13 January 2014

YA Book Review: Crash Into You

Release Date: 26 November 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Hardcover
Source: Own/Purchased

Goodreads description:
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

My Thoughts...

Katie McGarry's other two books, Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, were definitely some of my favorite contemporary reads of the last year plus.  She writes with a very authentic YA voice that draws me in quickly and easily.  Crash Into You did the same for me and was a great read to start off 2014 on the right foot (even if it was my 4th book of the year...).

Isaiah's character has basically haunted me since the first book in this series.  He was so dark and broody on the outside but we never really got to see what was going on inside his head.  It was eye-opening to get a more in-depth look into his personality and start to see him in a different light.  Usually, I'm not a fan of romantic relationships that change one person or the other but I felt like Rachel really opened Isaiah up to the possibilities in front of him and allowed him to dream for what was probably the first time in his life.

Rachel, well, I didn't think I was going to like Rachel at first.  I thought she was going to be a typical slightly whiny, wimpy rich girl with some problem and an attraction to bad boys.  But, thankfully, she wasn't that way at all.  Her family situation was truly a disaster, although no one on the outside looking in would ever know and you could almost feel her desperation to break free and be herself.  She also knew her family was well off and didn't try to hide it or turn her back on it.  She simply wanted them to accept her the way she truly was inside and she found that acceptance with Isaiah (after a little prodding).

Isaiah and Rachel may be the "life of this party" so to speak but the other characters in this one really pulled the whole story together for me.  We get fantastic glimpses into the other characters that we saw in the previous two books, moreso than we ever really did in the second book.  Each minor character has a crucial role to play and didn't feel like a throwaway.

Crash Into You was an enjoyable read, even if it was a tad predictable (like any good romance), and I look forward to more from the author.  The ending has a sort of rushed feeling to it and I wasn't sure how I felt about it as a way to wrap up the storyline.  However, neither of those minor issues will stop me from reading the next book in this series because they are really fun, quick reads.  Ms. McGarry's books are great read for YA romance-obsessed teenagers who enjoy the angst and the kissing that books like this offer.

10 January 2014

Friday Fling! - Lucky Number Four


During Friday Fling , I share with you a "just for fun" romance book or novella that I read and really enjoyed.  It will generally be a "mini review" instead of a full review and I'll stray from my YA focus into the realm of new adult/adult romance (which, in case you're curious, is my not-so-guilty pleasure).  These are books that I think are fun, quick (sexy) reads that are definitely worth checking out!

Publisher: C.A. Kunz, LLC
Release Date: January 2014
Dora needs somewhere new to live and fast.  While living with her now married best friends seemed like a good idea and totally doable, their sex life has taken off and Dora is finding it a little hard to concentrate on her own life--not to mention hearing all the good sex is making her wish for some of her own!  A serendipitous roommate posting at the grocery store and three pushy models later, Dora is moving in with three drool-worthy men and she may have truly opened her own Pandora's box.  Attraction ensues, as one might suspect with three hottie roommates, but things are not necessarily quite as Dora is perceiving them

Ms. Pandora...well...she wasn't my favorite character ever in a new adult romance. She's clearly a beautiful young woman who can't fathom that she is, even with multiple handsome young men and her best friend drilling it into her head frequently.  While this was a fun and quick read, I felt like, for me, the character connections fell a little flat.  I wanted to like Pandora more (and to stop calling her Dora because does anyone NOT think of the little cartoon character when they say that name?), but something just didn't click there for me.  I also wasn't quite sold on the main love interest's instantaneous attraction to her.  I'm no stranger to love at first sight storylines but this one was lacking something and I'm not quite sure what.  That being said, I did enjoy this author's writing and general storytelling and I would probably pick up something from her in the future.

08 January 2014

YA Book Review: Proxy by Alex London

Release Date: 18 June 2013
Publisher: Philomel
Format: Hardcover
Source: Own

Goodreads description:
Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.

Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.

Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.

My Thoughts...

06 January 2014

YA Book Review: Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Release Date: 22 January 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: eBook
Source: Own

Goodreads description:
Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

My Thoughts...

03 January 2014

2014 Reading/Blogging "Resolution"

I realize that I haven't posted for a LONG time (*gasp* has it REALLY been since AUGUST?!)  The truth is that between pregnancy and the second year of my "new" job as a school librarian, I've been too busy or sick to really read and especially to read well enough to actually review books.  I didn't even meet my 2013 goal of reading 200 books.  (Sad, really, considering I read 150 before July!)

So...where does that leave this lonely little blog?  My thoughts at this moment are that I want to "revive" it a little but I don't want to stress about it at all.  I mean, I think the little bundle of joy coming in March will be plenty of stress so I want this to be my fun thing, like it was intended to be from the beginning. I was looking at how my blog evolved over its first almost two years of life and the difference between those first few posts and the more recent ones is interesting.  Back when I started, I didn't care AT ALL about followers or review copies or stats.  I just wanted a fun place to talk about books and somewhere to record my personal thoughts on a book.

So, my 2014 blogging "resolution" is to get back to basics and make this fun.  Will I continue to lose followers?  Maybe but that's not why I do this.  Will I review books that people aren't necessarily currently interested in?  Yeah, probably, because I am SO backlogged in my reading. Will I participate in memes and hops, etc.?  Maybe but only on a very limited basis based on what I really WANT to do.

There you have it.  While I'm going to continue this blog, I see it as more of a fun outlet for the reading that I do personally (and kind of professionally...seeing as I am a high school librarian). I want to remember the things that I read and use this to help me grow as a reader and a librarian. Stick around if you'd like...or not. :)


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