALL, WAS THAT I WATCHED THE GARRETTS. ALL THE TIME.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer night Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. The something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

I saw a lot of My Life Next Door in the lead up to this summer, and as I thought the cover was gorgeous and the blurb intrigued me I thought I would give it a go. My Life Next Door is a sweet, adorable read with hints of laughter and some darkness.

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Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

December 3, 2012 5 comments

Lola and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Dutton Books (29th September 2011)
Blurb:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more fun, more wild – the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighbourhood.

When Cricket – a gifted inventor – steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

Stephanie Perkins writes the kind of contemporary romance that I enjoy. Lola and the Boy Next Door is a companion piece to Anna and the French Kiss – which I loved (you can find my review here) – so I thought I’d give it a try, and I was NOT disappointed.

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Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

October 19, 2012 7 comments

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin USA (4th August 2011)
Blurb:

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s not too pleased when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including a handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately he’s taken – and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

Anna and the French Kiss tells the story of Anna Oliphant; an American teenager sent to Paris by her father to go to boarding school for her senior year.  Stephanie Perkins relates a brilliant tale of contemporary romance for Young Adult readers in this book.

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Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

June 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Title: Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Genre:  Romance, Young Adult
Publisher:  HarperCollins (9th September 2003)
Blurb:

‘There isn’t really a gay scene or a straight scene in our town. They all got mixed up a while back, which I think is for the best . . . And whether your heart is strictly ballroom or bluegrass punk, the dance floors are open to whatever you have to offer. This is my town.’

Meet PAUL. Gay his whole life, and finding love as wonderful, confusing and heartbreaking as every other teenager in his high school.

Meet Paul’s friends:

JONI – his best friend, who  may not be his best friend any more;

TONY – his other best friend, who can’t leave the house unless his parent’s think he’s going on a date . . . with a girl;

INFINITE DARLENE – homecoming queen and star quarterback on the football team;

KYLE – the ex-boyfriend who won’t go away;

RIP – the school bookie who sets odds;

And NOAH – the boy who changes everything.

Witty, engaging, refreshingly upbeat and slightly surreal, this book is a celebration of love in all forms.


Rating: ***
(3 stars)
Review:

This is another book I picked up because it was on Sarah Rees Brennan (which you can find here). I’d also heard good things about the author, so I decided to give it a try.

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