Tuesday, March 29

What You Always Wanted by Kristin Rae

What You Always Wanted by Kristin Rae
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary: If Only . . . he was the boy she's been dreaming of. The If Only line continues in this fun high school theater-themed romance!

Drama girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the romantic, classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she's struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family--but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theater dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball--not dance--is Jessie's passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?

My Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to think as I started this one. I read Rae’s other novel and I really enjoyed that one. I did like it a little bit more than this one. I still enjoyed this one but the other one just felt more romantic to me I guess.

We are introduced to Maddie who always has had high standards for guys. She wants the perfect boyfriend who does the perfect romantic things. She loves old movies and Gene Kelly. Maddie meets a boy next store named Jesse.  Jesse was popular and deep down he’s a real sweetheart but he doesn’t always come off as a good guy.

Maddie loves to dance and she loves to participate in school functions. Jesse, not so much anymore. He’s just into baseball.

I really liked this one but I just wasn’t as drawn to it as others this year. I liked Jesse and Maddie together but sometimes I just wanted to kick Jesse for acting all tough when I wanted him to be sweet. I also liked Maddie but at times she did expect a lot.

Overall: I’m happy how things went down in this one. I’m happy how things ended up. I liked the ending the most! I'd say this was probably more of a 3.5 cupcake rating for me!

Cover:  Love it! I would pick this up in a bookstore for sure!

What I’d Give It:

Wednesday, March 16

In Real Life by Jessica Love

In Real Life by Jessica Love
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 240

Summary:  Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

My Thoughts:  Okay!!! Seriously!! When I saw this novel for the first time I knew I had to read it!! How many of us have gotten to know a friend online? Really? And become good friends?? And with a boy?? I knew I had to read this one. And I was super excited. And I LOVED it.

We are introduced to Hannah who has gotten to know Nick quite well over the last few years. They talk on the phone, via text messages, and through video messaging. He’s one her best friends. The one who knows her like nobody else. Yes, of course they have just remained friends. They’ve both lived their lives, had other boyfriend/girlfriends, but have always had one another to lean on.

This was PERFECT. A PERFECT read for me!

Until one day when Hannah decides she’s going to do something outside of her comfort zone. drive down to one of his concerts and surprise him!

And boy is he surprised. And so is she. She learns he has quite a few secrets she didn’t know about. I don’t want to go on and on and give spoilers. I just don’t think that's fair to you! I want you to experience this one head on with everything. When you start, you better devote your whole night to it. You won’t stop reading it. You’ll have to know what happens.

I loved the plot. I loved the characters. I loved Hannah’s sister and her bestie. I loved Nick and his group of friends. I loved the setting. I loved the roller coaster. I just loved it.

In Real Life has turned into one of my favorite books of the year!!! I want to gush and gush but I’ll stop there. This one you MUST read!!!!

Overall: Romantic and exciting. Nick. Oh Nick!!! I just adored him. He was shy and awkward but awesome. He was sweet. He was lovable. And, Hannah. I loved Hannah’s personality!!! It’s going to be a hard followup to this one!  If you read any contemps this year, please read this one!!!!!


Cover: Love It. It’s not very out “there” but it just appealed to me. And once I read that summary, I knew I had to have it in my hands! 

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, March 8

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 432

Summary: Kill the beast. Win the girl.

A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.  
My Thoughts:  Oh MY WOW!!! I seriously loved this one! Oh my gosh! I didn’t know if I would even enjoy it as I started it. I wasn’t really thinking I was going to. But, dang was I sucked in quickly and I couldn’t stop reading! I needed to know what happened! I took a few breaks and while I was taking those breaks, I wanted to get back to reading.

We are introduced to Princess Aerity. She was so spunky and nice. She was generally a good person! I loved her personality. Well, Aerity has a big decision to make. She has always wanted to marry for love. She wants a husband who gets her. But, when a wild beast starts attacking her land, her father offers all people to come hunt the beast and the winner will become Aerity’s husband!

This brings a lot of men to her kingdom. And even a few women. People know this could change their lives for the better.

It also brings two brothers along. Paxton and his younger brother. Dang, I knew I was going to like Paxton from page one. I just loved him! I also liked how it went between Paxton and Aerity and gave us a glimpse into each of their lives and minds.

Well, the beast is a mighty creature and it’s hard to kill. Everyone goes after it. I also loved finding out all the secrets. Paxon had quite the secret but I saw it coming but still enjoyed it.

I want to brag about this book and tell you all the details but I don’t want to say much. I really did enjoy it. Probably one of my favorites this year so far! I loved the romance, the mystery, and just all the little details. I loved even the side characters. I won’t say much else because I want you to experience it yourself! I’ll leave you with this… I LOVED IT!

Overall: I loved The Great Hunt!!! What a great story and I flew right threw it! I have read Higgin’s book Sweet Evil, but I liked this one more and I think I’ll enjoy this series more! I just loved Paxton and Aerity both!

Cover: Love it! It fits perfectly! Pretty too!

What I’d Give It:


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