Publisher: Entangled Crush

Guest Review: Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray

Posted April 12, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie RayReviewer: Tracy
Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray
Published by Entangled Crush
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.

CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett is blindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.

Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett. CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…

Cece meets Emmett the first day of school in her literature class.  They seem to get along and Cece can’t help but notice how hot Emmett is.  Of course she doesn’t think anything will happen between them because of a scar that she has on her cheek.  Despite knowing most of the kids at her private high school there are still times when someone sees her for the first time and is horrified by her face.  Cece tries to take it in stride but sometimes it just hurts.

Cece is the captain of her volleyball team at her private school and she’s not one to mess around with it.  You’re there to work and to win.  The school even recruits a girl from California to come and play on their team.  The new girl, Bryn, is insanely beautiful.  Despite a rough start with Cece and comments about her scar the pair actually become friends. The problem is that Emmett is awestruck with Bryn’s beauty and asks if he can text her.  They exchange numbers.  Bryn is soon asking Cece for help because she’s just not good talking to guys.  Cece texts Emmett for Bryn but ends up telling him her feelings for him.  Of course he thinks that it’s Bryn where does that leave Cece?

This was a cute book.  It’s a play on the Cyrano de Bergerac story but slightly different. It’s also has a very close resemblance to the 1987 movie Roxanne, also a Cyrano story.  Cece talking under Emmett’s balcony acting like she’s Bryn, Cece giving a dozen better insults to her scar after a girl comes up with a
“unoriginal” one – even prefacing the insults as Steve Martin’s character did in the movie.  It was funny, don’t get me wrong, but a little too close to the movie.

Emmett and Cece are truly perfect for each other but Emmett likes her as a friend.  He’s so blinded by Byn’s beauty that he can’t see anything else.  Bryn is a great girl but not all that intelligent.  When she asks Cece to text and email Emmett she has no idea when they’re saying and just doesn’t care as long as she can sleep with Emmett.  Totally shallow but that’s Bryn.  While I found Emmett and Cece intelligent I found them to be almost too mature for their 17 or 18-year-old selves.  I kept having to remind myself that it was YA because it read like a super mature NA novel.

Despite those couple of things that I found a bit annoying I have to say that I really liked the book.  Emmett was a great guy and Cece was a wonderful girl.  They were written so well and I loved their perceptions of the world, literature and music. The supporting characters in the story were well written as well and they made things more young adult in the end.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

Review: Falling for the Wrong Guy by Sara Hantz

Posted October 28, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Falling for the Wrong Guy by Sara HantzReviewer: Rowena
Falling for the Wrong Guy by Sara Hantz

Publication Date: October 12, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-stars

Ruby Davis has a crush on her brother’s best friend. At least, he was his bestie until the big betrayal. Now Drew is off limits to everyone, especially Ruby. She can’t stand the way people treat him, or the way he feels about himself. It isn’t right. And those deep green eyes are calling to her.

Drew is scarred and damaged, and he has no business even looking at Ruby. But he can’t help himself. She’s beautiful, but he does his best to stay away. When they are assigned a school project, they become reluctant friends – even though they want so much more.

She’s torn between her feelings for Drew and loyalty to her brother. There’s no way they can ever be together...but love just might find a way.

Rowena’s review of Falling for the Wrong Guy by Sara Hantz.

One of my favorite tropes is the falling in love with your older brother’s best friend one. This is one of those stories so I was hyped up to get this book read. I also enjoyed the last Entangled: Crush book that I read (I loved it a lot) so I was expecting a lot of the same kind of thing from that book.

Hmm, this book was a completely different reading experience for me.

So Mia (Umm, who the heck is Ruby? The main character in my eARC is Mia, not Ruby) has a huge crush on her brother’s ex-bestfriend, Drew. Drew is the enemy because when Blake (Mia’s brother) found out his girlfriend died, he found out that she was with Drew before she died. Reese (the girlfriend) died in a house fire and Drew, who survived the fire is left with third degree burns on his body.

The book starts and it’s about a year after the fire and Drew is back at school. He missed almost all of school last year so he has to repeat his junior year, which puts him in the same grade as Mia (sorry but she’s Mia to me, not Ruby). The whispers and the stares follow Drew around when he first gets back at school and Mia wants to help him feel welcome because the crush she had on him for all those years hasn’t gone away and though she feels bad about betraying her brother, her heart wants Drew and when they get close after being put together in a group project, Mia has to decide if she wants to continue being Drew’s secret.

Drew refuses to hurt Blake again. The thing with Reese wasn’t planned but Drew carries around a lot of guilt and while he misses his best friend Blake, he understands why Blake hates him so much. So when him and Mia become more than friends, Drew is torn because he wants to be with Mia but he also understands why Blake wouldn’t want him with her. So he makes bonehead mistakes and in his effort to save Blake from being hurt, he hurts Mia and a whole lot of dumbass-ness happens.

Through a lot of the book, I’m annoyed with a different person. First it was Blake and his anger that was directed at all of the wrong things and people. Then it was Mia and then it was Drew and then it was Mia and Blake’s father and then it was back to Mia and then back to Drew. I didn’t understand a lot of what drove the characters to make such dumbass choices and to think the way that they did. I couldn’t connect with anyone except the one person that we didn’t get nearly enough page time with and that was Tiffany, Mia’s best friend. I thought she had a good head on her shoulders and showed a lot of patience and support to Mia. She was a good friend to Mia. She was there when Mia needed her and counseled Mia when she needed to be counseled.

The romance between Drew and Mia had potential to be good, but they got on my nerves throughout a whole lot of the book and by the end, I was just happy to finally be done with them. They drove me crazy. I didn’t understand them, I didn’t sympathize with them and that’s saying something because Drew has third degree burns but the way that he pulled away from everyone and was hot and cold with Mia’s feelings made him a less desirable love interest for me. Mia wasn’t any better. She drove me mad with everything and don’t even get me started on Blake. I didn’t understand his animosity over …everything. He made me mad and then after all was said and done, the resolution to everything came about so freaking fast. Too fast. Too easy.

So while I really liked Tiffany, everything else left a lot to be desired.

two-stars

Review: Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

Posted September 10, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Finding Perfect by Kendra C. HighleyReviewer: Rowena
Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: September 14th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, General
Pages: 252
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

How far will you go for perfection?For "Perfect Paige" Westfeld, today is "D" Day. As in, she just got one on her calculus test. With her dreams of Stanford, her reputation, and her parents' expectations at stake, Paige needs to find a way to save face before everything she's worked for goes up in flames.
Ben Franklin (yes, he's related) is from the wrong side of town, with the wrong clothes and the wrong kind of life. He also knows an opportunity when he sees one, and he'll be happy to tutor Paige-if she makes him into the kind of guy her best friend, the hottest girl in school, will date.
It's the perfect arrangement. And Paige is determined not even the inconvenient-and utterly imperfect-attraction simmering between her and Ben will ruin it...
This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swoony situations, adult language, and a perfectly imperfect hero with an eye for calculus and a heart of gold.

I read one other book by Kendra C. Highley and the protagonist in that book drove me up the wall. I was very interested in the book because it features a young high school basketball player and my daughter is one so it was a world that I knew. A world that I understood and was comfortable in but the protagonist made a lot of bad choices so that got on my nerves and that affected my enjoyment of the book as a whole. I still enjoyed the book but it was hard to read. After remembering that book, I was a little wary going into this book. I was prepared to roll my eyes down the street a lot but the synopsis of this book sounded too cute for me to stay away.

I shouldn’t have been worried at all because I adored this book. Highley wrote one of the cutest YA books that I’ve read all summer. I thought both Ben and Paige were fantastic characters and their problems were real ones. They were going through some of the same things that my daughter is going through. They worried about their grades, they worried about getting into college and they worried about what ordinary teens these days are worrying about.

I really enjoyed seeing both Paige and Ben come together. I loved seeing their plans change over the course of the book and I really enjoyed that they acted and reacted like teenagers would. I loved how disappointed Paige was when Ben wanted her to hook him up with Zoey and I loved how much Ben came to like Paige. I also really liked that the parents were actively apart of these teenagers lives. They were intense and they were different but they were there and they were supportive of their kids. It’s nice to see that in contemporary YA since I’ve read more books where the parents are either never around or jerks.

I’m really looking forward to reading Zoey’s book. I loved that she was such a good friend to Paige and later on, to Ben. I can’t wait to see finally meet this Luke Hamilton. He’s got to be amazing if he’s got gorgeous Zoey salivating at the mouth.

Overall, this book was a cute contemporary YA romance that I couldn’t get enough of. The characters were real, they were fun and they were smart. I think fans of contemporary YA will enjoy this one. It’s not bogged with issues and drama and angst. It’s got the right amount of teenage drama and angst to make you thirsty for more. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Entangled Crush. You can purchase it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars