Tag: Young Adult

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
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
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


Tagged: , , , ,

Review: The Perfectly Imperfect Match by Kendra C. Highley

Posted August 29, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Perfectly Imperfect Match by Kendra C. HighleyReviewer: Rowena
The Perfectly Imperfect Match by Kendra C. Highley
Series: Suttonville Sentinels #3
Published by Entangled, Crush
Publication Date: July 10th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Pitcher Dylan Dennings has his future all mapped out: make the minors straight out of high school, work his way up the farm system, and get called up to the majors by the time he’s twenty-three. The Plan has been his sole focus for years, and if making his dreams come true means instituting a strict “no girls” policy, so be it.

Lucy Foster, needlepoint ninja, big sister to an aspiring pitcher, and chicken advocate, likes a little mayhem. So what if she gets lost taking her brother to baseball camp…at her own high school? The pitching coach, some hotshot high school player, obviously thinks she’s a hot mess. Too bad he’s cute, because he’s so not her type.

Problem is, they keep running into each other, and every interaction sparks hotter than the last. But with Dylan’s future on the line, he has to decide whether some rules are made to be broken…

Disclaimer: This book contains a crazy night of moonlit skinny-dipping, a combustible crush, and kisses swoony enough to unwind even the most Type A athlete.

The Perfectly Imperfect Match is the third book in the Suttonville Sentinels series by Kendra C. Highley. As far as I can tell, the series follows different characters set in the same world that Highley has created for these Suttonville Sentinels.

This book follows the Suttonville High’s star pitcher, Dylan as he meets and falls in love with one of his baseball camp members sisters, Lucy. Lucy and Dylan are not supposed to see each other but sometimes, the right person comes along and they fit so perfectly in your life that you guys find a way to be together.

Dylan Dennings has plans for his future. He’s going to work hard in high school, go to the minors and then work his way up into the Majors. He’s got no time for girls or distractions. His baseball team is holding a camp at his school and he’s coaching young pitchers. He’s got a soft spot for one of his campers and is not at all happy that young Owen’s sister Lucy is always around him. For some reason, Dylan is drawn to Lucy and her quirky personality and even though Owen has requested that Dylan not date his sister, Dylan and Lucy can’t stand away from each other.

Lucy is busy. Her father is in the Army and is stationed overseas. Her mother is busy working at her sewing shop and in between school and work, Lucy is teaching classes at her Mom’s shop and fitting in her own orders. She’s a great seamstress whose work has great detail and she’s gaining a small client list of her own. She also watches after her younger brother Owen who is missing his father something fierce. He misses having a man around so when he meets Dylan, he calls dibs on him. Dylan is his friend so when Dylan and Lucy start getting close, Owen is understandably territorial. He doesn’t want to lose his new friend to his sister.

Dylan tries to respect Owen’s wishes but it’s hard when Lucy is driving him to distraction. The chemistry between them is hard to ignore and their romance was on one hand cute but on the other hand? It was frustrating. They bickered in the beginning and I wasn’t here for that. The dialogue was pure cheese when they were fighting and when they were being school-kids but things certainly picked up as soon as they stopped fighting and began kissing.

Overall, this was a fast read with characters that grew on me. In the beginning, I wanted to throttle everyone but over the course of the story, I softened in my attitude toward everyone. Kendra C. Highley has done a great job with this series and I finished this book, wanting to read the books in this series that came before this one. It’s a good one.

Grade: 3.25 out of 5

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Love in the Friend Zone by Molly E. Lee

Posted August 22, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Love in the Friend Zone by Molly E. LeeReviewer: Rowena
Love in the Friend Zone by Molly E. Lee
Published by Entangled, Crush
Publication Date: August 14th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The only thing worse than not being able to tell your best friend you’re head over heels in love with him? Having to smile and nod when he enlists your help to ensnare the girl of his dreams.

Braylen didn’t even want to go to Lennon Pryor’s epic graduation-night party, but when Fynn begs her to be his “wingwoman,” she can’t deny him. Talking up her BFF—how he’s magic behind a camera, with a killer sense of humor and eyelashes that frame the most gorgeous blue eyes in the history of forever—is easy. Supporting his efforts to woo someone so completely wrong for him? Not so much.

Fynn knows that grad night is his last shot before leaving for college to find true love. And thanks to Bray, he gets his chance with the beautiful Katy Evans. But over the course of the coolest party of their high school careers, he starts to see that perhaps what he really wants has been in front of him all along. Bray’s been his best friend since kindergarten, though, and he’d rather have her in his life as a friend than not at all.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two best friends whose sexual chemistry is off the charts…if only they’d succumb to it.

I don’t read very many Entangled books but this one sounded like my kind of romance so I was interested in reading it from the jump. This is another one of those best friends to true love YA romances and I thought it was such a cute story.

Braylen and Fynn are best friends. They’ve been best friends since Fynn stood up for Braylen against a mean boy back in elementary school and Braylen has been in love with Fynn since she kissed him in seventh grade during one of those spin the bottle party games. Fynn hasn’t really delved into his feelings for Braylen, wanting her more as a friend than anything else and not willing to risk their friendship over anything. So they’re getting ready to graduate and Fynn’s trying to land his own girl before time runs out and she goes away to college. Only, he needs Braylen’s help in securing some alone time with Katie….and the perfect time to make that happen is at their friend Lennon’s house party. So Fynn asks Braylen to help him out, play the part of his wingman and talk him up to Katie so that Fynn can seal the deal with her at Lennon’s party.

Braylen is of course completely against this plan because the very last thing she wants to do is help the love of her life hook up with someone that isn’t her…but what choice does she have? She’s never told Fynn has she really feels and he’s her best friend. Helping him secure the girl of his choice is kind of part of her job as his best friend. So, of course, she goes to the party and of course she does her best to help her best friend out even when her heart is breaking at the thought of him making out with someone that isn’t her.

I will admit that the beginning was a little slow but once Braylen and Fynn get to the party, things really pick up and I really started to warm up to pretty much everyone in this book. From Braylen to Fynn to Lennon to all of their friends, they were all great people who added dashes of charm to an already charming story. I thought Molly E. Lee did a great job of bringing Braylen and Fynn together and seeing her try to work up the courage to tell Fynn how she really feels and seeing Fynn get it wrong time after time again, was fun and that can be a hard thing to bring about in books. It would have been so easy for me to be frustrated with Fynn for not seeing what was right in front of his eyes or to want to shake some courage into Bray to finally be honest and up front with Fynn about how she really felt but Lee did a wonderful job of placing the reader in these character’s shoes and having them feel what the characters were feeling. It was easy for me root for Braylen and Fynn because I liked them and I understood what drove them.

This was an enjoyable book with a charming cast that really brought this story to life for me. This will definitely not be the last book that I read by Molly E. Lee and I’m looking forward to see what’s next from this author. This book was fast and it was cute and perfect for a summer read.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , ,

Guest Review: Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Posted August 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Kissing Max Holden by Katy UppermanReviewer: Tracy
Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman
Published by Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea...

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she can't resist, and when they're caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it'll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

Jillian and Max pretty much grew up together.  They were great friends until they got older and then grew apart.  Max was currently dating a horrible girl that treated him badly but yet he stayed with her.  Max is having family problems as his once vibrant father had a stroke and his whole world is in upheaval.  On Halloween night he knocks on Jillian’s window as he used to do and they talk.  Max is drunk (yes, he’s only 17) and then he ends up kissing her. She’s shocked but into it until her father finds them and is livid.  He kicks Max out and tells Jillian to stay away from Max as he’s no good.

Jillian’s not sure how to feel about Max.  She knows he has a girlfriend and she shouldn’t have feelings for him but she does.  Max comes clean to his girlfriend about the kiss and the girlfriend, Becky, actually treats Jillian worse than before, which she didn’t think was possible.  Jillian’s life at school and with Max is frustrating as she’s not sure how Max feels and all of the mixed signals he’s throwing her way.

As if the situation with Max wasn’t confusing enough her father and step-mother Meredith, who are expecting a child, are fighting constantly.  Her father is always gone at work and when he’s home he works on his computer or fights with Meredith.  Jillian finds out that her college money was spent and while she wants to hate the “leech-baby” as she calls it, she just can’t.  Jillian ends up being there for her step-mom when her father can’t be found and this creates a bond between the two that hadn’t been there before. Jill also ends up loving her little sister to death and that made me smile.  Oh, the power of an infant. 🙂  Meredith also understands about Max and feels that Jill should be with him if that’s what she wants.

This was a cute and sweet story about teenage angst.  To Max and Jillian trying to figure out the ins and outs of their relationship were major issues – and they were to the average teenager.  They were frustrating and unclear and while they were working them out it set them both into turmoil. I really liked how Jill was there for Max when he needed her.  She made him understand that his father having a stroke wasn’t his fault and that drinking himself into oblivion all the time wasn’t the answer.  Max truly had a good head on his shoulders, his emotions overwhelmed him regularly and that’s what sent him into his tailspins.

The issue with Jillian’s dad was, to me at least, quite obvious.  I was sad for Meredith as she was such an innocent in the whole situation.  I didn’t like that man at all and it was hard to see what Mer ever saw in him.  With the book being from Jillian’s POV only it was hard to look at it from other angles.

The POV was frustrating at times in this book.  When the book first starts and Max is knocking on Jill’s window it’s so out of character and something that he hasn’t done in a long while.  We never find out what he’s thinking or why he decided to knock at that time.  I wanted so badly to get into Max’s head, but alas it never happened.  Despite that I thought the author did a decent job of telling Max and Jill’s story and enjoyed the book overall.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

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
Goodreads
three-stars

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

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,