Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Title: Wait for You
Author: J. Lynn
Rating: ★★★★

Wait for You is a book about confronting the past and moving on. It’s a little bit cheesy, but mostly sweet.

Avery Morgansten is trying to move away from her past and start fresh in a place where no one knows hers story. She soon finds herself a couple of good friends as well as the attention of the guy with the ladies-man reputation, Cam. Avery knows she can’t do normal, her past has made sure of that, but Cm is determined to break those walls down.

This is where the cheese comes in. I’m not sure why there has to be a “reformed man-whore” in so many New Adult and Young Adult novels, because it is wholly unnecessary to me. I do not understand why this is a common thread uniting so many of the genres’ books, but in most situations, the novel would not lose a bit of impact if that detail was done away with.

Other than that, the characters and story are well-written and enjoyable. Brittany and Jacob are great friends the push Avery just enough. They know when they need to keep pushing and when to back away. They are exactly what Avery needs to make her fresh start.

Cam, ignoring his reputation, is a great love interest. He starts as her friend, even though he wants more, because he knows that’s what Avery needs. He pushes, but waits until Avery is ready before going to the next step. I honestly believe that he would have been a perfect character had he not had a ladies-man reputation. It was completely unnecessary and only made me feel annoyed with the novel.

Wait for You is a good New Adult novel that could have been great. It didn’t need the man-whore ploy and for me, that character point really takes away from the novel. That being said, it is still a good book that is a nice summer read.

If Wait for You sounds like your kind of novel, you can purchase it here:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound

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Review: Torn by K.A. Robinson

Title: Torn
Author: K.A. Robinson
Series: Torn series
Rating: ★★★

This is a hard review for me to write. I wanted to like Torn, I really did. It sounded like the kind of book that would pull at my heart and make me emotional. There’s nothing really wrong with the novel (aside from one mistake I caught), it’s just that I was almost bored while reading. And I hate saying that, because I don’t like being bored while I read. I never want a book to be like that.

Chloe hasn’t had the easiest time growing up, but now it’s her first year of college and her two best friends are right there with her, ready to start fresh. That new beginning, however, doesn’t include falling for the resident bad boy.

There’s a love triangle in this book and I spent the greater part of the novel wishing it wasn’t so. There doesn’t really feel like there’s anything between Chloe and the two guys. One she ended up with because it felt easy and the other because of lust. I’m not saying either of those are bad things, but I don’t like when those situations are written as though it means immediate love. There was a moment when I admired Chloe’s character, but then the ending came and that moment had passed.

Drake is the bad boy of the novel. He’s a womanizer, in a band, and has a cocky attitude. Both boys are a little too possessive and neither one really give Chloe a relationship that makes her stronger. It was a little disappointing, to say the least.

I think the reason I wasn’t able to enjoy this novel as much as I wanted to was because I just didn’t feel that connection with Chloe. I didn’t understand her motivations or her actions. I felt like an outside reading a novel instead of a fly on the wall.

The one mistake that blatantly stood out was that of Drake’s car. The first time we read about it, it’s a 1969 Mustang. The next time we see it, it’s suddenly a 1983 Mustang. Normally I’d let something like that go, but since I wasn’t completely drawn into the novel, it stood out at me.

I went into Torn with high hopes. I wanted to enjoy it, but something just didn’t click for me. I’m sure there are people out there who will devour this book; I’m just not one of them. I will be reading the next book, if only because I hope a book with a little less teen relationship drama might draw me in more.

If Torn sounds like your kind of novel, you can purchase it here:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
(Please note, the ebook edition has been released, with the paperback edition to follow in September of this year.)

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

Title: Losing Hope
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Hopeless series
Rating: ★★★★★

Companion novels make me hesitate. As much as I love the original story, I always worry a companion will be a rehashing of the original and won’t be its own book. Even if the original is one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever read, if the companion novel doesn’t have its own story, I’m not going to love it.

Losing Hope is what a companion novel should be. Yes, it retells Hopeless from Holder’s point of view, but it also tells Holder’s story. Not only do we get to see him fall in love with Sky, we see him dealing with the suicide of his sister. It may be a companion novel, but it can stand on its own.

Holder is the one who finds his sister after she overdoses. He feels as though he let her down by not being what she needed. He second guesses his choices when it comes to her, trying to figure out where he could have done something different to save her. His guilt eats away at him slowly.

When he moves back home with his mother, he runs into a girl who reminds him of the first girl he let down, Hope. Her name is Sky, though, and he tries to convince himself that who he sees is false and that he needs to let go of Hope and focus on Sky. From reading Hopeless, I knew this part of the story, but I still enjoyed reading it from Holder’s point of view.

I think what made this novel so amazing was Hoover’s split focus. Part of the novel is spent telling Holder’s point of view of Hopeless, but the other half, the half that really made me love this book, is about Holder coming to terms with his sister’s suicide. He writes her letters and through those letters, he works through his emotions. It’s easy to see how much her death has affected him, but how he’s able to work through his grief and find a way to move beyond seeing her death every time he looks at her room.

Companion novels are just that…companions. They still need to have their own story. Simply retelling the original doesn’t give you well developed characters or plot. It doesn’t give you a book you can sink into. Losing Hope is everything a companion novel should be. It makes the series stronger, the story more meaningful. It is a heartfelt, touching story that enhances Hopeless, but stands on its own.

This is a definite must read book, and a must read series as well.

If Losing Hope sounds like your kind of novel, you can purchase it here:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Review: One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker

Title: One Tiny Lie
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths series
Rating: ★★★★★

I read One Tiny Lie while in the hospital and hooked up to a heart monitor. Normally, reading in the hospital is one of the most peaceful, uninterrupted times I get to read. However, when the five electrodes monitoring my heart’s activity send constant updates to my nurse as I read (making her come check on me frequently), my time is not so uninterrupted. Each time my nurse stuck her head in the room and asked for the reason my heart was racing, I shyly held up my book and just said “good part.”

One Tiny Lie is not an extremely long book. So it says something that my nurse was making near constant stops by. The entirety of this book was so good, it literally had my heart acting up.

Livie is the normal one of the two Cleary sisters. She hasn’t had a mental breakdown, she’s done well in school, and she’s stayed focused on her dreams and ambitions. She’s starting at Princeton, looking ahead to being pre-med and saving children. Everything she does is to live up to the promise she made to her father. “Make me proud.” She’s never deviated from the path she knows he’d be proud of.

Once she’s in college, though, she starts actually living life. She has fun with her roommate, goes to parties, and starts getting interested in boys. There’s Conner, the guy she know her dad would be proud of. And then there’s Ashton, they guy who frustrates her and pushes her buttons a little too much.

Not only are their guy troubles, but college isn’t what she expected. She’s not acing every test. Volunteering at the children’s hospital has her unsure if she could really be a pediatric oncologist. And she’s no longer sure if she’s still keeping her promise to her father.

Something that I really connected with was Livie struggling with college. The first time I tried college, I fell apart. Not for the same reasons as Livie, but I started questioning myself and my life path. I had been so sure for years of what I wanted to do, but circumstances had me questioning that. In my desire to not let my parents down, I tried as hard as I could to make it work. I understood Livie as her future started to fall apart in front of her. I know the feelings she was having. I know how much it hurts to feel as though you are failing to live up to the promises you make your parents.

Ten Tiny Breaths moved me because of how much Kacey had to go through in order to find herself. She didn’t have a starting point and had to build herself up. One Tiny Lie had an even bigger impact on me because it wasn’t only about finding who you are. It’s about coming to realize that what you think you are doesn’t have to be the truth, but not knowing where to go. That confusion in losing yourself after years of thinking you know what you’re doing is such an important thing to talk about. Just because you don’t live up to the original idea doesn’t mean you aren’t living up to yourself.

One Tiny Lie is a fantastic book that is a definite must read.

If One Tiny Lie sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
Amazon
Audible
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Crush by Nicole Williams

Title: Crush
Author: Nicole Williams
Series: Crash series
Rating: ★★

Crush is definitely a more adult book than the previous two and my review reflects that. For that reason, I have not included my review on the front page. Please click below to read my review.

Continue reading

Review: Clash by Nicole Williams

Title: Clash
Author: Nicole Williams
Series: Crash series
Rating: ★★★

I enjoyed Crash more than I thought I would, so I decided to give the rest of the series a try. Crash had its flaws, but it was still enjoyable and I had hopes that things would improve as the series went on.

Clash was about as enjoyable as Crash, and it still had its flaws, but it wasn’t bad. Lucy and Jude were still a little too volatile for my tastes, but they didn’t cross any of my boundaries when it comes to relationships.

Lucy and Jude are in college and testing out the long distance relationship. They spend as much time together as they can, but doubts are always there. Jude is the big man on campus and while Lucy says she trusts him, there are moments when it’s clear she doesn’t. Even if she says it’s only the people around him she doesn’t trust, she still doubts him and what he says.

Jude just wants to make Lucy happy and play football. He’s been given a second chance at a life he never thought he’d have and he’s trying to make the most of it.

The drama of the novel is the one part I found myself enjoying less. As often as I tried to remind myself that the characters where still teens, just figuring life out, I still found myself bogged down with their drama at times. I understand that some of it is necessary in order to move the story forward, but some of it felt like it was thrown in there just for something to fill the pages. Instead of having the characters talk and work issues out, drama ensues for a little while before they have that talk.

I read this book while on vacation and I think this is what the series is for. It makes for a nice summer read, while you are lounging on the deck of a cruise ship and sipping a tasty drink. It’s not really a light read, but it’s definitely not a deep one. If you’re looking for a book to just sit back and read, this would be a good choice.

If Clash sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
Amazon
Audible
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound

Review: Burning by Elana K. Arnold

Title: Burning
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Rating: ★★★★★

Burning is not what I thought it would be. And that’s a good thing.

The idea of a forbidden romance is one of my favorite things to read. Something about having to overcome obstacles in order to be together makes me heart sing. Some of Burning is like that. Some of it is not. And the parts that don’t have to do with forbidden love are the ones that made this book for me.

Lala is a gypsy, in town in order to make money off the tourists in town for the Burning Man celebration. She plays up the idealized gypsy, telling fortunes and reading people in order to make money for her family. She’s engaged to a man her parents chose years ago and feels as though her life is not really her own.

Ben is getting ready to leave his family and his friends to go to college, leaving at the same time as the town he has called home for his entire life is being closed up and shut down. His father doesn’t have a job, his mother might not be able to support the family with hers, and his brother is talked about behind his back. Ben has the golden ticket–a full ride scholarship based on his running ability and his intelligence. Despite working hard for everything he has in life, he still doesn’t feel quite worthy enough, since it means leaving his family and friends behind.

When Ben’s friends force him to visit the gypsy camp in order to have his fortune read, the meeting of Lala and Ben has far-reaching consequences neither of them saw coming.

At first, I was worried this was going to be one of those insta-love novels, where the two characters fall in love after a day and decide to spend their life together. In a way, it is. But even more than that, it is about two people deciding to do what feels right and make the choices they want to. They have to deal with consequences of their choices and think about the future in a way they hadn’t before. For Lala, it’s about breaking free. For Ben, it’s about coming to terms with the cards he’s been dealt.

Arnold does an amazing job of writing these two people. I could feel their emotions and even though I wasn’t always a fan of their choices, I understood them, and that’s what is more important to me. These were two people, and even though we only got a little glimpse into their lives, so much was said about who these people are and the uncertainty of the future. Nothing is set in stone; action can change the future just as much as inaction.

Burning was a fantastic novel that was nothing like I expected. There’s romance, yes, but this book is about so much more than that. I applaud Arnold for writing this book the way she did. It’s an interesting read that can definitely spark new thoughts for anyone who reads it.

If Burning sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound

Thank you to Random House Children’s Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.