Monday, December 15

Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles #1) by Sophie Jordan

Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles #1) by Sophie Jordan
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Pages: 304

Summary:Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

My Thoughts:   I really loved Pepper and Reece! Two great characters who just went together so well!

I’ve only read a handful of New Adult but I find myself trying out more new ones.

We are introduced to Pepper who is always kind of the safe one in her group of friends. She goes to school, does her homework, and rarely hooks up with any guys. She is safe. But she has a crush on her best friends brother and finally wants to get his attention so her friends devise a plan to get her some action, and some experience. That way, she’ll know what to do with the crush.

She gets way more than she bargains for. She goes to the bar with her friends looking for the experienced bartender everyone raves about. There, she meets Reece. He’s behind the bar looking sexy as hell! She’s instantly attracted to him, and she thinks he is to her as well. But, she knows he’s a player so she just wants his attention to get some experience.

Man, this one was so good. It was sexy but also very heartwarming. I loved the little moments between Reece and Pepper. He was so cute and adorable. I also loved the way they got along. He understood her like nobody else did.

So much happened in this one, yet I raced right through it. I stayed up late just to finish it. I had to know what was going to happen between Reece and Pepper. It had me laughing out loud at times.

Overall:  What a cute little novel! I really enjoyed this one. Great NA story! I can’t wait to read more of this series, since each book focuses on one of Pepper’s friends! I’m so excited to know what happens to each of them!

Cover:  Its cute! I’d pick it up in the bookstore and buy it! Makes me wonder what its about!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, December 9

No Place To Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

No Place To Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  368

Summary:   Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

My Thoughts: I really liked the Southern Twang of this one, or the atmosphere.

We are introduced to Amber who lives with her mama and daddy! Her sister, brother in law and nephew are also right nearby! Amber goes to school, goes to church, and hangs out with her best friend Devon.  Devon is gay so no romance there. But he does have a pretty smoking older brother named Will.

Amber wants to get into an art school. She doesn’t think her parents will go for it but she tries anyway. She is a wonderful singer and she sings here and there throughout the novel.

I really liked the romance between Will and Amber. Just something about it made me enjoy it a lot. Things happened and they sure wasn't perfect at first but I liked the way it ended up.

Amber definitely wasn't a perfect character. She makes mistakes, pretty big mistakes. But she also has a good heart. She buys another friend a guitar even though she didn’t get the money the perfect way. But, big heart here!

I really liked the Southernness to this one! I felt like I was right there with Amber experiencing living out in the country, being able to hike places, etc.

No Place To Fall was a pretty neat contemporary debut and I enjoyed it!

Overall:  I loved Amber and Will! This one was a bit slow in places but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. It was sweet and honest! I could see Amber really experiencing the things she did and overcoming them! Loved the romance!

Cover:  Love it! Probably one of the neatest covers this year! Its adorable!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, November 28

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)  by Robin LaFevers
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 560

Summary:Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

My Thoughts:  Why, oh Why Did I wait so long to start this series? I really enjoyed Grave Mercy!

We are introduced to Ismae who is living at a convent now. Its not just any convent though. Its where women are trained to fight and kill men, whatever means possible.

Ismae knows this is her calling. She doesn’t see herself becoming a lady, one who marries and has children; playing the part of a housewife. She knows she’s meant for more than that.

Ismae gets some important missions and the first few go smoothly but then a mysterious man appears.  I loved Duval! He made the story much more interesting and gave me a romantic interest to look forward too.

Ismae is badass. She’s tough and she knows when she has a mission, she must complete it. But she also has a heart. She tries to see things as they are and not to make mistakes by hurting the wrong person even if she is supposed too.

I loved the plot of this one. Even though it is kind of historical, I never really felt like it was. It was beautiful and thrilling and action filled.  I don’t want to say much about this one. A lot of people have already read it and for those who haven’t, I highly suggest it!

Overall: Loved the characters and the plot. Loved how things played out. I thought this was such a good novel and even though its really long, I finished it within a few days. It sucked me right in! Can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

Cover: Like it! If I saw it in the store, I’d definitely pick it up! You can tell you shouldn't mess with this girl!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, November 22

The Swift Boys And Me by Kody Keplinger

The Swift Boys And Me by Kody Keplinger
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Age Group: Middle Grade
Pages: 272

Summary:  Nola Sutton has been best friends and neighbors with the Swift boys for practically her whole life. There’s the youngest, Kevin, who never stops talking; the oldest, Brian, who’s always kind and calm; and then there’s Canaan, the ringleader and Nola’s best-best friend. Nola can’t imagine her life without the Swift boys — they’ll always be like this, always be friends.

But then everything changes overnight.

When the Swifts’ daddy leaves without even saying good-bye, it completely destroys the boys, and all Nola can do is watch. Kevin stops talking and Brian is never around. Even Canaan is drifting away from Nola — hanging out with the neighborhood bullies instead of her.

Nola just wants things to go back to the way they were — the way they’ve always been. She tries to pull the boys back to her, only the harder she pulls, the further away they seem. But it’s not just the Swifts whose family is changing, so is Nola’s, and she needs her best friends now more than ever. Can Nola and the Swift boys survive this summer with their friendships intact, or has everything fallen apart for good?

Nola’s struggle to save her friends, her unwavering hope, and her belief in the power of friendship make Kody Keplinger’s middle-grade debut a poignant story of loss and redemption.

My Thoughts: Whoa, I raced right through this one. I do not read much middle grade but if its Kody Keplinger, I’m going to read it! HA!

We are introduced to Nola who lives with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend visits quite a bit, so he is there a lot too. She lives next door to the Swift Boys. There a few of them. Plus their parents of course.

Nola is the closest to the boy her own age, Canaan. They have been best friends since they were real little and even though they aren’t even teenagers yet, they have been best friends forever in their eyes.

One day Nola sees their father leave. That sets things in motion and things go crazy for The Swift Boys. They get sad, they get mad, they don’t understand or know where their father went. So, Nola gets it in her head to find out. All the boys are acting differently now and Nola can’t stand it. She ends up hanging out with some of the other neighbor kids in the meantime.

Nola also gets to spend more time with her grandma. In her spare time she completes neighborhood jobs that Canaan was supposed to help with so they can save up money to go to the Circus. Canaan isn’t around much because he’s pretty much got new friends, a way to rebel I suppose.

Even though this is middle grade, I really liked it. I thought it was cute and I was sucked right into the story. I really loved Nola and I just had to know what happened to her next.

Overall:  Cute, realistic novel! If you don’t read much middle grade, you should definitely read this one! You won’t regret it! Heartfelt story with funny and sad moments! I really enjoyed this one! I'd probably give this 4.5 for a middle grade book!

Cover:  Its adorable!!!  Love how she is looking over the fence at them! This cover is really cute!

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, November 20

The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting

The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary: A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

My Thoughts: I really liked Derting’s other series! So I was excited to read her newest book, The Taking!

We are introduced to Kyra who is a cheerleader, has the perfect family, nicest boyfriend, and a cool best friend. Her life is pretty good.

Until she goes missing and then comes back a few years later. People have moved on without her. Yet, Kyra looks the same age and feels the same age. She also has no memory of where she has been. I was in for an rude awakening with this story! I thought for sure maybe she had been kidnapped and just returned and it was so traumatizing she just blocked out her memories. Boy was I wrong!

As soon as she’s home, she realizes her family isn’t so great anymore. Things are not the same. Her boyfriend has also went away to college and lived the life they were supposed too together. She moves back into her old house and her boyfriends family is still across the street. Boy, has his little brother gotten hot.  His name was Tyler and I really liked him a lot. I can tell he had a huge crush on Kyra when he was just a kid. But now he’s older and ready to make his move.

I liked the things Tyler did. He was there for Kyra and I loved them sneaking out of the house to the park and the way he would draw on her sidewalk. Very very sweet.

I also liked the angle this story took. It was weird the way she got taken and how things went down. I was surprised about that. I don’t want to tell you the main thing but I never really saw it coming. Didn't realize this was so scifi I guess.

It all made sense eventually and things came together.

I really liked the characters in this one and the plot. I thought it was unique and I was happy to meet Simon and everyone else. I liked their stories and hearing how things happened.

And of course, things happen that are sad as well. And than the ending, now I want to know what happens! I can’t wait to read the next one! I have to know if things work out or not.

Overall:  Liked it. It was a bit weird at times but I still enjoyed it and am glad how things happened. I’m glad to know her dad had some logic to him as well. I’m also glad that Kyra did listen and take into consideration what had happened, at least after a while. I still really liked Tyler!

Cover: Like it! Its kind of spooky but also love the blue!

What I’d Give It:


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