Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Once again, I judged a book by its cover. Only this time, the simplicity of the cover coupled with the title had me anxious to read Confessions of an Angry Girl. I also felt something for Rose, just based on the book summary. I hadn’t gone through the same things she did before entering high school, but I did have something that set me apart from everyone else.

Rose just lost her father, her brother has taken off for college, and her mom has basically shut down when it comes to doing the mom things. If all that isn’t tough enough, she’s starting high school, her friendships are strained, and a boy has her confused. It’s like the typical high school story, but with more layers to dissect.

I feel so much for Rose. She’s just confused on how she’s supposed to live now that her father is gone and life seems to take advantage of that. She grew up fast over the span of one summer, and unfortunately, her friends didn’t. She’s seen a side of life most of her friends haven’t yet, and that makes her the odd one out. I know exactly how that feels and it made me want to hug her through the entire novel.

This isn’t so much a romance novel as it is a story of Rose becoming comfortable and accepting her new normal. That said, there is a bit of a high school romance going on between Rose and Jaime. As frustrating as I found Jaime, he still makes Rose happy and because of that, I couldn’t be annoyed with him. He’s not the ideal guy for her, but he’s what she needs and that’s wonderfully set up for the next book.

Confessions of an Angry Girl is a fantastic novel that draws you right in and pulls at your heart with each turn of the page. It twists your heart just a little bit and makes you smile all at the same time. I can’t wait to read what happens next for Rose.

Once by Anna Carey

As much as I try to escape them, book trilogies keep pulling me back in. I’ll love the first book, the second will be a major disappointment, and the third will somehow manage to make me love it more than I thought I could. I loved Eve and wanted to keep reading Eve’s story, even though most book sequels disappoint me and only act as a bridge between the first and last books. Carey didn’t fall into this trap. She wrote a book that had its own identity, while still needing the other books to tell a complete story.

In Once, there’s a pretty big opening shock. I certainly didn’t see it coming. But I liked it. It made things different than how I thought they’d go. The other plot twists have me thinking about people differently and looking at who I trust and who I don’t. I love when an author can mess me around that much and still make me love a book.

Of course, this isn’t a standalone novel. You need to read Eve in order to know about Once. However, Once does stand by itself in the sense that it has its own stories, its own plot that are different from those in Eve. It serves as a set-up for Rise, but it’s more than just the set-up. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Anna Carey for writing a sequel that wasn’t novel-length filler.

Eve and Caleb are still ever present and had my heart pulling for them so hard. They jump into some decisions, just like teens would, regardless of their circumstances. But they also are great planners and can think of nothing more than how to get to the future where they are together. One plot twist had my heart breaking, even though I saw it coming. I just want the future for these two that they dream of.

Once was a wonderful sequel that jumped right over the trap of the sequel slump. There’s love, action and plotting. It had me completely engrossed from start to end. It’s going to be a long, long wait for the finale and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

Beautiful Lies sounded like a book that was right up my alley. Plus, Warman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. There’s something about the way she writes a real story, one that doesn’t always have a happy ending, that draws me in, even though I always have a feeling my heart is going to be crushed several times as I read.

As a narrator, the main character is completely unreliable. And yet I believed every single word she said. I knew as I was reading that something wasn’t quite right with how she was viewing the world, and I still went along completely with her. She’s so unreliable as a narrator, that she becomes reliable. My heart was aching through the entire book, wanting to make things better for her, to tell her what was going on, to help her.

The plot of this novel had me guessing with every turn of the page. I never knew what was going to happen. I’d think I knew and suddenly there was another plot twist thrown in that had my head spinning is such a wonderful way. I wanted to figure the book out, I needed to, and that only propelled me to read faster and faster.

Beautiful Lies is a completely enthralling, entrancing novel that I couldn’t put down. If you like anything with a good mystery and suspense, read this book.

Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Recently, I’ve been a sucker for a good angel story. Not necessarily a good angel, but a good story. Dark Kiss gave me a little of both.

Good and bad are blurred in this book and while they still have the titles of “angel” and “demon,” one side is not completely bad, just as the other side is not completely good. It’s hard to know who to trust and who is telling the truth and who is lying. It keeps the suspense up right to the end. I was holding my breath the last few chapters, knowing what I wanted to happen and being afraid to see what would actually happen.

Sam was a strong female character and that was nice to see. She didn’t settle for no and worked to get the answers she needed. She used the powers she had when she needed to and put up a fight for what she thought was right and wrong. Bishop was tough, but had to push aside his pride and ask for help in maintaining any sanity he could. The slow build of their romance was sweet and torture at the same time.

Rowen has a wonderful writing style that drew me right in. It was easy to picture the world she had created and follow along through every action of the story. I was fully drawn into the novel and felt my heart race and stop more times than I can count.

Dark Kiss was a fabulous start to a new angel series and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This is the first of Rowen’s books I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last.

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

It’s rare for me to find an author that I love so much I will read anything they write, be it comedy, drama, or a grocery list. Jennifer Echols is one of those authors and Such a Rush only further cemented her place on my bookshelf.

Leah does not have the best circumstances in life. She lives in a trailer park with a sometimes around mother who brings less than decent men around. She’s been moved around often because of her mother’s lifestyle (no job, creating enemies) and the one good thing that has come out of her several living locations is a love of airplanes and the dream to fly. When she settles in Heaven Beach, she gets a job as the receptionist/gofer of the airport before building up the courage to ask for a flying lesson. That one lesson turns into more and her love of flying only grows.

Cut to the death of the man who taught her to fly and the only father figure in her life. Then the twin brothers she’s watched from a distance take over and she’s blackmailed into working for them flying the banner planes and in trying to get one twin to date her. It’s this that creates the tension that had me anxiously turning pages to find out what was going to happen next.

I don’t know much about planes or how to fly them; in fact I’m pretty terrified of flying. But Echols made the whole process seem beautiful and flowing while keeping the danger involved. There’s enough technical speak to make it feel real, and yet it doesn’t get too overbearing and it’s still pretty easy to follow.

I loved the relationship dynamic between Leah, Alec and Grayson. Leah never really had the best example growing up, and so she has two personalities. The flirt and the serious aviator and she switches between them without noticing depending on what she needs at the moment, including when she’s with the boys. It’s easy to see Alec is the nice, sweet, do anything to help out kinda guy while Grayson is tougher and takes things a little too seriously at times. When Leah is with Alec, she turns the flirty side of her on, but when she’s with Grayson, the more serious side comes out and she’s more vulnerable.

The tension throughout this book was amazing. My heart was beating fast and I was getting so frustrated with the characters for seeing the obvious and then going the other way. But it did make for a great story.

Such a Rush was a fantastic book that had my heart pounding and put a smile on my face. I dreaded nearing the end because once I turned that last page, there would be no more. Echols once again has written a story I’ve fallen completely in love with and I can’t wait to read anything she writes (including a grocery list…I was serious about that).

Hooked by Liz Fichera Book Trailer Reveal!

Every morning, I check my Twitter, my Facebook, and finally my email before I even roll out of bed. This past Thursday, however, I shot out of bed uncharacteristically fast when I saw the HarlequinTeen cover reveal for Liz Fichera’s Hooked. It’s pretty simple and doesn’t have a lot of fanfare.

For some reason, though, I just had to put it down on my “Get it the Moment It’s Released” list. Maybe it was the pink lettering. I don’t really know. Whatever the reason, I put the January 2013 release date on my calendar even before reading the book blurb. When I finally got around to the blurb, I knew my gut reaction had been correct. There’s not much story given away, and yet I’m unnaturally excited to read this book. From Goodreads, the blurb reads:

“Sparks fly when a Native American girl with a killer swing joins the boys’ varsity golf team and takes on the boy with the killer smile. Don’t miss this heartwarming and emotional new romantic contemporary!”

Then, on Friday it was announce book bloggers could send a message to Liz Fichera and be some of the first people to post the book trailer to their websites. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity. When I received the email with the video link, I’ll admit I watched it several times. Each time, my excitement and desire for it to be 2013 already increased. And now I get to share the trailer with you! So without further ado, the book trailer to Liz Fichera’s Hooked.

Eve by Anna Carey

I held out on reading Eve because I was a little over dystopian novels for a while. There are only so many times in a row you can read about the bleak future of the world before you need a break. I’m actually pretty upset with myself now for how long it took me to read this. I should have read it sooner.

Eve remembers just a little bit of her life before the plague killed her mother and she was sent to School. While there, she becomes the best student of her class and finds a lot of pride in that. On the night before her Graduation, she discovers what the School is really a front for and decides to make a run for it. She heads into land where nothing she knows will help her. She may be book smart by the School’s standards, but when it comes to surviving she’s clueless. And yet she doesn’t think about giving up. All she knows is she does not want to end up like the rest of the girls that graduated from her School. She wants to be herself and not have anyone dictate her life for her. It’s this that gives her the strength of character that has me loving her. She doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do, she just knows what she does not want to do and lets that determination guide her.

Caleb had me crushing. He was sweet and strong and caring. He knows helping Eve won’t be easy, and yet he still helps her because he doesn’t want to see anything happen to her. The way they fall together was perfect and not too fast and felt right. It wasn’t love at first sight and it took time. That made it feel real and even sweeter than most Young Adult romances out there now.

Eve was a fantastic novel with amazing characters and a world just real enough to make it terrifying. The end had me wanting more and I can’t wait to see what Carey has in store for Once.

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

At first glance, Silence had me annoyed. Was it really necessary to erase Nora’s mind to move the story along? Was it really going to make for an interesting novel when I already knew everything Nora forgot? Was this just going to be a gimmick to get readers from the second novel to the fourth?

Was the amnesia really needed? Yes. Nora had learned too much in the first two novels, meaning a lot of what she had to relearn and go through in Silence wouldn’t have happened. It made her more vulnerable, which is exactly what was needed to set up the ending of the novel. It makes Nora come across as a little weaker than in the previous two novels; however, I don’t see it completely that way. She fights back to regain her memory, all the while fighting against forces she can’t help but get wrapped up in.

Was the recapping out of control? Not really. Fitzpatrick didn’t spend half the novel condensing the first two novels; rather she left most of it untouched, only reintroducing information when it was necessary. It was never information heavy and when things were brought up that I already knew and Nora didn’t, Fitzpatrick didn’t draw it out.

Was this just a filler novel? Not even a little bit. Yes, it was set up for the final book, but it was also its own story. It had Nora growing as a character and Patch coming to terms with his decisions, as well as finding a way to move past them and create the future he wants. Yes, it was set up for the fourth novel, but it was also its own interesting story.

Silence didn’t wow me quite as much as Hush, Hush and Crescendo did, but it was still a fantastic novel and I can’t wait to see how Nora and Patch’s story ends.

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

I loved Hush, Hush. I was excited to be able to read more Nora and Patch. And then I read the book description for Crescendo and felt disappointed before even reading a word. I was worried there’d be a mostly pointless love triangle (or possibly quadrangle) introduced and I’d spend the majority of the novel annoyed and wishing I could fast forward to the end.

Instead what I got was a slow build up (I see what you did there with the Crescendo, Ms. Fitzpatrick) of emotions and history until it all comes crashing down.

Nora learns a little bit more about who she is and what she is made of in this book. She’s not sure who she’s able to trust, even Patch. Because of this, she has to rely more on herself for the answers she needs. She trusts her instincts more and lets the blood that runs through her help guide her. Of course, this means sometimes she makes decisions that made me shake my head at her, all the while loving that she’s starting to stand on her own more.

The relationship between Nora and Patch hits turbulence in this one and even though it gets rough, it’s very easy to see that everything ripping them apart in Crescendo is also driving them closer together. They can’t be torn apart, even when forces outside their control are trying their hardest. Even when it is them doing the ripping, they still find a way to be together.

The twists and turns in Crescendo had be guessing at every page. Just when I thought I’d have something figured out, the road would turn and I’d be just as clueless as I started. It kept me focused and on my toes.

Crescendo is a fabulous sequel to a great book, and certainly didn’t let me down like I thought it might. The story fits its name and I can’t wait to read what happens next.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

I’m not sure why I wanted to read this book. I’m not usually one for lots of teen drama. If I want a romance, I go for sweet, lovable books. From the description, I thought there’d be way too much going on to make for a good novel. And yet, I am in love with Pushing the Limits.

I was right about this book on one count. There is a lot happening. However, instead of making it seem like drama for drama’s sake, it fit. Every little detail made sense and left an empowering feeling as I read. Each little thing Echo and Noah face helped them grow as characters until the very end. The people that we are introduced to at the beginning are not the people we know at the end. McGarry did character development right and I love her for that.

On the surface, Noah is the typical “bad guy.” He’s a bit of a loner, smokes pot, and has a reputation of using girls. But once you start reading his side of the story, things change and it comes to light that he’s that way as a front, as a way to keep himself from getting hurt. I think that’s why I loved him so much. For all his toughness and macho behavior, he’s still a guy afraid of getting hurt.

Echo starts out a little weak, but it fits. She doesn’t remember a major event in her life. That memory lapse has made her question herself, made her think of herself as less than. As the novel progresses, she fights with those inner demons and comes out on top. She realizes her worth, even if she struggles with it occasionally. She knows she’s worth something to people, and to see that at the end of the novel was wonderful.

Pushing the Limits is probably not a book I would have picked up in the store. This book somehow called to me anyway and made me read it and I’m so happy I listened to that call. Pushing the Limits is a fantastic debut novel and I can’t wait to read more from McGarry.