Tag: Kasie West

Review: Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Posted July 27, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Lucky in Love by Kasie WestReviewer: Rowena
Lucky in Love by Kasie West
Published by Scholastic
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 333
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Kasie West, for me, is the writer that writes cute contemporary YA romances. Her books are cute and funny and the romances are sweet. The perfect beach read, for me at least.

Lucky in Love follows young Maddie as she watches her old life go up in flames when she wins the lottery and becomes rich overnight. Her bickering parents and no plans brother have been stressing her out and she’s been limiting her options for college to those colleges close to home so that she can take care of her family from school. Money is tight and she needs to work hard and get scholarships so she’s been pretty busy with school work, with working at the zoo and keeping her family happy and functioning and quite frankly, that’s a lot of stress to put on someone as young as Maddie.

The story as a whole gave me a lot of anxiety. The amount of money that her family blew through and then Maddie making mistake after mistake before she finally starts to get things right took a lot out of me which is surprising considering Kasie West books have normally been such easy, breezy reads for me in the past. I had to keep putting this book down because the mother in me could not stand all of the meaningless spending that Maddie’s family did and then the whole secret keeping from Seth didn’t win me over (I hate secrets) not to mention the burden Maddie carried with her where her family was concerned. Her father wasn’t working and her mother was carrying their family financially and being completely resentful over that and their careless attitude toward fixing themselves, even after they’re not struggling for money anymore, it all bothered me.

Maddie’s character was a little on the hard side to like because I didn’t like a lot of the choices she makes but all is well in the end. My favorite part of this entire story was the love interest, Seth Nguyen. I thought he was adorable and understanding. I loved that though he had his own struggles, he didn’t try to make those struggles, Maddie’s struggles. I love that he was just there for her, to lend a listening ear, to help her through whatever she needed his help with and he did so much for her while being grounded with no phone. Ha.

West does a great job of bringing the story together. There’s a lot of wrong before the characters start to get it right and even though I got a lot of anxiety, I still enjoyed the book overall. It’s not my favorite book by Kasie West but it was still a pretty solid read. I think younger people will enjoy this book a lot more than I did but still, it was good.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5


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Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

Posted February 14, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: By Your Side by Kasie WestReviewer: Rowena
By Your Side by Kasie West
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Kasie West writes cute, fun and fluffy contemporary young adult romances and this book was no different. This wasn’t my favorite Kasie West story but it was still a solid read.

Autumn Collins got locked in the library. She was also left behind. She had weekend plans with her friends at her best friend’s cabin and those plans went right out the window when she had to pee just as the library was closing and she got locked in the library…for an entire weekend. First off, this was totally unrealistic since I just don’t see this happening in real life but still. I went with it.

Autumn is stuck in the library over the weekend with Dax. The school’s loner who has a reputation for fighting. Nobody really knows Dax but they do know that he was sent to juvie after getting into a fight. Autumn has a crush on Jason and she was looking forward to hanging out with him over at the bonfire that her group of friends was heading over to after leaving the library. When she gets locked in the library, she starts to wonder when her friends will notice that she’s not with them. When the first night goes by and her friend’s don’t come back for her, she covers up what that might mean by trying to get to know the guy she’s locked in the library with…Dax.

Dax hasn’t had an easy go of this life thing. His mother liked drugs more than him, he’s been through a bunch of different foster homes and he’s trying as hard as he can to keep a low profile so that he can stay out of a group home and the minute he turns 18, he’ll be free. If that means that sometimes he’s got to sleep in weird places so that his latest good for nothing foster parents can get their party on, he’ll do it because what Dax wants more than anything in his life is his freedom.

Autumn and Dax develop feelings for each other but after they return to their regular lives, they slide right back into the lives they led before getting locked in the library. There are things that make things that way on Autumn’s side but it was still disappointing. Especially because Dax was disappointed in the way things were with Autumn.

My disappointment in this book stems from Autumn and how long it took for her to get her head out of her ass. The whole thing with Jason and then with Dax pissed me off because she was leading them both on while she took her sweet ass time to make a decision. It didn’t take long for me to read this book, it was really easy to fall into and even though it took me a little bit to warm up to Autumn, I liked Dax from the jump and I didn’t want to stop reading the book but even through all of that, this book isn’t my favorite Kasie West.

Grade: 3 out of 5


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Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Posted July 29, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie WestReviewer: Rowena
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she decides to do the unthinkable…convince the cute guy waiting to pick up his sister to pretend to be her boyfriend for the night. The task is simple: two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

The problem is that days after prom, she can't stop thinking about her fill-in boyfriend. But can Gia turn her fake boyfriend into a real one without exposing her lie and possibly destroying her friendships and her newfound relationship?

Smartly observed and wonderfully romantic, Kasie West's talent shines in this tale of one girl's unexpected quest to find love…and possibly herself.

Kasie West delivers another winner for me. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that I enjoyed this book. Kasie West is one of those authors that I will binge read like crazy because I love her stuff. The Fill-In Boyfriend was another great read and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

Gia can’t believe that she just got dumped by her college boyfriend in the parking lot at prom. He doesn’t even have the decency to walk her in and then break up with her in front of her friends (that don’t believe he exists) and to save face, Gia begs some random guy sitting in his car to be her date for prom and pretend to be her boyfriend Bradley. Sounds kind of dumb, right? Well, Kasie West makes this story line work.

When we first meet Gia and she’s more worried about her friends thinking she’s a liar than about being dumped on prom and then becoming the liar she doesn’t want her friends to think she is by bringing a fake Bradley to prom with her, I thought I wasn’t going to like her but I did. I liked her and wanted her to get her crap together…with Fill-In Bradley.

This book took me back to my high school days because who didn’t obsess over a boy? Seeing Gia’s crush on Fill-In Bradley grow with each passing page had me grinning like a school girl because Fill In Bradley was a great boy to crush on. I loved seeing them become friends and I really enjoyed seeing her friendship with Bec grow. I thought Bec was a far better friend than any of her regular group of friends and she was a great sister to Hayden too.

This was such a fun read and it took me no time at all to read it because I couldn’t put it down. It’s not a book that takes itself too seriously or is bogged down with angst, it’s the perfect summer read with characters that will make you laugh a sweet romance that will make you happy sigh. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Harper Teen. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.


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Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Posted July 7, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of On the Fence by Kasie West.

She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

I’ve been meaning to try out a Kasie West book for a while now and haven’t gotten to any of the books that I have.  When this book came into my life, I did a happy dance and then immediately dug in. And I finished the entire book in one sitting.

This book had everything that I love in a book.  An interesting protagonist, an adorable love interest and a cast of characters that round the book out.  I completely adored this book, even when Charlie needed a swift round house kick in the ass.  And trust me, she did sometimes.

Charlie was a tomboy (surprising, considering the cover, I know) who liked rough housing with her three brothers and her neighbor, Braden.  She’s got a smart mouth, a pretty big temper but even when she was gettting on my nerves, I liked her.  I felt for her and was humbled by her.  She goes through a lot in this book, trying to come to terms with things that come to light over the course of the story.  Things that really knocked her on her ass.  But seeing Charlie trying to come out on top made me happy for her when she finally gets things right.

Braden was a pleasant addition to the story.  The feelings, the jokes and just the way that he was with Charlie made me smile like a crazy person throughout the entire read.  He made an already pretty great story, even better and I liked that about him.  I liked that he was so mad at Charlie (and jealous) because she wasn’t being true to herself and I loved the way that he fought her at every turn to stop being who she’s not.  I love that he knew her so well and that he competed with her.  I thought they were well suited for each other and when Charlie came back from basketball camp and the feels that were in the air? Oh man, it took me back to high school and I nearly swooned with all of the feels.  I ate it all up.

Aside from both Charlie and Braden, I loved the rest of the characters with Gage being my favorite.  His wit and his charm never failed to charm me and I loved the way that he was with both Charlie and Braden.  His sister and his best friend.  I loved that the story wasn’t about Charlie falling in love with her brother’s best friend even though that happened because I think it would have been a completely different story.  The rest of Charlie’s brothers were all great as well and even Charlie’s Dad. Braden was right when he told Charlie that she was lucky to have them…and I’m glad that Charlie knew it.

Overall, this story rocked my socks.  It was fun and it was cute and it is definitely something contemporary YA fans out there will enjoy.  I definitely recommend this one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

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

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Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Posted June 14, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Pivot Point
Rowena’s review of Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) by Kasie West.

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier…

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “what if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with – her father, who is leaving the compound to live among the “Norms”, or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In her other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school – but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through…and who she can’t live without.

After reading On the Fence, Nath recommended that I read Pivot Point because it was her favorite of the Kasie West bunch. I’m so glad that I gave this book a go because holy heck, this was a good one.

Addie Coleman lives on the Compound, where people just like her live. People with special powers. Addie is a Searcher. When presented with a choice, Addie can live out both choices in her mind before making a choice, eliminating drama and other disasters that come with decisions. When her parents announce their divorce, Addie has a choice to make. Will she stay on the Compound with her mother and continue on living amongst people just like her or will she join her father off the Compound and try living among the “Norms”, people will no powers.

The book is spent going through each choice. Addie does a six week search in both choices and learns a lot of different things. Good and bad things happen in both realities and Addie has to choose which reality she could live with. In one reality, Addie falls in love but her heart is also broken and then in the other reality, bad things happen and Addie isn’t at all who she thought she’d be but that reality comes with its own happy moments and as the reader, you really feel torn between both realities because both are not perfect. Both have their fair shares of good and bad and for the longest time, I didn’t know what I wanted to happen.

I couldn’t get enough of this book. Kasie West did such a great job of sucking me right into the world that she created for Addie and her peeps. I felt emotion after emotion while reading this and I liked that I was kept on my toes throughout the entire book. I thought one guy was perfect up until I met the other guy and thought, wait a minute…I like this guy. I was all over the place and this book was so good that I read it in one sitting and I couldn’t for the life of me put this down. I read it that fast…and then I woke up the next morning and read all of my favorite parts again.

This book is told in alternating perspectives from both realities. One chapter, she’s living life as a norm and in the next chapter, she’s at the Compound. It’s crazy how the small choices you make every day have the power to change so much about the way things turn out.

Trevor was a dream boat and Duke, well…holy crap, Duke. *sigh* I liked getting to know everyone in the book, especially Addie’s new friends in her norm life. I really liked her parents, even though I wish we got more from her mother. Her mother was absent from a lot of the book, even in the reality where Addie stays at the Compound. She’s there, but I didn’t feel like I got to know her the way that I did Addie’s Dad.

Overall, this was a good book and I definitely recommend it.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Harper Teen.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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