Thursday, July 30, 2015

gg5 I Like It Like That (GG #5) by Cecily von Ziegesar | Rating: ★★★★★

I Like It Like That welcomes you back to the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite and promises to be the juiciest installment yet as everyone’s favorite filthy rich teenagers are looking forward to a steamy spring break away from school and even their families. Nothing says fun like a weeks break from the lives they lead.

As Nate tries on the clean and sober route; taking on the role of white knight to his current (and completely wild) girlfriend Georgina, whom he met in rehab, Blair and Serena make sure their friendship is solid as ever as they move in with one another after Blair needs escape from her crazy family which is only growing.

Because it is spring break, most of the gang leave the city for a much needed vacation – and as it happens, Blair, Serena, Nate, Chuck and Georgina all wind up staying in Sun Valley while Jenny, Vanessa and Dan stay in he city.

Fortunately for Blair, and unfortunately for Serena, Serena’s older brother Eric van der Woodsen is joining them on their little trip and boy has he grown up nicely. College just really suits some people, you know?

Eric and Blair quickly take on a flirtation and hook up on the trip, thrilling Blair to have a distraction (and to hopefully lose her virginity to) from Nate and his disastrous girlfriend. Eric is more than pleased to be put in this situation as he assesses just how much his little sister’s best friend has grown up since he left. Their scenes are fun, flirty and lead to a steamy moment towards the end.


emmy & oliver Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway | Rating: ★★★★★

Emmy & Oliver initially caught my eye due to its gorgeous cover art and the promise of a plot that was reminiscent, yet still different, to that of Face on the Milk Carton. Nostalgic fans of that classic young adult series and MTV’s more recent hit Finding Carter will be drawn in immediately.

Although the plots are similar and deal with kidnapping, Emmy & Oliver is in a league of its own. Emmy is purely a delight: sarcastic, warm and very easy to connect with. It’s obvious from the get go that their town was left in a very strained aftermath when Emmy was a child. The day everything changed was ordinary beyond belief but took a drastic turn which seemed to haunt some of the town for the next ten years.

Oliver was last seen being picked up from school by his father. No one thought twice about this. And Emmy, Caro and Drew were left behind for years after Oliver didn’t return home. With his mother a mess, it left scarring on his family and friends – but in a way, they had never lost hope.

During the ten years in between, people picked up the pieces and tried to carry on with their lives. Some never lost hope that one day Oliver’s father would return him. It’s a tricky scenario and puts a lot of pressure on Emmy’s parents to keep an eye on her after seeing what it’s done to Oliver’s mother. A lot of things changed on that fateful day and yet the more things change, the more they stay the same.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

tc Taking Control by Jen Frederick | Rating: ★★★☆☆

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

When you’ve got a book as fun as Losing Control, a sequel can often be a tricky addition. It isn’t always easy to navigate through a second installment when the one that came before it was such a fun experience. You’re often left wondering how the author could possibly top it and expand on their story, if it’s at all possible to add on without watering down its original content.

The Kerr Chronicles started off solid in its first book; heartbreaking, tension filled, smutty goodness with a seriously soft and intelligent side. It could easily have you hot and bothered one moment, tearing up the next or basking in the warm fuzzies from cuteness. Jen Frederick is a talent to be able to portray each of these, and more.

Each character is developed and comes to life right before our eyes.

Tiny and Ian are both something else: phenomenal characters in all the ways that make reading enjoyable. And while these two continue about their way in this second installment, I can’t help but wonder if Jen Frederick’s gotten in a bit of a slump when it comes to continuing their story.


Friday, July 24, 2015

tkc1 Losing Control by Jen Frederick | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

In book one of the Kerr Chronicles, Losing Control, we open with a promise of love scenes and passion to indulge in. And although the blurb of information is misleading, Losing Control is a fast paced, addictive, romance filled with some serious smutty goodness and will be tugging on your heartstrings in no time.

The plot contains much of the same for releases in new adult and erotic fiction: rich, pushy, brazen and attractive man pairs up with an otherwise ordinary, down on her luck woman. It’s in this that can make the story itself tiring and may convince you not to bother picking up a copy. And I get that.

Really, I do. And while I’m incredibly tired with the cliches in these so-called romance novels, Jen Frederick manages to keep readers interested purely on the likeability of our leading lady and man. She keeps characters relatable, realistic to their very core, and doesn’t let us walk away without at least sympathizing with one of them.

Victoria “Tiny” Corielli makes due with a job as a courier in the busy city; making just enough money to scrape by and spends a good deal of her time caring for her mother who’s sadly just been diagnosed as out of remission when it comes to the cancer they thought she beat once before. Times are tough for the Corielli women, who are obviously very close, and you can’t help but to hope for a small miracle for the both of them even if we know life isn’t always generous.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

nyfb New York for Beginners by Susann Remke | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.8)

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

New York For Beginners was on my ultimate list of ‘wants’ when it came down to recently/to be published chick lit. There’s something about the tiny blurb that made it stand out to me instantly and it only helped spark my interest when it came down to the setting. And who can say no to that?

It just seemed to be the perfect addition to my summer reading list. As someone who loves New York City, considers it her home away from home, and frankly misses the nostalgia and warm fuzzies that came with reading books like Gossip Girl for the first time, or watching The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City, I feel as though I’ve been waiting for years for a new stylish, bubbly, fun novel to come my way.

At last I've found it in Susanne Remke’s debut novel which fits the type perfectly and then some. While it is not bound to be the greatest book you’ve ever read, it’s still a highly enjoyable publication. She captures the essence of life in NYC, life in fashion, and life in general perfectly. Newly re-released and translated for a batch of new American readers, New York For Beginners promises an easy to follow story for a whole new audience after already captivating German readers.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

twilight Twilight by Stephenie Meyer | Rating: ★★★☆☆

This is a reworked review based loosely on one I wrote in 2008 after first reading Twilight. Very little of the original review remains as my views of the series have changed drastically over the years.

I’m not ashamed to say that when I was in high school, like a lot of people my age, I was absolutely captivated by the best selling Twilight Saga. It was everything a [then] teenage girl, who wasn’t a massive/serious reader at the time beyond Harry Potter and Gossip Girl, could long for in its genre. Twilight breathed new life into its genre and sparked a loyal fanbase as well as a new interest in reading for teenagers.

Mysterious, dark, supernatural/mythology themes and truly a whirlwind romance are what fill up the sometimes lackluster story. While it isn’t the best written piece of fiction, it’s easy to follow and in such it’s easy to see why so many people have had a so-called-Twilight-phase. There’s something oddly endearing and relatable about the characters in spite of the supernatural elements that are so prominent.

When you’re younger, it’s easier to see past what flaws a relationship has. You aren’t oblivious by any means but in some cases it does slip past you. Bella and Edward are, looking back, by no means healthy or realistic but to a teenager who is rather unaware to the world, their relationship was everything.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

after After by Anna Todd | Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

The After series, penned by newcomer Anna Todd, has become infamous in the erotic genre and caters perfectly to the younger, hormonal and love crazed crowd it’s targeted at. Heavily hailed as the next IT novel After is known primarily for originally being a fanfiction based on the immensely popular boy band, One Direction, and has since produced a massive following upon its original release to Wattpad.

So popular, in fact, that the author scored a sweet deal for the publication/continuation of the series as well as talks for a potential movie adaption. Which in spite of my opinions of the series itself I gotta say: get that money, girl!

The way the story came to be published seems to have taken a page from the Fifty Shades of Grey handbook in all its trashy, dramatic, passionate “love” story glory. There are many parallels between the two series and its ups and downs as well as the controversy attached to both of these incredibly toxic relationships.

Which isn't a good thing, obviously.

And it really tips us off to the fact that there have been more and more publications of popular fan fiction, with changes in names to avoid lawsuits and what have you. While it’s not necessarily out of the ordinary or strange at this point, it does confuse me a bit as to why.


crossfire2 Reflected in You by Sylvia Day | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

Sylvia Day’s bestselling Crossfire series continues in the second installment, Reflected in You, picking up right where the first book left off. Where Bared to You explores the physical attraction and obsession our leading couple have with one another, this one explores the emotional aspects of it all and leaves us begging the questions: are these two meant for each other? Or not?

And is it all too much?

We know one thing right away: Eva and Gideon are as hot for one another as ever, so the sex is mind blowing and the chemistry reaches an all time high. These two are wild, pure passion and it’s so indulgent to read. If anything, if one is looking for a spark filled erotic story, Sylvia Day’s steamy series should be at the top of your list due to its delicious chapters and encounters.

But beyond all of that, the novel itself promises to explore their dynamic on an even deeper level; toying with our emotions, bringing us the knowledge of past trauma (trigger warning: sexual abuse and such) as well as the reappearance of people from their past and an event that threatens to tear the two apart for good.

We’ll see just how far one will go to keep the other safe. After all, if the one you loved was in danger – how far would you go?


Saturday, July 11, 2015

queen of blood Queen of Blood by Jill Myles | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.7)

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

I’ve found my newest book love and obsession. That’s the only thing I can start my review with because realistically speaking, that’s my first thought. Queen of Blood (previously released as Betrothed) is consuming me right now and has left me with a massive book hangover.

I'm just -- it was so good.

Initially, my first thought upon seeing Alloy Entertainment’s newest fantasy-romance-paranormal novel was “WOW! This is gonna be excellent!” because the summary alone blew my fucking mind. Excuse my language, but I’m serious: it blew my fucking mind. And unsurprisingly, I was intrigued and ready to dive into this promising novel.

There’s so much intrigue in the summary for Queen of Blood that will make readers wonder if the novel itself can live up to all it promises. And I’m happy to say that yes, it most certainly can, in all its magical and intriguing young adult glory. Alloy has, once again, published an incredibly fun and fast paced story that will leave readers scrambling for an adaption or a sequel.

Like, pronto.