Tag: New Adult

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.

Posted March 14, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Rowena’s review of Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.

Main Character: Bria
Love Interest: Rowan
Series: None
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria’s a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan’s a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they’ve got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can’t run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

What a fabulous read this book turned out to be for me. I mean, I had a feeling that I would enjoy this book a lot more than I expected and I’m glad that I wasn’t wrong because this book was such a delightful treat. I mean from the way that it was written to the illustrations that were included in the book, this was just so full of awesome.

It was an entertaining read from beginning to end. Bria was an interesting character that I wanted to be friends with and she was definitely the person that I wanted by my side whenever I traveled to far away places. Her thoughts and her voice was so engaging that I ate this book up in no time. She wasn’t the most perfect of protagonists but I was okay with that. She jumped to conclusions, she didn’t trust Rowan enough but I didn’t blame her for any of that stuff because she didn’t know Rowan very well and what I liked most about Bria was that she was just so…real. She thought real thoughts, she suffered from real problems and she reacted the way a real person would. I enjoyed getting to know her and I enjoyed reading about her journey through life in this book.

Aside from Bria, I enjoyed the other characters in the book as well. From Rowan to Starling and even Glenna. They were all enjoyable additions to the book and I was glad. They added a bit of color to an already colorful story and it was a fun way to spend a few hours before bed. I enjoyed this book almost as much as if it was a road trip book (and you guys all know how I feel about road trip books).

I hated Toby throughout the book and even though I wished that Bria would have gotten over him a bit sooner than she actually did, I understood why she couldn’t shake her feelings and I really liked that she was frustrated with herself for still thinking about him. I liked that she wanted to get over him and I really enjoyed seeing her get over Toby and go after the things she loved before he ruined them for her. When she finally calls her parents to tell them where she was, I loved their reaction. I liked that they knew and were pissed to high heaven at her for not calling sooner. I really liked that they were worried and I was glad that by the time she did call them, she had finally gotten all of her crap under control.

Overall, this book was a treat. I’m oh so glad that I read it and while it wasn’t the most perfect of reads, it was an enjoyable story with characters that leaped right off the pages and into my heart. This book gets a high B so kudos to Kirsten Hubbard on a job well done writing this story.

..and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Delacorte.
Buy the book: Amazon
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Review: Hushed by Kelley York.

Posted November 30, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Main Character: Archer
Love Interest: ??
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

I knew going into this book that it was going to be a pretty dark and deep read but I wasn’t quite prepared for how dark and deep, it really was. Archer and Vivian are best friends. Vivian grew up with some pretty crappy stuff happening to her and when Vivian needed Archer the most, he wasn’t there for her but he’s spent every single day after that horrible event, protecting her. He’s been saving her when she needs saving, protecting her when she needs to be protected and always just…there. He’s in love with her but they’ve only ever been friends and it’s not until he meets Evan and starts learning for himself that he’s worthy of so much more than the broken friendship he has with Vivian that he starts to realize how much Viv has used him over the course of their friendship.

It’s while he’s with Evan that he learns that there is more to life than protecting Vivian. More to life than always hanging around Viv to make sure nothing bad happens to her. He can’t protect her from everything, especially when she won’t let him in but that doesn’t stop him from trying.

When I put this book down after reading the last word, I was pretty taken aback at how disturbing this story was. The lengths to which Archer went to protect Vivian had my eyes popping out of my face and rolling around on the floor. Archer took loyal to a whole other level, a level that scared the crap out of me. He was such a disturbing character, one that stayed in my thoughts long after I finished the book.

The relationship between Archer and Vivian was one of the most unhealthiest relationships I’ve ever read about. The drama throughout this entire book was raw and gritty, violent in its telling and yet I couldn’t stop reading it. The pages flew right by as I turned them on my nook, anxious for what was to come next. The telling of this story is really dark but was so real that I could totally see everything happening as their described in the book.

Getting to know Archer, Vivian and even Evan was one emotional roller coaster after another. The characters were twisted and the story was emotional and gripping. I couldn’t put it down, it was one of those books that I had to keep reading to find out what happened next. I had to know what happened next and my eyes couldn’t read the words fast enough.

It’s been a while since I’ve read something this dark but the emotions and the raw telling of the story between these characters kept me coming back for more. There was so much going on and yet, it was easy to keep up. I have never heard of this author before but I know that I will definitely be reading more by her in the future.

I can’t really pinpoint what it was about Archer that I liked. Realistically, I shouldn’t have liked him at all because he was a murderer. On top of that, he was mean. He had a very abrasive personality, one that was very dark and just, well, mean but for some reason, I liked him. I won’t say that I connected with him (it’s hard for me to say that I connected with a murderer) but the author did a fabulous job of making me understand him, sympathize with him. The complex relationship he had with Vivian and the things he did for her made the story come alive. He did things that normal people would never think to do but he had reasons for doing everything he did.

Overall, this story was gripping and it was raw but it was refreshingly honest and captivating. Like I said earlier in this review, I couldn’t put this book down and I’m mighty curious about reading more from this author so kudos to Kelley York on writing a novel that captured my interest and held it until long after I finished the story.

..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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Review: The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry.

Posted October 25, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Main Character: Leigh
Love Interest: Hmm.
Series: None, that I know of.
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

With her body still recovering from last year’s cancer treatments, Leigh Tressman is determined to be independent. Despite the interference from her overprotective brother, physical frustrations, and spiritual dilemmas— not to mention the ever expanding line of young men ready to fall in love with her— Leigh discovers what it actually means to stand on her own and learns that love can be found in unexpected but delightful places.

I picked up this book because I saw that Leigh (the main character) was headed to BYU and so I knew that the characters were going to be Mormon. I haven’t read too many LDS fiction books and wanted to change that (mostly I haven’t read more LDS fiction because they’re so stinking expensive and I’m cheap) and then add to that, the blurb for this story painted a cute story with a main character who is a cancer survivor and I was immediately drawn to it.

I’m glad that I read it because reading this book and seeing Leigh interact with the people around her took me back to when I was in the youth. All the activities, the Family Home Evenings when I went to the Institute, all of the good times made me smile while I was reading this book.

This story follows Leigh Tressman as she goes from being the sick girl to the college girl. Leigh had ovarian cancer and is now in remission and while her parents and doctors wanted her to wait another semester before going back to school, Leigh was ready to go now and so she did. Getting back into the real world after living in a bubble where you dealt with cancer and chemo therapy and just being sick isn’t as easy as Leigh thought it was going to be but more than anything, Leigh wanted her own space and going away to college was the only way that she would get that. She didn’t even mind that her brother Jaron was living next door, she just needed space away from her worried parents so that she could breathe.

Getting to know Leigh was a bag of mixed emotions for me. There were times when my heart went out to her and then times when I wanted to strangle her, she frustrated me so but I’m glad that I didn’t let my frustrations with Leigh keep me from finishing this book because Perry did a wonderful job of sucking me into Leigh’s story and keeping me invested in her and in the other characters. Most especially, Brian and Nathan. I loved getting to know Brian and the more I learned about him, the more I wanted to learn about him. Nathan was an adorable addition to an already charming cast of characters and I loved him too.

Seeing the friendship between Leigh and Brian grow from the beginning of the book to the end of the book made me all giddy inside because it wasn’t fast and passionate, it was slow and steady and at the end, so so real. There was nothing about their relationship that felt forced or in anyway rushed. I had absolutely no doubts at the end that they were meant for each other and when Leigh finally realized it, I about shouted, “FINALLY!” because it was a long time coming and I thought it was just too cute for words.

This is a Christian fiction book as the characters are Mormon (Latter Day Saints) and they were pretty strong in the Church as well. It was good to see that like myself, all Mormons are not perfect. They struggle with their beliefs and they struggle with staying on the straight and narrow but they also know that the work they put in will always be worth it.

For me, this book was a reminder of everything that I grew up with. The teachings, the people and it took me back to happier times when I was young, carefree and just happy. Now, I lose sight of everything because I’m super stressed about bills and money and other worldy things but it was nice to read this book and be reminded of the little things that can bring me such happiness. I enjoyed getting to know both Leigh and Brian and I thought the rest of the cast were all well rounded, fleshed out characters that I enjoyed getting to know.

This book was an enjoyable Christian fiction book and I’m glad that I read it. I will definitely be buying this book for my daughter because I know that this is something she would enjoy.

…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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Review: Love Story by Jennifer Echols.

Posted July 13, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Main Character: Erin Blackwell
Love Interest: Hunter Allen
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads



For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions—it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

Jennifer Echols has been on my auto-buy list ever since I read Going Too Far. I thought that book was such a good read that I’m ever so hopeful that every time I pick up an Echols book, I’ll be as blown away as I was while reading that book.

This book follows Erin Blackwell and Hunter Blackwell (ugh, I need to re-read my reviews before posting) Allen as they write each other love notes disguised as stories for their creative writing class in college. Hunter and Erin know each other because Hunter’s father and then later on, Hunter worked for Erin’s grandmother on her family’s horse farm. Hunter and Erin were friends until an incident on the farm made Erin break away from any ties she had. She wants to go to college and get a college education but she’s an aspiring author and she doesn’t want to take over the reins of the family business.

Her grandmother strikes back at Erin but giving her inheritance to the stable boy, Hunter Allen and Erin feels betrayed and everything that goes with it because well, she’s not rich anymore.

Things are going okay for her at first, she’s got a place to live and a job that helps her pay her bills and everything is peachy until Hunter enrolls into her Creative writing class where she wrote a story…about him. Talk about embarrassing but she suffered through and when he writes his story about her, a funky kind of romance starts blossoming between them and even though she shouldn’t like him because he stole her inheritance, she can’t help herself. She falls for him anyway.

Hunter and Erin were two young people in love and trying to deal with a sticky situation by fumbling through. They bickered their way to their happy for now ending and at times I wanted to beat Erin over the head with a brick because she was your typical, young heroine with opinions and a self righteousness that got on my hot damn nerves. The way that she assumed the worst in Hunter (even though I understood why she thought the way she did) at every turn got to be old after a while and it was while I was being annoyed with Erin somewhere in the middle of the book that I realized that Jennifer Echols writes the kind of heroines that I absolutely hate. I can’t think of a heroine of hers that I didn’t want to beat over the head with a brick. Hell, I even wanted to beat Meg a few times in Going Too Far.

The book ends the way that it’s supposed to end (at least for me) which made me a happy camper but it wasn’t without a whole lot of drama…that was witnessed by their entire college writing class. Instead of just coming out and asking Hunter what the hell his conversation with her grandmother was about, Erin did the most boneheaded thing in the world and it had me rolling my eyes all over the damn room.

But aside from Erin’s dumb antics, I still enjoyed this book. Jennifer Echols writes stories that I just can’t put down. She writes heroes that I want to drown in. She has a way of writing the heck out of story that even though the heroine will drive you up the wall, it’s okay because the hero will bring you back down and cuddle you close. I adored Hunter, even when he was being a college boy bonehead. He was cute and I loved the way that he loved Erin.

Would I recommend this book? Yep, if you’re a fan of Jennifer Echols then you’ll probably want to read it. It’ll give you a few hours entertainment for sure.

For all my Moms out there, I’d give this book a rating of:

For language and some steamy scenes, I’d recommend this for the thirteen and over crowd.

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman.

Posted June 28, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Main Character: Adam Wilde
Love Interest: Mia
Series: If I Stay, Book 2
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads


It’s been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend.

When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

When I finished reading If I Stay, I didn’t know that this book was coming not too long after. I remember finishing the book and wishing that I got to know Adam more and Gayle Forman gave me more Adam by writing this book and I swear that I’m going to name my next baby after her. Unless it’s a boy than I’ll probably name him like Forman or something, anyway you get my drift. I wanted this book and finally got it and I freaking loved it.

Every freaking minute of it, I loved.

This book takes place three years after Mia’s accident and it shows us what happened from the time Mia left the hospital til now. Sure, it’s strung along differently but still, we got the scoop and I ate up every word. The story is told by switching back and forth from present day to the past and Adam fills in the blanks for us. I’m a huge fan of the way that this book was written, I loved getting to know Adam, getting into his head and experiencing everything through Adam’s eyes.

I thought I loved him in If I Stay but nothing prepared me for how much I loved him in this book.

What really got to me was seeing how everything turned out. It was so different from what I thought would happen after I put down If I Stay. After If I Stay, the ending was a happy for now kind of ending and I thought that Adam and Mia would be together forever, only in this book we’re shown that they didn’t end up together and it tore Adam up.

You knew that they had that once in a lifetime love in If I Stay but to see them go through the last couple of years in this book made their journey to that true love all the more enjoyable because when you finished If I Stay, their romance made sense. Their love is what got Mia through and what kept Adam going.

But in Where She Went, Mia distanced herself from Adam. They didn’t end up together and your heart broke all over again and the feelings that you felt when you were reading about Mia’s horrible experiences from then and seeing the aftermath and what her disappearance did to Adam, it was like your heart was bleeding all over again. And damn if Gayle Forman didn’t pick those pieces up and show you that though love is real, it’s not always rays of sunshine.

Seeing where time has taken both Adam and Mia’s life and seeing how far they’ve both come was such a wonderful roller coaster of emotions. I felt it all while reading this book and I couldn’t read this book fast enough. I was so locked in Adam’s world, my heart hurting for him and putting the book down was just not an option for me. I loved every minute of this book, getting to see everyone again from the band, getting to hear about Kim and see what she’s up to, seeing Mia and Adam meeting up again – goodness, I could go on but I won’t because really, just pick this book up and see for yourself. You won’t be sorry, Gayle Forman can weave the heck out of a story and she’ll make you fall in love with her characters and before you know it, you’ll be hooked.

This book was a wonderful addition to a fantastic book and the characters that you came to love in If I Stay will warm your heart all over again. There were times when it was hard to get through this book because of all of the new people that came into Adam’s life, seeing how low Adam had gone in his grief, seeing the distance that he created for him and everyone around him because there was this huge wall separating him from the world. But reading through everything, seeing Mia again and coming to realize why she did what she did to him. It all made the reading experience that much greater to me. I loved it all. I think what I loved most of all was that Mia finally recognized that she wasn’t the only person that lost her family. Her grandparents weren’t the only people outside of her that loved her parents and Teddy. Adam lost them and loved them too. He grieved for them to and she wasn’t there for him. After everything he did for her, he needed her and she wasn’t there. Seeing them work through their problems struck me where it hurts but man did I love it all anyway.

I know that this review is all fan girly and I’m sorry but I can’t help it. I absolutely adored this book and want everyone to read and love this book too. What are you waiting for, run out and get these books and read them. You won’t be sorry!

Reading Order:

For all my Moms out there, I’d give this book a rating of:

This book is suitable for the 13 and up crowd, it’s got mature themes and lots of teenage angst and language.

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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