Tag: Lauren Barnholdt

Review: Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholdt

Posted May 21, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

heat of the moment
Rowena’s review of Heat of the Moment (Moment of Truth #1) by Lauren Barnholdt.

Before graduation, I promise to…learn to trust. In the first book in the Moment of Truth series, Lyla discovers that trusting her head might be easy but trusting her heart is a whole other matter.

Each book in this paperback original series is told from the perspective of a different girl—Lyla, Aven, and Quinn—former best friends who wrote emails to their future selves back in freshman year about one thing they hope to accomplish before they graduate. When the emails get delivered on the first morning of their senior trip all three girls will spend the next three days trying to keep the promises they made to themselves four years ago. While each book follow’s one girl’s life-changing adventure, you have to read them all to get the whole story, including why they’re no longer friends and whether they can get their friendship back on track.

Lyla McAfee had all but forgotten the email that she wrote to herself freshman year and scheduled to be delivered right before graduation—the one promising that she’d learn to trust by the end of senior year. But when she receives it the first morning of her senior trip to Florida her life is sent into a tailspin. Soon she’s questioning her seemingly perfect relationship with her boyfriend, Derrick; her attraction to the school player, Beckett; and whether ending her friendship with Aven and Quinn, her former BFFs, was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

The first book in a captivating summer trilogy, Heat of the Moment flawlessly balances romance and humor as Lyla embarks on her totally reluctant but completely irresistible journey of self-discovery. And readers will have a chance to discover whole truth about the fight that ended Lyla, Quinn, and Aven’s friendship in the next two installments of the series, coming out later the same summer!

Lauren Barnholdt is hit or miss with a lot of readers but for me, she’s mostly been a hit. The last couple of books she’s released haven’t been my favorites but I still like her as an author so I try to give her books a go when they hit the review shelves.

This book is the first in her new Moment of Truth series about three ex best friends who are in their senior of high school and have received emails that they sent to each other back when they were freshman in high school. Back before their friendships fell apart.

The first of the friends, Lyla McAfee’s email said, “Before I graduate, I’ll learn to trust”. Lyla hasn’t trusted anyone in a very long time. She doesn’t really have any true friends, not since her friends betrayed her and caused a whole lot of drama in her family. She’s kept to herself and with her boyfriend Derrick.

Lyla is on her way to her senior trip to Florida with her boyfriend and she’s determined to lose her virginity because she feels that it’s time. Things have been going pretty perfect with Derrick but when she misses the bus to the airport and he doesn’t call to check up on her, a girl’s got to wonder…how perfect are things if he doesn’t seem to care that you might miss the senior trip? Lyla has got a lot on her mind and this trip away is supposed to be perfect but when the school play boy, Beckett starts coming around, things get pretty crazy.

Right from the jump, I liked Beckett. I liked him a lot more than I liked Derrick. The minute Lyla wasn’t on the bus and Derrick didn’t call, my spidey senses started going off like crazy and then when they get to the airport and Derrick explained away his non-call, my spidey senses continued to beep beep beep their way around my head. But then the book takes off and then Lyla starts to get on my nerves.

Like, a lot.

She makes every bad decision on the planet and even in the end, she’s making stupid assumptions and thinking stupid shit that pissed me right off. She was so immature and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why Beckett liked her so much. I thought Beckett deserved far better than the likes of Lyla. She was so dumb for so much of the book. She kind of reminded me of Penn from Barnholdt’s book Through to You. Full of dumb shit for far too long.

In the end, I didn’t hate her but I still didn’t really like her and I’m hoping that will change in the next book because I still want to read the other books. The friendship between Lyla, Aven and Quinn is something that is drawing me to continue the series. I think it’s Quinn’s book and I’m looking forward to digging into that one. Quinn and Aven are interesting characters and I can’t wait to read more of them. I liked them more than I liked Lyla so I’m hopeful that they won’t drive me too crazy in their books.

Grade: 2.5 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: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

Posted August 7, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Rowena’s review of Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt.

Opposites attract—and then complicate—in this romantic, relatable novel from the author of Two-Way Street and Sometimes It Happens.

It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.

Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.

Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings.

Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride…

Lauren Barnholdt seems to be hit or miss with a lot of readers but for me, she’s mostly been a hit. I’ve enjoyed quite a few of her books and was looking forward to reading this one. Before I dug into the book, I was expecting something light and fluffy but that wasn’t what I got, at all.

You see, Penn and Harper are opposites. Penn is the playboy that can get any girl that he wants and he usually goes through them whenever the mood strikes but Harper is a good girl. She’s got a best friend that she hangs out with and she follows the rules for the most part.  They don’t really notice each other even though they’ve gone to school with each other for years but then one day, Penn gives Harper a note that tells her that he’s noticed her and things change.

They start to hang out. They get closer and closer until they become a couple and once they become a couple, things kind of spiral out of control.  Penn was hot and cold throughout most of the book and it drove me nuts. Harper was a jealous girlfriend throughout most of their relationship and it drove me nuts. A lot of them being together drove me bonkers but surprisingly, I didn’t hate the book.  I mean, there’s a lot of teenage angst, immature behavior, jealousy going on throughout the entire story and yet I didn’t hate the book or the characters in the end.  Because of course, in the end they both get their shit together and start acting like normal people but their whirlwind romance wasn’t easy to read.

They both had a lot of growing up to do. Penn had a lot of emotional issues that he had to work through and Harper had her own issues that she was working through but it was Penn’s issues that made me want to kick him.

Overall, this book had its fair shares of ups and downs. The ups definitely made for the downs for me and in the end, I wasn’t mad that I read this book but would I recommend this book? I’m not sure. If you’re a fan of Barnholdts other books than you might enjoy this one but because it’s hard to read at times and because both Penn and Harper acted like jerks, it’s hard for me to jump up and do my happy dance while I tell you to read this book. I will say that if you’re in the mood for some angsty teenage relationship drama, this is the book for you. 🙂

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

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

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Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt.

Posted April 19, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Right of Way

Rowena’s review of Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt.

Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street.

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

This is a companion novel to Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt.  It follows Courtney’s cousin Peyton as she tries to make her way home after Courtney’s father’s wedding and finds out some truths about herself and about her life along the way.

Peyton met Jace when she was visiting Courtney and for a few months, Peyton and Jace were everything to each other.  They talked to each other every day even though they lived hundreds of miles apart and they got super duper close until one day, Jace just stops calling.  When the book begins, we see that they’re both heartbroken over the loss of the other but we don’t know what happened.  If Jace was the one to stop calling, why was he so pissed off at Courtney or why was he such a mess over her?  I couldn’t wait to find out what happened but when I finally did, I couldn’t help but think, “That’s it? That’s what happened?”  I didn’t understand it but then I didn’t even care anymore because I wanted them to be together and things were looking good.

Peyton was one of those main characters who had a good head on her shoulders but was burned by the people that were supposed to love her most and take care of her and the plan that she makes to make it all go away was ridiculous but something that would make sense to someone her age.  I thought she was a pretty cool girl and the way that she went about her business with her head held high even when she wanted to burst into tears was cool but there were times when I wanted to strangle her with how stubborn she was with Jace.

And it was the same with Jace.  He was a cutie patootie but there were times when I wanted to hit him upside his head to get him to spit out what he wanted to say to Peyton.  There were a lot of missed opportunities and too much miscommunication that it kind of drove me crazy but when the end comes along and things are worked out and everything is out in the open, I was glad because I liked both characters and wanted them to get their shit together.

Lauren Barnholdt did another great job in making me feel as if I was apart of the world that she created for Jace and Peyton.  I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to my next Barnholdt read.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Simon Pulse.  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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Book Watch: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt.

Posted October 19, 2012 by Rowena in Promotions | 4 Comments

The road to heartbreak takes a lot of turns.

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t.

Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind.

Neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

Huge thanks to Book Passion for Life for the heads up on this book.  It sounds like my kind of book.  It comes out on July 9, 2013 and it’s a road trip book with a lot of relationship angst thrown in for good measure.  How could I not want to read this? So excited!

…and that’s your scoop!

Who’s excited for this book?

This book is available from Simon Pulse.
Pre-order the book: Goodreads
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Book Watch: The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt.

Posted January 6, 2012 by Rowena in Promotions | 3 Comments


In this humorous love story from the author of Two-Way Street , an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything.Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.

Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.

When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before….But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.
Oohhh, this book sounds like a good one. I haven’t read a book by Barnholdt that I haven’t liked it one way or another so I’m looking forward to reading this one. This book comes out on July 10, 2012 so we’ve got ourselves a wait with this one. I can’t wait!
…and that’s your scoop!
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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