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:
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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.

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

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Rating: ★★★★★

Sometimes a book comes up and smacks you in the face with how amazing it is. You think you’re ready when you read it, and that the heartbreak you know is coming won’t sneak up on you. Then you’re reading the book and before you realize what it happening, you heart is in a million pieces, those pieces have lodged themselves in your throat, and you can’t breathe because of how perfect the words you are reading are.

The Sea of Tranquility is one of those books. I was wholly unprepared for what this book did to me. I knew it wasn’t going to be lighthearted, yet parts of it were. I knew there would be a bit of love, but I didn’t understand just how perfect that love would be. I knew my heart would break, but I didn’t realize how many pieces a heart could break into until I read this book.

Nastya is trying to find her way in a new life. Everything she has ever known was taken away from her in a few short moments and she’s left to rebuild some form of life. As much as she wants to find a way to live, things are holding her back. She can’t seem to find a way to move forward without things dragging her back to a world she doesn’t know how to live in anymore.

Josh loses the people he loves until it’s just him. He shuts people out, not wanting to risk losing anyone else. If he doesn’t give himself anyone to love, he won’t have to lose anyone else. He has people in his life, but he keeps them safely locked away from any real emotional connection to keep them safe.

When these two people started an unlikely relationship, I knew the hurt was going to come. They share some secrets, but keep others. What started as a relationship of toleration slowly becomes friendship which leads to romance. These two people don’t jump right into their feelings; both know that feeling can be dangerous.

Nastya and Josh are looking for the second chances. They’re looking for a way to forge ahead in life, even though their pasts haven’t been kind. They want the chance to love and be okay. Every page is laced with that need. Even more than they want each other, they need that second chance. Millay did an amazing job in keeping the story authentic, giving just the right about of hurt coupled with a pinch of hope.

I really don’t have the words to express how much this novel moved me. Nastya and Josh were broken, and they aren’t magically fixed in this book. To expect perfection after everything that happened would have made this book felt wrong. Even though everything wasn’t wrapped up in a perfect little bow, the last words of the novel were exactly what they needed to be. I will never look at pennies, garages, or woodwork the same again.

The Sea of Tranquility is a perfect book. Read it. There’s nothing else I can say.

You want to buy this novel and read it. I know you do. So click here:
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Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits series
Pages: 462 pages hardcover, 480 ebook
Rating: ★★★★★

I love to sleep. From the moment I wake up in the morning, I look forward to crawling back in bed that night, curling up in a ball, pulling the covers around me, and going to sleep. So when a book makes me want to avoid sleeping, makes me drink caffeine just so I can stay awake to finish it, I know that is an amazing book.

Dare You To is one of those books.

I hadn’t expected to love Pushing the Limits as much as I did, so when I started Dare You To, I was ready. I knew that if this book was anything like the first, I’d be in for quite a ride.

Beth takes care of her mother at all costs; risking herself in order to make sure her mom is somewhat safe. When things go horribly wrong and she ends up being forced to live with her uncle, all she wants is a way out.

Ryan is the town’s golden boy who can do no wrong. To everyone else, his life is perfect…he has the perfect parents, the perfect home, the perfect life. He can’t share the imperfections with anyone.

When Ryan is dared to get Beth to go on a date with him, he looks at her as a challenge. Beth doesn’t feel worthy of Ryan’s perfection and his attention, so she turns him down at every chance. When they start to fall for each other, secrets come out, trust is put to the test, and their relationship faces difficulties at every turn.

I think what I enjoyed most about Dare You To is how real the characters felt. It was easy to imagine these two people growing up in my city, going to my high school. They are both rough around the edges, but are constantly trying to make themselves better. They aren’t the amazing teens that sometimes fall into young adult novels…they make mistakes and don’t always think things through.

Pushing the Limits surprised me with how much I loved it. Even going into Dare You To with high expectations, I was still blown away. McGarry has an amazing way of writing and I’ll be anxiously awaiting the day I get to read what comes next.

If Dare You To sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
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Thank you to HarlequinTeen and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Review: That Boy by Jillian Dodd

Title: That Boy
Author: Jillian Dodd
Series: That Boy series
Pages: 287 pages
Rating: ★★★★

I’ve been in the mood for a sweet book that will give me the flutters without having a supernatural component, or a ton of drama, or break my heart. That Boy is exactly that. Plus, it takes place in Huskers territory, and as a proud Huskers fan, that made the book even better.

Jayden has grown up with Phillip and Danny. They’ve been her best friends through everything, always there when she needs them. Even as they grew up together, their relationships never really moved past friendship. They liked how things were and didn’t want to jeopardize that.

Phillip is the calm one, the rational one, the one that will drop everything when Jayden needs help. Danny is spontaneous, doing things without thinking it through, and knows when to let Jayden stick things out. I like that the boys in her life are so different. Each boy has a role in her life and it’s easy to see how their little group builds each other up and supports one another.

Jayden isn’t more mature than her age, but she also isn’t stupid. She has to grow up fast in some ways, but she also acts her age at other times. She’s not the most responsible character I’ve ever read, but she’s also not irresponsible. She’s just a girl enjoying her life and making the most of it. Of course there were times I wanted to shake her and make her see what was going on around her, but it wasn’t out of frustration. It felt a little like when your friend can’t see what everyone else sees and you just want to talk some sense into her. For an author to make me feel like I’m actually friends with one of her characters is amazing.

That Boy gave me the flutters often. I’d read a page and get a silly smile and have that fluttering feeling. This book was exactly what I was in the mood for. I’m sure I’ll pick up the next books in the series whenever I need the silly smiles.

That Boy is a silly, happy, and sweet read that will leave you smiling and content. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but if you’re looking for a romantic read without it being so sweet your teeth hurt, That Boy is definitely a great book to pick up.

If That Boy sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
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Review: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

Title: Dear Cassie
Author: Lisa Burstein
Series: Pretty Amy series
Pages: 352 pages
Rating: ★★★★★

I love fairy tales. I love that perfect happy ending. I spent the first 10 years of my life wishing I lived in a land that mixed Sleeping Beauty with Beauty and the Beast and I still hold out hope that one day my prince will come and everything will be perfect and wonderful. Even with that hope, when I’m reading, I’d rather have real than happy. Why is this important to know?

Because Dear Cassie is not a fairy tale. It does not have a perfect happy ending. This book will twist your gut and punch your heart. Cassie’s life has never been wonderful, but ever since she became the fall guy for her friends and their prom night, it’s been worse. She’s made decisions she never thought she’d have to face and she’s still dealing with the repercussions.

I didn’t read Pretty Amy before reading Dear Cassie, but I didn’t feel like that took me out of the story at all. The events of Pretty Amy are talked about enough that I could get a good picture of what happened. Even if I couldn’t, Dear Cassie deals more with the aftermath of that prom night and the choices Cassie makes. She is set to this rehab camp as punishment for the prom night events, but she’s working through something even more important and life changing.

Cassie’s disdain for herself broke my heart. There was no “right” solution and she did what she thought was best, yet she can’t help but beat herself up over it. She blocks herself off from people, using language and attitude as a way to keep people away. When Ben works his way past her defenses, it scares her. She’s seen the bad side of men and not much of the good side. Ben works hard to make sure she can see that whatever happened in the past does not have to be her future.

I’m sure some people won’t like the ending. It’s not a fairy tale ending. Everything isn’t tied up in a pretty bow. But it is perfect. It is real life. If this book had ended any other way, it just wouldn’t have felt right.

Dear Cassie was a gut-wrenching read. My eyes filled with tears the more I read. But as much as it hurts, it also gives hope and forgiveness. I can’t think of words to describe after finishing this book, but that’s a good thing. I will definitely be reading more from Burstein.

If Dear Cassie sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
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Amazon
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Thank you to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for a honest review.

Review: Levitating Las Vegas by Jennifer Echols

Title: Levitating Las Vegas
Author: Jennifer Echols
Pages: 300 pages
Rating: ★★★★

Levitating Las Vegas is a departure from what I’ve come to expect from Echols. It has older characters and a paranormal aspect. As much as I love Echols, I wasn’t sure if this kind of book would feel right coming from her. I’m glad to say that after a bit of a shaky start, Echols definitely picked up and had me turning the pages as fast as I could.

Holly and Elijah tried to have that sweet high school romance, but their parents interfered. After they each are separately “diagnosed” with a mental illness, they avoid each other as much as possible. So when they discover the true about their mental powers, they once again find themselves drawn to each other.

From there it’s a whirlwind romance with a kidnapping with a twist, a road trip, and personal discoveries that change how they view the world. They have to make decisions quickly and hope that what path they end up on is the right one. They are at times unreliable, but that only makes the drama more heightened.

The first chapter or so felt a little off; it didn’t quite flow as well as the rest of Echols’ works. Once the setup has been laid out, the story gets going and the book flows much better.

Levitating Las Vegas is a fast-paced romance with a twist. Echols handled her venture into the paranormal in a way I would only expect from her and I can’t wait to read what comes next.

If Levitating Las Vegas sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
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Amazon

Thank you to Pocket Star and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.

ONE TINY LIE Cover Reveal!

I am honored to be a part of the cover reveal for K.A. Tucker’s One Tiny Lie. I loved Ten Tiny Breaths and can’t after reading the synopsis for One Tiny Lie, I can’t wait to get my hands on it and read it. I know it will be one that makes me stay awake for as long as it takes me to finish.

ABOUT K.A. TUCKER:KathleenTucker

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

LINKS:

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ABOUT ONE TINY LIE:

Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents’ tragic death and Kacey’s self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would…and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.

Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?

As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.

And now, without further ado, I give you the cover of

One Tiny Lie

Tucker_One Tiny Lie cover

Isn’t it gorgeous?! I love it. The colors, the simplicity…it’s perfect.

So now that you’ve read the blurb and stared at the cover, it’s time to pre-order! Simply click on the link you need below