Tag: Hundred Oaks Series

Review: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Posted July 7, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

jesses girl
Rowena’s review of Jesse’s Girl (Hundred Oaks #6) by Miranda Kenneally.

Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow the Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

This series is one of those series that I will probably read until the very last book (and there’s two more books coming, woot!). These books are comfort stories for me. They’re about characters with real problems and real dreams and Miranda Kenneally does a great job of telling stories that readers can enjoy and introducing characters that they’ll can connect with.

Jesse’s Girl follows Mya Henry, Sam Henry’s younger sister (Sam in the love interest in Book 1) as she meets and falls in with Country Music Superstar, Jesse Scott. For some reason, I was thinking of Hunter Hayes as Jesse Scott when I was reading this book.

Anyway, it’s time for career mentoring at Hundred Oaks High School and Mya Henry wants to be a musician. She thought she would spend time at like a record store but when she finds out that she’ll be shadowing country music star Jesse Scott, she’s excited…until she meets him, finds out he’s kind of a douche and walks out. Jesse of course thinks that Mya is probably another groupie, only around to use him to get famous or whatever so when he finds out that Mya is a legit musician, he grudgingly agrees to help Mya out. Oh, the link between the big superstar celebrity and Hundred Oaks High School is Jesse’s uncle is the principal at Mya’s school. He’s doing this as a favor to his uncle.

Both characters are surprised at how well their career mentoring has gone. Mya wants a real shadow day, filled with anything and everything Jesse can teach her about music and crafting her music to make something of herself in the business. Jesse isn’t sure what he wants at first but over the course of the book, you realize that he needs a friend. Someone that likes him without any strings attached. You see him struggle with trying to accept that Mya can be that person for him, if he’ll let her.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought Kenneally did a great job of making me fall in love with these two young kids that are just starting to dream and reach for the stars. Jesse wants things money can’t buy and Mya’s dreams are too expensive to reach for but with a little bit of hope and a lot of hard work, you really see these two grow into themselves.

My favorite part of this book was probably Mya. I enjoyed seeing her grow into that girl in the end. She’s a survivor. She survived betrayal, the paparazzi, crazy Jesse Scott fangirls, money woes and she came out on top in the end. I really liked seeing her with Jesse, with her best friend Dave and with her family. She may not have been rich but she led a rich life. I liked that she knew she was lucky to have the love of family and I really liked that she wanted to share all of that with Jesse.

Jesse was hard to take at first because he was so suspicious of everyone. I understood why he was the way that he was, I mean, I can’t imagine that it would be easy to live your life under a microscope but I really liked the young man he grew into as the story progressed. I really liked the young man he came to be for Mya. Once he let go of the worries and the drama, I liked the way he was with Mya. Their romance was sweet and it rang true and it was everything that I have come to love about this series. I can’t wait for more!

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Sourcebooks Fire. 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: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Posted July 1, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

9781402284793-PRRowena’s review of Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks #5) by Miranda Kenneally.

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

This is Book 5 in the Hundred Oaks series and it follows Annie Winters as she prepares to run a 26 mile marathon, in honor of her dead boyfriend Kyle.  Kyle was training to run this marathon but died before he could get it done and even though Annie has never run anything longer than a mile (which she did because she had to in order to pass P.E.), she’s vowed to get it done.

Annie is feeling a lot of guilt for Kyle’s death. She loved Kyle more than anything but she wanted things out of life, things that didn’t exactly go hand in hand with what Kyle wanted.  Kyle wanted to get married, he wanted to be with Annie for the rest of their lives but Annie wanted to go to college first.  She wanted to be young before it was too late and when Kyle died, Annie is feeling a lot of that teenage angst that comes with teenage grief…they put a lot on themselves, when they shouldn’t.

Annie hires a trainer to help her get ready for the marathon (her trainer just so happens to be a familiar face from previous Hundred Oaks books, Matt from Things I Can’t Forget) and it is during her training that she starts to change…and grow.  She meets Matt’s younger brother, Jeremiah and he starts to become more than just a friend.  Of course, Annie’s not ready for anything more than a hook up and Jeremiah wants her in his life so they become friends…which is a good thing since Annie doesn’t have any friends.  Her life revolved around Kyle and the things they did but with Kyle gone, she’s been a lone star at school.

I really liked this book.

I thought Kenneally did a fabulous job of taking us on Annie’s journey to growing up and dealing with the death of a loved one.  Everything she felt, I felt it too and as the story progresses, I fell in with everything that she went through.  It’s one of those satisfying reads that gets you every time.

What I like most about this series is that each book can be read as as stand-alone but you don’t get the full effect of all the squeeing when recurring characters pop up. And quite a few recurring characters pop up in this book.  I loved all of that…if I had to list a gripe, I would have wanted a little (okay, a lot) more Jeremiah but that’s just me being greedy.

This is a book that I will most definitely be recommending to anyone who will listen to me.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Sourcebooks Fire.  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: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Posted June 1, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Racing Savannah
Rowena’s review of Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally.

They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack..

This is Book 4 in the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally and while it wasn’t my favorite book in the series, I still enjoyed it.

Savannah is starting her senior year at Hundred Oaks, a new school far away from her old school because her father started working at a new place, managing the stable of a large estate that races horses.  Savannah has always grown up poor so when she comes across Jack Goodwin, the Prince of the Estate, it’s hard for her to remember her place.  They come from two different worlds, he’s rich and she’s not.  He sits at the dinner table and she serves his dinner.  But despite knowing that he’s her boss, her Dad’s boss even doesn’t stop the two of them from liking each other.

Jack shouldn’t be trying to get with one of his employees but there’s something about Savannah that he can’t stay away from and you see him struggle with trying to do the right thing for his family, to stay away from Savannah and failing miserably.

Both Jack and Savannah were interesting characters.  There were times when I wanted to strangle Savannah because her attitude and her emotions made me want to smack her.  Jack wasn’t any better.  He made some dumbass mistakes too.  Mistakes that made me want to karate kick him in the junk.  But even with all of the ways that they annoyed me (Savannah jumping down Jack’s throat when he wanted to protect her & Jack being a dumb ass about Savannah’s feelings), Kenneally wrote their characters in a way that made them interesting anyway.

Together, Jack and Savannah were cute.  I liked their interactions and I liked getting to know them and I really liked getting to know their friends as well.  Rory was such a cutie patootie and I loved his relationship with Vanessa.  I liked Vanessa and Savannah’s friendship too.

My main gripes were with the way that Savannah and Jack handled their relationship.  I didn’t like the way that Savannah thought it was okay to get mad at Jack for things that were out of his control and I didn’t like the way that Jack try to dismiss Savannah’s feelings for him but while I was annoyed, I remembered that these two are so young and the way that reacted to the things that were thrown at them rang true for their age.  They reacted the way that most teens would have reacted and as soon as I remembered that, it was okay.

What I like about this series is that we’re living in the same world as the previous books but we’re getting stories from a wide variety of people, not just one set of people.  The characters in this series are linked but they’re not really close friends or anything like that and I enjoy getting to know more than just the core group of friends from the first couple of books.  This way, it feels like even though it’s a series, we’re meeting a fresh set of characters with each book and it always feels brand new.

This was another book that I dug right in and it hasn’t dampened my love for the series.  I can’t wait to read the next book, Breathe Annie Breathe.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Sourcebooks Fire.  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: Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Posted December 2, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Things I Can't Forget
Rowena’s review of Things I Can’t Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally.

Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt–with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

This is the third book in the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally. The Hundred Oaks series follows a group of students from Hundred Oaks High School. The first book revolved around the star quarterback of Hundred Oaks, who just so happens to be a girl. The second book followed a young girl who was having troubles at home and finds herself getting into some trouble with the new hottie baseball coach. This book follows a young girl who has religion at the center of her life and is thrown into a whole lot of sin and is trying to balance everything around her.

Kate is a good girl. She goes to Church every Sunday because she wants to and not because her parents make her.  But one day, her very best friend Emily needs her.  And she forgets everything that she believes in and steps in to help her friend deal with the trouble she’s gotten herself into.  Those decisions stay with her and guilt starts pressing down on her, making her cling to her religion all the more and because Emily can’t understand why Kate can’t let go, she feels judged and their friendship strains.

It’s summer time and Kate is working as a camp counselor at the same camp that her and Emily used to attend when they were younger.  With her friendship with Emily on the fritz, Kate is having a hard time with well, everything.  When she shows up at the summer camp, she finds out that Will and Parker (from book 2) are working at the summer camp and there are a handful of people around.  There’s also a hot guy with no shoes on, staring at her with a smile on his face.

Throughout the course of this book, Kate deals with her faith, her relationships with her friends and with, God.  It’s a book with a whole lot of religion in it and though I’m kind of wary of reading these kinds of books, I thought Kenneally did a good job of making me more interested in what was going on, religious stuff and all.

Matt Brown is the boy who gave Kate her first kiss, back when they were 12 and at summer camp together.  He was a quiet boy who got picked on by the other boys because he liked to write his own music and read.  It’s years later and Matt is older and buffer and super hot.  Kate is smitten and when Matt starts flirting with her, her happiness grows.  There’s another girl who is vying for Matt’s attention but we all know who’s got Matt’s eye.

As Matt and Kate get closer and reconnect, Kate struggles with the secret she’s keeping for Emily and her physical responses to Matt.  While she’s struggling through all of these things, I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t want to strangle her because I really did.  But I thought that her struggles with her faith and what she thought was right were real.  I knew people like Kate and they frustrated the hell out of me too but after all was said and done, I came to adore both Matt and Kate.  I was glad that things were patched up with Emily and I really enjoyed the friendship that blossomed between Parker and Kate.  This was another solid story in the Hundred Oaks series and I’m anxious for more.

Grade: 3 out of 5

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

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Review: Guys Do Not Do Secret Santa by Miranda Kenneally

Posted October 24, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Guys Do Not Do Secret Santa by Miranda KenneallyReviewer: Rowena
Guys Do Not Do Secret Santa by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #0.5
Also in this series: Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2), Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks #7), Coming Up for Air
Genres: Young Adult
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Junior Year Following the Event that Shall Not Be Discussed: Me Blowing the Tennessee State Championship Football Game

Jordan Woods wants to do something special for her best friend Sam Henry for Christmas, but she knows he won't accept the present she has in mind. To make sure Henry doesn't object to her gift, Jordan decides to set up a gift exchange with the entire football team. The problem is that Jordan's teammates tell her flat out that guys don't do Secret Santa.

Set nine months before the events of Catching Jordan, Miranda Kenneally gives a glimpse of true friendship between Jordan, Henry, and the rest of the guys on the team.

What a cute little short this one turned out to be. After finishing Stealing Parker, I was super stoked when I saw someone rate this short story on Goodreads (I believe it was April from Books and Wine) so after a little digging, I found a short story by Miranda Kenneally and read the entire thing.

So this short story takes place before Catching Jordan, Sam Henry and Jordan Woods are just friends and it’s Christmas. Jordan wants to get Sam a gift for Christmas that Sam doesn’t want her to get him. The reason being, they’re super expensive and so Jordan starts plotting to find a way to get the gift to Sam in a way that he’ll have to accept them and that’s where the fun is.

I adore both Jordan Woods and Sam Henry. I loved them both in their book and adored them even more in this little short story. Their friendship is a true friendship and a friendship that I wished Parker from Stealing Parker had in her own life. This was such a cute story, the presents they exchanged, the lengths they went to make the other happy all made me sigh my heart out. I loved it! It was also great to see everyone from Hundred Oaks mentioned and be in this story. Really, I loved it!

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Miranda Kenneally. I read this story online, it was free but I’m still reviewing it since I read it.
Read the book: Here
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com


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