Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
By: Cynthia Hand
Released: February 10, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment. Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be. As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything. Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on. (Goodreads)


I loved The Last Time We Say Goodbye. This is definitely a story that will stay with me for a very long time.
 
The Last Time We Say Goodbye is the story of Lex whose brother Tyler killed himself. Lex is trying to move forward with her life again, but she is still keeping a secret about the night her brother killed himself.

Lex was a well developed and realistic protagonist. She has pushed away her friends and is just trying to keep going. She is handling grief in her own way, just like her parents are doing the same. I loved the way that Lex's memories were incorporated into the story. The relationship between Lex and Ty was developed so well that it just made me even more emotionally connected to this story and these characters.

Hand's writing was stunning. This story really showed the different effects that suicide has on the family and friends. Lex's emotions came across the page so clearly and so strongly. It brought me to tears several times.

Overall I loved The Last Time We Say Goodbye. It has been days later and I still can't stop thinking about this story and these characters. I strongly recommend picking up this book. It is an emotional story that will stay with you.      

My Rating:

April Wrap Up

April Wrap Up


 Books I Reviewed:


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #203: Vengeance Road


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Vengeance Road
By: Erin Bowman
Release Date: September 1, 2015

"When her father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, eighteen year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers--and justice. In the spirit of True Grit, acclaimed young adult novelist Erin Bowman brings to life the unpredictable and cutthroat days of the Wild West." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me 
By: Meredith Zeitlin
Released: April 21, 2015
Source: Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks. (Goodreads)


I really enjoyed Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me a lot. I was so excited for this book because I loved Zeitlin's previous book, Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me is the story of Zona who has lived in New York City with her dad until he moves them to Greece to work on a story. Zona's mother was from Greece as well and there is a whole family that she has never had any contact with before. She much rather just stay in New York with her friends though.

Zona was a well developed and realistic protagonist. She is going through a huge change and is in a new country with a new language without her best friends. The relationship with her dad isn't perfect, but I liked what they shared. They have been all each other has had. I especially loved the headlines notes that they would leave for each other.

The plot was interesting and it was hard to put this book down for long. I especially liked that this story was really about friendship. I also loved that we got see a bit of Zona's life in New York City before she moved to Greece because I think it helped show just what a huge change Zona was experiencing. I loved getting to explore both of those cities with Zona too. 

I love Zeitlin's writing style and humor in her previous book so I was happy to see that again in this one. Zona's voice was strong, fun, and hilarious. I really liked how the headlines and articles that Zona came up with were woven into the story.

Overall I really enjoyed Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me. I definitely recommend picking it up if you are looking for a fun book!    

My Rating:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #202: The One Thing


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


The One Thing
By: Marci Lyn Curtis
Release Date: September 8, 2015

"Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal. Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she’s still mourning the loss of her professional soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory. When Maggie first meets Ben, she thinks she can add "crazy" to her list of problems. But the precocious ten-year-old isn’t a hallucination. Maggie can actually see him. She immediately befriends the kid, desperate for any chance to see again. It turns out Ben’s older brother is Mason Milton, the ridiculously hot lead singer of Maggie’s favorite band. Music is the first thing that has made Maggie feel alive since losing her sight. But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future...before she loses everything she has grown to love." (Summary from goodreads.com)

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Finding Paris by Joy Preble

Finding Paris
By: Joy Preble
Released: April 21, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other--perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak. Joy Preble's stirring new novel explores the lengths to which sisters go to protect each other, and the winding road that brings two strangers into each other's lives. Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can't trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who's moved them all to Las Vegas. It's just the two of them: Paris, who's always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind--going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love. But Leo isn't going anywhere right now, except driving around Vegas all night with her sister. Until Paris ditches Leo at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris--a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared? When Leo reluctantly accepts Max's offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold inside. (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed Finding Paris. It was an interesting mystery that brought you along for the ride. 

Leo's sister Paris ditches her one night at a diner, but leaves her clues to follow. Along with the help of Max, who she just met at the diner, they set out to find her sister.

Leo, Paris, and Max were all complex characters. I enjoyed learning more and more about each one as the story progressed. They all have their secrets and their own pasts. I especially loved the sister relationship between Leo and Paris. They stick together. They have their differences, but it is clear how much they love each other. 

I liked the way that the mystery of why Paris left slowly unraveled and it wasn't what I was expecting at all. The ending kind of took me by surprise. The mystery definitely made it difficult for me to put this book down for long because I just needed to know what happened to Paris. I also really loved how the author brought the setting to life in this book. I felt like I was actually in Las Vegas with these characters. I loved how she really used the setting to help tell parts of the story.

Overall I really enjoyed Finding Paris. This story really took me by surprise and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.  

My Rating:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Breathe, Annie, Breathe
By: Miranda Kenneally
Released: July 15, 2014
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"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." (Goodreads)

Breathe, Annie, Breathe was so good! I love the Hundred Oaks books and this was such a great addition.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe is the story of Annie who is training to run a marathon to honor her boyfriend who died. Annie never liked to run, but she is determined to complete this marathon for Kyle. Training is more difficult than she ever could have imagined and it is where she meets Jeremiah. 

Annie was a really well developed and complex character. She is determined to run this marathon because she feels this guilt over Kyle's death. I loved that we followed Annie from her last few months in high school to her first few months in college. It really gave you a chance to watch her grow. Annie felt so real to me and her emotions clearly came across each page.

Jeremiah was a really interesting and complex character as well. I really enjoyed learning more about him and his past. I also loved the way that Jeremiah and Annie grew closer.

The plot was paced well and I loved how it all led up to the marathon. It was an emotional story, but still had these funny and sweet moments too. Kenneally really did a great job with describing how difficult training for a marathon could be, but also how rewarding it can be as well. Marathons and training for one is something I knew very little about and this book taught me a lot. 

Overall I really enjoyed Breathe, Annie, Breathe. I definitely recommend picking up this book!

My Rating:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Fall With Me
By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Released: March 31, 2015
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice. Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already. But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself" (Goodreads)

I loved Fall With Me! I am a big fan of this series and I love that each new book brings me another set of characters to fall in love with. 

Fall With Me is the story of Roxy and Reece. They once had a one night stand, but things quickly turned awkward so they haven't spoken in months. However, their paths cross again when the person who put her best friend in a long-term care facility is released from prison. 

Roxy and Reece were both well developed characters. I liked that Roxy had a lot of personality to her. She's in her 20's and isn't entirely sure what to do with her life though. She is doing what she thinks she should be doing with her future, but that might not necessarily be what she wants. I liked that whole aspect to her because it made her relatable. I also loved the way that the relationship developed between the Roxy and Reece. Their relationship was realistic and I liked that when it could have gone down a predictable road, it didn't. I also loved seeing characters from the previous books in this series make appearances.

The plot was paced well and I finished this book in one day because I just couldn't put it down. I needed to know what would happen next for Roxy and Reece. Roxy is at the receiving end of some scary things so this story also got really creepy. It definitely freaked me out a bit. 

Overall I loved Fall With Me! It is so difficult to choose a favorite book in this series, but this is close to being it. I definitely recommend picking up these books!

My Rating:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #201: Alive


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Alive 
By: Chandler Baker
Release Date: June 9, 2015

"Stella Cross's heart is poisoned. After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive. Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable. Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart? After all, the heart never lies...does it?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

Things We Know By Heart
By: Jessi Kirby
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection. After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all. Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake" (Summary from goodreads.com) 

I really enjoyed Things We Know By Heart. It was a beautifully written story.  

Things We Know By Heart is the story of Quinn whose boyfriend died in an accident. After Trent's organs were donated, Quinn is determined to track down the boy who received his heart. 

Quinn really develops well through the course of the story. She is still dealing with the loss of her boyfriend. While the people around her are encouraging her to move on, she doesn't feel ready yet. As she spends more and more time with Colton, it develops into more. I thought Colton was an interesting character too. He is finally given the chance to really start living again. As Quinn and Colton get to know each other better, they are essentially both also teaching each other to keep living. I thought that the side characters were great as well. I especially loved Quinn's sister, Ryan.  

I felt that the plot was paced too fast though. I really would have loved to see it develop more gradually because I felt like some things were just rushed. I think that things just went too quick in the middle and the end of the book. 

Kirby's writing was stunning and I found myself writing down so many quotes. I especially loved the quotes in the beginning of every chapter and how every quote related to the heart. 

Overall I really enjoyed Things We Know By Heart though. I think that it is a really beautiful story about moving forward.         

My Rating:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #200: Six of Crows


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Six of Crows
By: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: October 6, 2015

"Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand-book in the world of the Grisha by New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo. Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone... A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.  A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.  Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first." (Summary from goodreads.com)
 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #199: After Hours


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


After Hours 
By: Claire Kennedy
Release Date: June 16, 2015

"Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn't just about waiting tables. It's about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties and, most of all, it's about Tips. Tips--the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember. Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out. Xavi will do anything for the money...absolutely anything. Peter, Xavi's stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings. Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy...even if those tips come with some conditions. From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win. The sophisticated Waterside Cafe is anything but classy behind the scenes...and things are about to get dirty." (Summary from goodreads.com)