Saturday, August 4, 2018

Hidden Pieces

Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Goodreads Summary:
Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last murder.

My Review:
This was such a good read! I will admit that I almost put it down at one point. The first half, while interesting, seemed to drag a little bit. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, but I found myself needing more excitement. Yes it was suspenseful, but I didn’t really feel that urgency until later in the book.

The second half of the book was where things really sped up and got good! There were lots of things happening, and yet I still wanted more! I needed to know who the culprit was! I definitely didn’t think it was going to be who it ended up being. While I considered a few different characters, all of them were wrong.

I also liked the Epilogue. I think it wrapped up the story really nicely and gave us the ending we all wanted. It did this without being cheesy or over the top as well, which is always appreciated.

4 stars
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Girl You Thought I Was

The Girl You Thought I Was by Rebecca Phillips

Goodreads Summary:
No one looking at Morgan Kemper would think she had a secret-at least not one that she's deeply ashamed of. To everyone she meets, she comes across as sweet, pretty, and put together. But Morgan knows that looks can be deceiving. For over a year, she's shoplifted countless pieces of clothing and makeup. Each time she tells herself it will be the last, and each time it never is.

But when she's caught and sentenced to thirty hours of community service, the image Morgan has carefully constructed starts to crumble. She's determined to complete her punishment without her friends discovering the truth about her sticky fingers, but that's easier said than done...Especially once she meets Eli, the charming, handsome nephew of the owner of the charity shop where Morgan is volunteering. Soon, Morgan is faced with an impossible decision: continue to conceal the truth or admit that she's lied to everyone in her life, including the boy she's falling for.

My Review:
This book was your typical young adult romance, with a shoplifting twist thrown in. The first half of the book was when we really got to know the main characters. I found myself rooting for them throughout the whole story. In the second half of the book, that is when the real conflicts began. Sometimes books can frustrate me by how drawn out the conflict(s) are, but this book didn’t feel that way. It was just the right amount of timing to add some grit to the book to keep the reader interested, but not long enough that the reader gives up on it. I loved the way everything all came together in the end. It was so sweet, and the perfect ending.

It was interesting to me when Morgan realized why she had been shoplifting. I hadn’t thought about it in that way, so it was very enlightening (not that it makes shoplifting okay). I loved how well we got to know each character. There were several main characters in this book, but I never felt overwhelmed by it. This was a really easy, fun read, and I would definitely recommend it!

4.5 stars
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Kiss Me in New York

Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider

Goodreads Summary:
It's Christmas Eve at JFK in NYC.

Charlotte is a British student, waiting for a flight home after the worst semester of her life. Anthony is a native New Yorker, surprising his girlfriend at the airport after three months apart. Charlotte has just been dumped, and Anthony is about to be dumped, right in the middle of the holiday crowd.

Charlotte's flight is canceled when a blizzard blows in, and Anthony can't bear to go home. So, they set out into the city together, clutching a book Charlotte picks up in the airport gift shop: Ten Easy Steps for Getting Over Your Ex. For this one night, they'll focus on healing their broken hearts ... together.

Step-by-step, the two struggle to put the past behind them. But the snow is so enchanting, and the holiday lights are so beguiling, that soon their shared misery gives way to something else. Soon, they're not only over their exes --- they're falling for each other.

Then a subway ride splits them up by mistake. Will they reunite before Charlotte's flight leaves New York forever?

My Review:
This was a very fun read! It was a little weird reading about Christmas in June, but I loved it none the less! I really enjoyed how well I felt like we got to know the main characters in this book. I felt like I was right there with them on their journey to complete the ten things in their book. This book definitely had me feeling all the feels! There were moments of sadness and then moments where I was literally laughing out loud. This definitely kept me interested in the story line.

The romance in this book is very sweet, and I found myself wishing it would hurry up and happen already! While many things about this book were predictable, I still really enjoyed every second of it. Fans of contemporary young adult romance, will love it. I would definitely recommend this book!

5 stars
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Love, Lucy

Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Goodreads Summary:
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse have to be, does it?

In this stunning novel, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

My Review:
The beginning of the book reminded me a lot of Just One Day by Gayle Forman. It is the romance of two people who met overseas and their journey exploring. We quickly are taken back to the U.S. though where we will read about Lucy’s first year at college. This book definitely held my attention and kept me reading. However, I found that there were several things that got a little repetitive.

The romance was so sweet, and I found myself rooting for Lucy and Jesse throughout the whole book. While I was quite annoyed with her friend Charlene at one point, I definitely came to like her by the end of the book. I also really loved that the first part of the book was set in Italy. If you know anything about me, Italy is one of my all time favorite places!

4.5 stars

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Fill-In Boyfriend

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Goodreads Summary:
When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

My Review:
I have been wanting to read a Kasie West book ever since she released her first one, but I have never just sat down and done it. Boy was I missing out! I read this book in one three hour sitting. I could not put it down! While it wasn’t incredibly suspenseful, it was an incredibly easy read! Along with that, I found myself very invested in the characters right off the bat. I wanted to know how everything would turn out. It is a super cute, fun read that I would recommend to anyone looking for a light book!

5 stars

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

It's Not Okay by Andi Dorfman

It’s Not Okay by Andi Dorfman

Goodreads Summary:
Andi Dorfman, the beloved finalist of season eighteen of The Bachelor who infamously rejected Juan Pablo and went on to star on season ten of The Bachelorette, dishes about what it's like to live out a love story--and its collapse--in front of the cameras, offering hard-won advice for moving on after a break-up, public or not.

Andi Dorfman, star of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, talks candidly about what it's like to be courted by twenty-five handsome, single men in this juicy, insider's peek at dating--and breaking up--on national TV. She shares entertaining and heartfelt stories about her fellow Bachelor alums--many of whom are still close friends--comes clean about calling out Bachelor #18 Juan Pablo for bad behavior, and reflects on her personal challenges and uplifting experiences in love that she hopes will help you get through your own break-ups with grace and style!

My Review:
I am a big Bachelor/Bachelorette fan, so I was really excited to read Andi’s book about her experience on the show. I had read Emil Maynard’s in the past, so I was excited about this one as well.

I loved all of the parts of the book where Andi told us about her experience on the show, the behind the scenes aspects, and what happened after the show. She refers to Juan Pablo from the season she was a contestant on as “One” because he was the first guy that got her started in being a part of the Bachelor world. Then on her season, Nick Viall was one of her final two who she refers to in the book as “Twenty-Five.” Lastly, the final man standing was Josh Murray who she refers to as “Twenty-Six.” I do not think either of them are good guys, so I was interested to see why And didn’t think so either and read about some of the things that happened off camera. It was definitely very enlightening and just validated everything I had already thought about the two of them.

The frustrating thing about this book was that a lot of it was written like a self-help “How to get over heartbreak” type of book. While that may be great for some people, it doesn’t apply to me. I think maybe Andi should have written either the self-help type of book or the tell-all type of book. I don’t know that mixing the two worked that well. I found myself skimming through several parts of the book because of this.

3.5 stars

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Midnight in the Piazza

Midnight in the Piazza by Tiffany Parks

Goodreads Summary:
Mysteries abound in this exciting race through Rome!

Beatrice Archer may love history, and Rome may be chock-full of it, but that doesn’t mean she wants to move there!

Too bad Beatrice’s father got a job as the head of the history department at the American Academy in Rome—now, Beatrice has no choice but to get used to the idea.

When she arrives in Rome she explores her new city as much as she can, but it isn’t until she hears talk of a strange neighborhood legend that Beatrice perks up. A centuries-old unsolved mystery about the beautiful turtle fountain outside her window? Sounds like fun!

Before Beatrice has a chance to explore, though, she sees a dark figure emerge from the shadows of the square in the middle of the night—and steal the famous turtle sculptures that give the fountain its name.

When no one believes her story, Beatrice knows that it’s up to her to solve the crime and restore the turtles to their rightful place. With the help of her new friend Marco, she navigates a world of unscrupulous ambassadors, tricky tutors, and international art thieves to unravel one of Roman history’s greatest dramas—before another priceless work of art is stolen.

My Review:
This is a fabulous middle grade mystery! I loved every minute of it, and found myself not wanting to put it down. It was a great mystery that kept you intrigued, yet not scared. I loved that it took place in Rome as well. Italy is my favorite country, so that was definitely an added bonus.

I enjoyed getting to know Beatrice and how brave she was for just thirteen years old. I am normally not a history person, but she made me excited to learn more about the history that she was discovering. It was written in a way that make me want to keep reading!

5 stars
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Love and Other Train Wrecks

Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen

Goodreads Summary:
A twenty-four-hour romance about two teens who meet—and perhaps change their minds about love—on a train ride to Upstate New York in the middle of a snowstorm

One train ride. Two strangers.

Noah is a hopeless romantic. He’s heading back home for one last chance with his first love, whom he broke up with when he went off to college.

Ammy doesn’t believe in true love—her parents being prime examples. She’s escaping from a mom who can’t take care of her to a dad who may not even want her. That is, until one winter night when Noah and Ammy find themselves in the same Amtrak car heading to Upstate New York.

After a train-wreck first encounter between the two of them, the Amtrak train suddenly breaks down due to a snowstorm. Desperate to make it to their destinations, Noah and Ammy have no other option but to travel together. What starts off as a minor detour turns into the whirlwind journey of a lifetime, and over the course of the night they fall in love. But come morning their adventure takes an unexpected turn for the worst. Can one night can really change how they feel about love...and the course of their lives forever?

My Review:
This was such a sweet, fluffy, winter read. I loved getting to “watch” these two get to know each other and fall for each other just over the course of a day. It reminded me a little bit of Just One Day by Gayle Forman.

I liked the twist that was included (although it wasn’t really that surprising), and seeing how they handled it. However, I will say the last few chapters seemed to start to drag on. I felt like the end of the book and the Epilogue should have happened sooner (and then continue the book so we can see what happens afterwards).

Overall, this was a cute story that I would recommend.

4 stars
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Everless by Sarah Holland

Goodreads Summary:
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

My Review:
Everless is the first book by Sara Holland, and the first book in a series. This book started out slow, but quickly picked up the pace. By the end I felt like I couldn’t read fast enough! I was dying to know what was going to happen next!

I loved all of the twists and turns in this book. It definitely kept me on my toes throughout the entire book. What I expected to happen was never what actually happened, and I found myself wanting answers as badly and as urgently as Jules did. I don't want to say too much more, because I feel like it will be really easy to spoil some of the surprises that happen in this story.

This was a really unique world that I loved being transported to. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series! I feel like we have only glimpsed the greatness of what this series will be.

4.5 stars
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.