Publisher: Crush

Guest Review: Defying Gravity by Kendra C. Highley

Posted July 29, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Defying Gravity by Kendra C. HighleyReviewer: Tracy
Defying Gravity by Kendra C. Highley
Series: Finding Perfect #2
Published by Entangled, Crush
Publication Date: July 25th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
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three-half-stars

Zoey Miller lives for her holidays in Aspen. Her time up on the mountain with the Madison brothers, Parker and Luke, is everything. But for the first time, it’s not enough. This time, she’s determined to win one of the brothers’ hearts.

But the brother she has in mind is a renowned player, with hordes of snow-bunnies following him around Snowmass resort. And the other…well, he’s her best friend and knows she deserves better. Namely him. And he’s going to win her heart.

Parker is in love with his best friend. They are both seniors and they grew up together but now Zoey only spends holidays in Aspen where Parker is a permanent resident. He wants to tell her how he feels but he’s just not found a good time. He’s also afraid that he’ll jeopardize their friendship if she doesn’t feel the same way.
Luke is Parker’s older brother by two years and attends college in Arizona. He’s home for the winter break as well. There’s always been a bit of a competition with them but when it comes to Zoey they’ve all just been good friends – until now.

Zoey shows up from Texas thinking that she’s finally going to make a move on Luke, who she’s had a crush on for a couple of years. She even does her hair and make-up – which she never does while on vacation – to impress him. Luke’s got a following of groupies because of his skiing and Zoey’s not sure that she can measure up to them.

Parker sees how Zoey is looking at Luke and it’s pissing him off and breaking his heart. Luke is reacting to her and Parker confronts Luke. Of course Luke decides to make it a bet about who could “win” her first. Parker’s not really thinking about the bet, he just wants Zoey and he wants Luke to leave her alone.

This was a cute story. It was pretty light and airy for the most part and a quick easy read. Parker seemed like such a good guy and it amazed me that Zoey hadn’t seen him for the wonderful man he was – not just a friend – until she saw him killing it at the Terrain Park. I mean, I get it, the girl is confused because she thought she wanted Luke and then realizes that he’s a bit of an ass when it comes to women. She sees Parker in another light and it meshes everything together. Unfortunately, that also made her seem pretty shallow. Yeah, he’s my friend and I love everything about him but now that I see him at the terrain park and see how good he is then now I want him in other ways. Luckily the author worked around that issue pretty well and in the end I was satisfied with the outcome of it all.

I didn’t read the first book in this story and didn’t feel like I needed to in order to read this one. Yes, the couple from book one was mentioned and Zoey talks to her friend Paige (who I guess was one of the MC’s from book one). To me, however, it just seemed like she was talking to a friend and frankly I didn’t feel the need to know more about Paige and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. So overall a pretty cute YA story I enjoyed reading.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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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
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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

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