Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Review: If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted September 21, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. ArmentroutReviewer: Rowena
If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 480
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four-stars

Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She's ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic--one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn't looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when she and her friends' entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn't even guaranteed?

I need to read more books by Jennifer L. Armentrout because I enjoyed this one. It deals with survivor’s guilt and I thought Armentrout did a fantastic job of showing us not just how Lena was doing, surviving the accident but also showing us how the people in her world were handling the entire incident.

Lena is a senior in high school and like high school kids tend to do, they go to school and they go to parties and they make bad decisions. Lena’s bad choice destroys the senior year that she envisioned for herself. Everything that she used to worry about, don’t matter anymore and Lena struggles to deal with the aftermath of her bad choice.

Lena has been in love with her best friend Sebastian for as long as she can remember and the night everything changed, she was so mad at him. About what? Nothing that matters now. Things are different now and sure, she still loves Sebastian but if he finds out about her bad choice, how can he ever love her back?

Lena’s struggles throughout this book are completely understandable and even though I understood why she felt the way that she did, I was still a bit frustrated with her at times. The push and pull thing she had with Sebastian was a little annoying but I chalked that up to her being young and still allowed to be that frustrating.

I completely adored Sebastian though. Loved the hell out of him and loved the way that he just refused to leave Lena’s side when she wanted him gone. I loved that he knew she shouldn’t be alone and wasn’t overwhelming in his need to be there for his best friend and love his best friend, that there was a balance to him and Lena. He was such a good love interest.

I enjoy Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing style and after I finished this book, I went out and bought The Problem with Forever. This book was heartbreaking and it was hard to get through but it was a really strong story that I connected with. Lena’s struggles were real. I felt her grief and her guilt. I was wrapped up in this story from beginning to end. This is an important read for young readers and I’m really glad that I picked this up.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

Posted July 12, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha YoungReviewer: Rowena
The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 384
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Goodreads
four-stars

I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

The Impossible Vastness of Us is the first contemporary YA that Samantha Young has written and at first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to read it. Any of her younger stories gives me pause because of my rage after reading Out of the Shallows. I’m scared to try any other NA books by Young because of my experience with Jake and Charlie.

I’m still not quite sure why I picked this book up, other than it’s a Samantha Young and I enjoy most of her books so I caved and boy am I glad that I did because I enjoyed getting to know India, Finn and even Eloise.

India Maxwell is moving across the country, away from her friends and everything she’s ever known because her mother met someone and got engaged. She moved away from her California suburban home to the upper crust of Boston society. She went from being the popular poor girl to a rich newbie that nobody knew and then thanks to her soon to be step-sister, the rich newbie that nobody wanted to get to know. India hasn’t had an easy life. She’s dealing with a bunch of stuff from her past and having to build defenses against a new school and a new life isn’t easy for her. Her mother is happy with her new love and he’s got a daughter that is India’s age but she’s made it very clear that they won’t be besties. So India does what any normal person would do. She keeps her head down and gets on with life.

She has no interest in becoming a part of the family that her Mom is trying to blend. She’s got issues with male figures of authority and her step-sister isn’t an easy person to be around, especially since she’s got a boyfriend that India is way attracted to.

Against India’s better judgement, she becomes entangled in a friendship that can’t go anywhere and she’s put in a situation that she can’t get out of and there’s so much going on in her new life that she starts to flounder a bit and the reader is treated to some real character growth in India. I thought Samantha Young did a great job of showing us just how much India, Finn and Eloise grew from the beginning of the book to the end. They became a unit that I wasn’t prepared for and the secrets they kept were some pretty big secrets.

I came to learn that not everything is as it seems and pain hits everyone, no matter how poor or rich you are. India had her issues that she was working through and so did Finn and Eloise. I thought Samantha Young did a great job of portraying India’s mothers struggles to fix her relationship with India. I loved seeing India really come into her own and accept her new life and deal with her issues with Theo and separating him from her past. India was a great protagonist that wasn’t perfect but was relatable.

Finn and Eloise were great characters in their own right. Sure, they frustrated me from time to time, especially Finn’s hot and cold attitude but once everything is out in the open and they warm up to India (who never deserved their scorn), my attitude toward them changed. Eloise’s situation was a hard one to read about because I just wanted to hug her close and keep her safe from everything but I was really glad with the way that her story wrapped up.

Overall, this was great addition to Samantha Young’s backlist. I really connected with all of the characters, even bitch ass Bryce and I was cheering them all on to get their happy endings. This was an entertaining read from beginning to end and I definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting a fun contemporary YA with characters that are put through the wringer and come out on top in the end. It’s good, I promise!

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera

Posted February 27, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Hooked by Liz FicheraReviewer: Rowena
Hooked (Hooked, #1) by Liz Fichera
Series: Hooked #1
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: March 22nd 2013
Genres: Young Adult
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three-stars

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...

GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.

****

"Not just a Romeo and Juliet story, the book examines the conflicts of white versus Indian and rich versus poor, giving it far more heft than the average romance. Bravo." (Kirkus STARRED Review)

I wanted to read this book because I heard that the main character was a golfer and that was different enough from what I’m used to in a main female lead for a contemporary YA that I was intrigued.

We first meet Fred when the golf coach for the high school is talking to her and her Dad about Fred joining the golf club.  She’s a fantastic golfer and the coach wants her on the team.  Being Native American, living on the res and being a girl, Fred’s father isn’t too wild about Fred joining the team but he leaves it up to Fred and she accepts.

There are plenty of things that jump out during this story.  Fred’s now apart of the golf team and with her inclusion, some cuts need to be made and the guy they cut just so happens to be Ryan’s best friend.  So yeah, Ryan is not too happy about that and he makes his displeasure known again and again and again.

At times, I found myself annoyed with both Fred and Ryan.  At times, they are both very unlikable (at least to me) and while the whole premise of the story intrigued and interested me, there were times when I just had to put the book down because it dragged.  Both Ryan and Fred annoyed me so much through out the book that it’s a wonder why I even liked the book.  But I did.  I really liked all of the golf talk because let’s be real, golf is pretty boring but I thought Fichera did a great job of making golf, cool.

I’m glad that I finished this book because I did come to like both Ryan and Fred’s characters but even then, it didn’t completely wash away my annoyance from the both of them in the beginning and middle of the book.  You could chalk it up to them both being young and immature (way immature) but be that as it may, they were still hard to take at times.

Overall, I liked the concept of the book and I came to like the characters in the book but it wasn’t my favorite book of the year.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Harlequin Teen. This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://goodreads.com

three-stars


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Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Posted October 16, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Lost Prince by Julie KagawaReviewer: Rowena
The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1) by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 23rd 2012
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 377
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Goodreads
four-stars

Don’t look at Them.Never let Them knowyou can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

Julie Kagawa has done it again.

It’s been a while since I’ve read any of the Iron Fae books in a while but when I picked up this book, I was happily thrown back into the world that Kagawa created for the Iron Fae. This book follows Ethan Chase as he tries his best to move on with his life away from the fae world as he can. After he was taken captive by those damn fairies, he hasn’t been a fan of them and more than anything, he wanted to forget them. It’s hard to do that because those fairies won’t leave him alone. When they start in on those close to him, Ethan feels like he has to step in and take care of these pests once and for all.

Ethan finds himself thrown into the faerie world against his wishes once again and with good reasons, he’s not happy. He’s the new guy in yet another school and he’s trying to keep a low profile there so that this town would be easier to live in than the last few towns that he lived in but when he meets Todd, who is getting bullied at school, it’s hard for him to not get involved. Not expecting to make any friends in this new school, Ethan puts up this prickly façade that doesn’t fool either Todd or the cute girl Kenzie St. James that won’t take a hike after he made it plain as day that he doesn’t want to be friends.

Kenzie, a reporter for the school’s newspaper won’t take no for an answer. She wants an interview with the new guy that has a bad reputation that followed him all the way to his new school and she’ll keep right on asking him until he agrees. It helps that he’s easy on the eyes and she feels that there is a lot more to Ethan Chase than meets the eye and she’s definitely interested in finding out what makes him, him.

They both get more than they bargained for when they’re thrown together in an adventure that one is unsure is real and the other is pissed at being drawn back into. Todd has been taken and there’s a new kind of faerie that is taking out the half-breeds on earth and sucking their souls out of them. Ethan needs to get back to the faerie world to find Todd and then he’s coming right back home to get on with his life but when things don’t go according to plan, Ethan is dragged into a potential war that he can’t walk away from.

There is a lot of things that pop up in this book and I enjoyed the ride. Ethan is prickly and he’s mad but he’s also got just cause for feeling the way that he does. He’s also very brave and he knows what he wants and what he’s capable of. The way that he handles the problems that were thrown at him had me turning the pages fast enough to cause worry of fire. I thought Kagawa did a great job of starting Ethan’s story and I very much look forward to reading the rest of the books in this branched off series.

It was good to see my favorite characters from the Iron Fae series again after so much time has passed. I loved seeing Meghan, Ash and Puck and then meeting the new characters like Keirran, Annwyl, Kenzie and even Todd.

This is definitely a series that I will continue to read and I’m pretty stoked about the reading journey to come. I definitely recommend this book.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Harlequin Teen. This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

four-stars


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Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Posted August 28, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise RozettReviewer: Rowena
Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1) by Louise Rozett
Series: Confessions #1
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: August 28th 2012
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 266
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four-stars

Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make…

1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)

(Sorry. That was rude.)

When I first requested this book for review, I thought that I would enjoy it and then it sat on my review pile for the longest time and then when I finally picked it up, I wasn’t too thrilled that I actually requested it because for some reason, I didn’t think I’d like it (complete change of mind, really) but I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed this one.

When we first meet the main character Rose Zarelli, her Dad is dead and her brother is away at college, leaving Rose all alone with her mother who is too busy grieving and working to pay much attention to her. The title of this book is pretty apt because though you can’t really tell by looking or interacting with Rose, the reader knows that she is pretty angry. Her brother has abandoned her, her best friend is acting all kinds of weird and her crush just kissed her but he’s with someone already and when his girlfriend finds out, she’s out for Rose’s blood.

I really enjoyed getting to know Rose. She was a complex character with many issues in her life and she was just kind of bumbling around, trying to get through each day. Her best friend’s boyfriend turned into a total douche over the course of a summer and her best friend is trying to fit in with girls that don’t deserve her loyalty or friendship and she has no interest in dating the guy that she should want to date because he treats her so good because she’s interested in someone else. She’s angry because her Dad is dead, her Mom has checked out and her brother is gone. She’s struggling with how to cope with her father’s death, she’s trying to be the best friend her friend needs and she’s struggling with a crush that she can’t turn away from, especially since he seems to be crushing right back at her even though she’s a freshman and he’s a junior.

It was interesting trying to navigate Rose’s life. Her character was very relatable and my inner 14 year old connected with her in a way that I haven’t connected with a character in a while. I was cheering her on from the very beginning and even when she was being a total brat, I liked her. She reminded me of myself when I was younger and I really liked her and the characters that were introduced in the book…well, most of them.

Rose’s best friend tries out for the cheer-leading squad and makes it. She’s also dating a guy on the swim team who is a total douche to her but she’s young and in love and overlooks it, time and time again. They get into a fight and Rose’s best friend does the unthinkable. She rats Rose out and because of that, I hated her. There are few things that you aren’t allowed to do to your friends (especially your best friend) and ratting them out to someone who clearly hates them is at the very top of the rulebook. You just don’t do it but Rose’s best friend does it and then makes some cookies for her at the end and then things go back to being normal. They need each other so they make up but nope, she’s going to need to do a whole lot more than bake some cookies and be there for Rose to make up for ratting her out. A whole lot more than that. Good friends are hard to come by and you don’t become a good friend by snitching someone out. Who needs enemies when you have friends like that?

The love interest, Jamie? I adored him. I adored the way that he was protective of Rose and I loved the way that he stood up to his ex-girlfriend for what she did to Rose. I really liked him and adored the way that he handled standing her up for prom. He’s a keeper, for real. I loved him. I can’t wait for more of him in the next book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to reading the next one. I’m hopeful that the next book will be just as good and I can’t wait for Rose’s family reaction to the page that she’s making for her Dad. I’m also looking forward to seeing how prom played out and what happens next with Jamie. I definitely recommend this book.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Harlequin Teen.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

four-stars


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