Take the Fall by Emily Hainsworth

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Title & Author: Take the Fall by Emily Hainsworth

Publisher/Year: Balzer + Bray/February 16,2016

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Format: ARC Paperback

Other Books by Author: Through to You

My Rating:4hearts

What This Book Is About

WHO KILLED GRETCHEN MEYER?

Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information…could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer?

At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement, and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been?

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Lately I have been devouring creepy, thrilling books even though it has been the happy holiday season. Take the Fall had been on my radar so I was excited to be able to read and review it early. It definitely met what I had been expecting and I cannot wait to read Emily Hainsworth’s other YA novel now.

Take the Fall was definitely one of the best young adult mystery/thrillers I have ever read. I did not know who the killer was until I was reading it for myself at the end of the book. My shock level was easily a 9/10 as I had never seen that coming. Throughout the whole book I was constantly guessing and wondering who the killer could have been. It took me a total of 2 days to finish because I couldn’t put it down (aside from sleeping and going to work).

I thought the characters in this book were perfect. Sonia was the perfect grieving best friend who had all the right intentions of searching for her best friends killer as well as her attacker. Gretchen, while never alive in the book, was portrayed excellently through flashbacks and descriptions from her friends and enemies alike. Gretchen’s ex boyfriend Marcus fit the “bad boy” role quite well, but I found myself almost immediately siding with him and believing his innocence. Overall all the characters were great and there wasn’t one who I really didn’t like or couldn’t stand.

I did feel as though the beginning of the book was fast with Sonia’s attack, Gretchen’s murder and all the drama that followed. Towards the middle while Sonia was working with Marcus to clear his name and find the real attacker, I felt like the book kind of slowed down and not much was happening. Had the book been fast paced and had a few more unexpected twists I definitely would have rated this a 5. The ending though was so incredibly done and so unexpected that you need to read Take the Fall when it hits the shelves in February.

Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout Tour

book tour

Hello, I Love You

Title & Author: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Publisher/Year: St. Martin’s Griffin/2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary, YA Music

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Other Books by Katie M. Stout: Debut Book!

My Rating: 5hearts

About the Book

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Buy Links

Amazon I Barnes and Noble I Books-A-Million

IndieBound I iBooks

About the Author

Stout, Katie_CREDIT Brenna B Photography

Katie M. Stout is from Atlanta, Georgia, and works for an international charity that sends her to fun places like Spain and Singapore. When she’s not writing, you can find her drinking an unhealthy amount of chai tea and listening to Girls’ Generation, Teen Top, and all her other favorite K-pop tunes.

Katie’s Social Media

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7265923.Katie_M_Stout

Website: http://one-page-reviews.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katiemstout

Tumblr: http://katiemwrites.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/katiemstout/

My Review

Hello, I Love You was exactly what I had been needing in terms of a good book lately. I would catch myself with a big smile on my face as I read. I loved absolutely every word from the first page to the last page of this book. Katie M. Stout opened my eyes to new things such as KPOP, Korean drama, and customs of South Korea. I never ever imagined wanting to travel to South Korea, but after reading Hello, I Love You, Seoul is now in my top 10 places I’d like to travel to internationally.

I love books that take place at boarding schools and the international boarding school that Grace attends in Hello, I Love You made me incredibly envious because it sounded amazing. I was really envious of Grace throughout the entire book of everything she was able to do and experience. The closest experience I got to Grace’s was competing in American University’s Model United Nations Conference in Washington DC every year and those extended weekends were the highlights of my high school years.

I liked every single character from the book. They all had different personalities, but they all fit so perfectly together that it really made the book as good as it was. Grace was the easiest to relate to. She was close minded at times in the beginning of the book, but as it went on she was caring, kind and thoughtful. Sophie was the perfect best friend and roommate. She made sure to always include Grace in everything that she was doing and was always in a good, happy mood. The three boys of Eden, Jason, Tae Hwa, and Yoon Jae, were all interesting characters to say the least. Tae Hwa was a perfect match for Sophie. He wasn’t an in-depth character, but he seemed kind, sweet and generally caring towards Sophie. Yoon Jae was just as sweet. He made it clear who he had feelings for and I was kind of rooting for him although I knew it most likely wasn’t going to work out. Jason annoyed me in the beginning with his arrogant attitude but throughout the book he grew on me. He would let the real him shine through occasionally and when those moments came up, it is when he grew on me.

Throughout the book Grace is also dealing with drama back home in Tennessee. While the author brings in some characters from home like Grace’s mom and her younger sister Jane, the true story of what she is running from does not come out until the end. I was surprised by the reality of the situation and didn’t see it coming at all. Once it was out in the open, things that Grace hinted at or mentioned earlier in the book clicked into place and made sense.

Hello, I Love You is the perfect young adult romance book to bring along in your beach tote or to the pool. Although there’s nearly 300 pages, it will go by so quickly because you will not be able to put it down. The story and the characters are original and unlike other young adult books I have read before. If you like young adult romance or contemporary or you are into KPOP, this is the perfect book to add to your TBR list. For her debut book, Katie M. Stout totally kicked ass with Hello, I Love You and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel to see where the characters are.

Author’s Fan Casting

For part of my post for the tour, I chose to post Katie M. Stout’s dream cast for her book, Hello, I Love You. Here is what she had to say and who she picked for the main characters. 

I had a ton of fun fancasting my characters! Some of them were casted very early on in my brain while I was writing – I actually had two singers in mind while I was writing the rough draft of the book!

While these are who the characters look like in my head, I love hearing other people’s thoughts.  or I’d love to hear who you think Grace, Jason, Sophie, and everyone else looks like, so hit me up on Twitter or Tumblr with your picks!

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Grace – Lily James

I’m a Lily James fan in general. (I mean, how can you not love her as Cinderella?!) Plus, I think she has the perfect hair for Grace. And girl’s got attitude, which totally fits my sassy, broken protagonist.

jason1 Jason2

Jason – Jung Yonghwa

Yonghwa was actually the first character I casted in my head. I knew while I was still rough drafting that he was who Jason looked like. Actually, if you’ve ever seen the Korean drama Heartstrings, you may recognize some of the outfits I describe Jason wearing as ones he wore in that drama. I just loved those sweaters and colorful shoes so much!

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Sophie – IU

Sophie is another character I knew early on who I would cast. IU has been one of my favorite KPOP singers since I saw her in the drama Dream High, and I think she perfectly embodies Sophie’s sweetness and charm.

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Yoon Jae – Ok Taecyeon

I wanted Yoon Jae to be really striking, where you turn your head when he walks by. I also wanted him to have a little bit of a baby face. Really, there’s no one else I could choose for him besides Taecyeon, who’s both super hot and super cute. And really, he’s perfect for the character I would have chosen to date if I were Grace.

Tae Hwa – Seungri

Seungri is one of the hottest guys in KPOP, I think (despite his scandals). And I had to choose someone great for Sophie, who’s probably my favorite character in the whole book. Really, I maybe had too much fun looking for good pictures of him…

The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtist

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Title & Author: The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

Publisher/Year: Disney-Hyperion/September 8,2015

Genre: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Debut Book!

Rating: 5hearts

 

What This Book Is About

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.

Then Maggie’s whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she’s ever met. Ben’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she’s currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie’s new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben’s brother.

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)

My Thoughts on This Book

When I received The One Thing in the mail, I had forgotten that I had requested to read and review it. Upon reading the back of the book, I wondered why I had because it didn’t seem like a book that would interest me. I wasn’t reading anything else at the time and since I had agreed to both read and review it, I started it. I was instantly hooked from the first chapter. I fell in love with the book and the characters as every page went on. I could only kick myself for all of my original thoughts.

I had never read a book before where one of the main characters had a disability like being blind. Now looking back, most characters in books are in a way pretty flawless. Sure they have their small issues and face difficult choices, but it was eye opening in a way to go through the story through the perspective of someone who cannot see all the things I can. It also made me think of stuff I had never thought of before and I enjoy reading books that make me think outside of my comfort zone.

I loved the main characters, Maggie, Ben, and Mason. As each chapter ended, my love for them only grew. Maggie had her whole life planned out until losing her sight to meningitis. She had to learn how to do so many simple everyday tasks all over again, this time not being able to see what she was doing as she was doing it. She had a wicked sense of humor and I loved how sarcastic she could be. Ben was such a happy, positive kid even though the odds have been against him in life. He always looks at the bright side and doesn’t let anything stop him from doing what he wants and when he wants to do it. Mason was moody and rude, but you could tell there was something deeper in him and when his true colors showed, I was swooning as hard as Maggie.

The one thing I wasn’t too fond of, but it did not change my rating or love for the book, was why Maggie could see Ben. I just felt like it was expected, yet I was hoping the whole time that’s what it wouldn’t end up being. I did, and still do, classify The One Thing as a contemporary or realistic fiction novel, but question my choice of genre because of this reason. Like I said though, it didn’t change my rating or the way I feel about this book in anyway.

If you’re looking for a new book to read in the fall, The One Thing is definitely a book I’d recommend. If you have a 2015 TBR list, seriously add The One Thing to it and read it before 2015 is over. This book is in my top books of 2015 list so far and I anticipate it staying there until the end of the year. It just warms your heart that it is impossible not to enjoy every word of it.

’89 Walls by Katie Pierson Book Tour!

book tour

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Title & Author: ’89 Walls by Katie Pierson89WallsCover

Publisher: Wise Ink

Release Date: June 5, 2015

Format & Pages: Paperback & 240

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Other Books By Katie Pierson: Debut Book!

My Rating: 4hearts

SYNOPSIS

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity. 

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

BOOK EXCERPT

Quinn used the three extra minutes before class that day to turn in her cap-and-gown order form at the office. She made sure no one was looking before skipping down the marble staircase like a little kid. She watched her light-green sundress rise and settle with each bounce. The translucent afternoon sun had managed to warm the foyer by the entrance doors as if spring might actually stick. A tiny breeze jiggled the branches of the narrow pine trees framing the building’s entrance. The stretch of blue sky spanning the transom window reassured her, like it was telling her that years of self-conscious high school angst were almost over.

Only Trish understood how crucial Quinn’s façade of success was to the fact of it. As long as she stuck to the script—Take the advanced placement classes. Study. Join the debate team. Perform.—she could hold herself together. She could no more drop the script than let her bones dissolve.

Quinn hated the debate team.

She stomped on the final step. As she rounded the bottom of the stairwell, she saw Seth walking to class from the opposite direction. His dark-blond hair looked like it wanted to cover his eyes but was failing at it. Even looking at him made her feel defensive.

He drew near enough for Quinn to read his T-shirt. A cartoon of Uncle Sam silk-screened in black-and-white on the front said, “Join the army. Travel to exotic, distant lands. Meet exciting, unusual people. And kill them.” On the inside, Quinn rolled her eyes; why did liberals like him act as though people like her invented war and they alone wanted peace, love, and teddy bears? Quinn read his shirt again. Okay, maybe it was kind of funny. But it looked out of place on a guy who never smiled.

They had less than a minute before the bell rang, and the hallway had emptied out. He probably wouldn’t acknowledge her; he never even said hi unless she said hi first. But he passed the classroom door. He was headed straight for her. His tan cheeks glowed bright pink, and his eyebrows scrunched together. Quinn felt her shoulders creep up as their eyes met. Was he going to call her out on something right now?

She saw Ilene slipping into the classroom and waved at her. Quinn tried to veer out of Seth’s path; if he wanted to tangle, he’d have to wait until class, when Mr. Levine could referee. But he sidestepped in front of her, forcing her to stop. What the hell? They stared at each other for several seconds. Quinn noticed that the dark brown of Seth’s eyes blended right into his pupils. He also had broad shoulders for a lean guy, but he was barely three inches taller than she was.

Seth started to say something but then kind of deflated. He pressed a limp, folded piece of notebook paper into her hand. Scowling at the floor, he mumbled something under his breath before charging into the classroom.

Quinn looked around in confusion to see if there had been witnesses. There hadn’t. She walked into room 105. She sat down next to Ilene and said hi back to a few people. Taking a huge, slow breath, she slid the letter into her folder and pulled a pen out of her backpack.

            Waiting for the slackers to trickle in, Mr. Levine strolled over to his desk and pried the lid off yesterday’s McDonald’s drink. He poured the light-brown liquid into the spider plant. Then he flipped off the lights and closed the door. He rubbed his hands together with that sinister glee that teachers saved up for things like pop quizzes. Then he slapped an outline on the overhead projector, on which he’d chicken-scratched the title “South Africa.” As the class groaned, Mr. Levine shrugged out of his sports jacket. He tossed it across his desk with one of the sleeves inside out.

As soon as he starting talking about apartheid, Quinn flipped open her folder to read the note.

Dear Quinn,

Here’s what I’ve wanted to say to you for a long time: I’ve liked you since the beginning of tenth grade. We haven’t had any big conversations, but I feel like I know you.

I know that you’re genuinely nice. Even though you have a lot of friends, you make a point of saying hello to people like me (the shy, antisocial types!). You’re really pretty, especially when you wear that green dress. You’re also smart. I hear George Washington University figured that out, too. Congratulations on getting in.

I wondered if you’d like to go to a movie sometime. I know it sounds weird coming from someone you’ve barely talked to (and especially from someone who would tease you about being a Republican), but I hope you’ll say yes.

Seth

BOOK LINKS

-’89 Walls is available on Amazon

-Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

-Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Katie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.

MORE INFORMATION

-Visit Katie Pierson’s website

-Connect with Katie on Facebook and Twitter

-Find out more about Katie at Goodreads

-Visit Katie’s blog

MY REVIEW

I’m not usually a fan of books that take place in the past, even if it’s only 26 year in the past. I usually stick to present/modern day stories. ’89 Walls though grabbed by interest from the summary and it sounded like a book I would enjoy, and it most certainly was. In all it took me two days to finish this book. I will admit I even read it while I was at work and supposed to be paying attention. I fell in love with the main characters and had to see what was going to happen between them.

The book brings up a lot of political references from 1989 and there are debates between the two main characters, Seth and Quinn, along with Quinn and her father throughout the whole book. While I could see why this may be a turn off to some readers, I actually enjoyed reading the debates and seeing both sides. It also gave me some insight to things that were going on in the few years before I was born that I had never heard or learned about before. It also made me open my mind at times during the debate and I myself not only enjoy a good debate but also love any book that can open my mind up to new thoughts and ideas.

I really liked both of the main characters, Seth and Quinn. They both had their flaws but that only added to their stories. Seth was such a kind and caring guy who not only tried to please Quinn, but also takes care of his mother who is suffering from MS. Quinn was a strong, independent female character who in the end stood up for what she believed in even if it was a different view than her parents. They both made their fair share of stupid decisions and mistakes throughout the book, but in the end that made them they characters they were. There were also quite the amount of minor characters including Seth’s mom, Quinn’s parents, Quinn’s ex-boyfriend Jason and her friend Trish. Some I liked more than others, Seth’s and Quinn’s mothers, some really annoyed me during their brief time in the story, Quinn’s ex-boyfriend Jason, and other’s I just ended up feeling bad/sad for, Quinn’s father. Although they were only minor characters, they gave a lot to the story.

Once I finished reading ’89 Walls, I was a little more convinced that it is probably geared towards the older side of the Young Adult genre for some of the topics discussed and actions that took place, even though the two main characters are both high school students. I think ’89 Walls is a great book if you’re looking for a young adult romance with some depth to it and one that will make you think (politically not romantically). It was definitely refreshing, although familiar to other young adult romances at the same time. I cannot wait to see and read Katie Pierson’s next young adult book.

“Still,” she said, “it’s kind of embarrassing to cry over a book.”

“I like people who cry over books. It makes me trust them.”

-Quinn & her father

Swept Away by Michelle Dalton Blog Tour!

book tour

SWEPT AWAY 1

SWEPT AWAY 2

Title & Author: Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer) by Michelle Dalton

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Other Books by Michelle Dalton: Fifteenth Summer, Sixteenth Summer, Pulled Under (A Sixteenth Summer novel)

 My Rating: 4hearts

SYNOPSIS

Beachfront love blossoms in this refreshing summer romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer and Seventeenth Summer.

 

Mandy Sullivan isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer months as tourists invade her seaside hometown on the coast of Maine. Her best friend, Cynthia, has abandoned her for camp and her older brother just announced he’ll be staying at college taking classes for the summer, leaving Mandy with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Hoping to keep herself busy, Mandy takes a volunteer job at the Rocky Pointe Lighthouse. On her very first day, Oliver Farmingham asks for a private tour. A new—and incredibly cute—face in Rocky Pointe, Oliver seems more interested in Mandy than the lighthouse and its history.

 

Without her best friend at her side, Mandy is scrambling to act the right way and say the right things when Oliver is around. Cynthia—not Mandy—has always been the confident, flirtatious girl that everyone wanted to be around. As Mandy and Oliver spend more time together exploring the coast, biking through the woods, and attending the local summer festivals, their budding friendship becomes much more. But with Mandy’s insecurities creeping to the surface, can she open her heart to someone who will only be in town for three months?

BOOK LINKS:

Goodreads l Amazon paperback l Barnes & Noble (B&N)

Bookdepository l iTunes l Kobo

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

Sixteenth Summer (Book 1): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9091814-sixteenth-summer

Pulled Under (Book 2): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18248933-pulled-under

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle Dalton is one of the many names Carla Jablonski uses when writing. Her two YAs written as Carla Jablonski (published by Razorbill/Penguin), Thicker than Water and Silent Echoes, were included on the NYPL Books for the Teen Age list, and her graphic novel trilogy Resistance (illustrated by Leland Purvis, published by :01 Books) has won several awards, including the Sydney Taylor Silver Medal. In addition to writing novels she is an actor, playwright, and former trapeze artist. A native New Yorker, she is eternally grateful to her friends who invite her to their beach houses.

MY REVIEW

I have been a fan of Michelle Dalton since I first read Sixteenth Summer. I instantly loved the clichéd teen summer love story and continued to fall in love with each of her books after that. I love that when I read her books I am suddenly transported to a beach town that I have never been to yet am now so eager to visit. I love how you just fall in love with the storyline, the characters and the setting from the very first chapter. It is such a fun, light, enjoyable read that I could reread over and over again.

I loved the small beach town of Rocky Point and the way it was portrayed to the reader. It was so easy to make a mental picture of the quaint little town and made me want to hop into my car and take a roadtrip up the coast to Maine as soon as I finished reading. I also really loved the characters as I do with all of Michelle Dalton’s novels. They are easily likeable and you are rooting for them most of the book even though you know that their summer romance will likely come to an end. Mandy was so easy to relate to and I think any young girl would be able to see some of their own qualities in Mandy. Oliver was different than your usual summer love interest. He wasn’t the hunky jock out surfboarding on the beach. He was an artist and took the time to stop and admire things most other people don’t. He actually had some depth to him and that made me love him so much more. While some reader’s might not be into the insta-love, I was totally and completely into it and was hoping for the best between the two of them from the beginning to end.

I will definitely be rereading Swept Under (along with the rest of the Sixteenth Summer novels) while I lounge out on the beach this year. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a cute summer book, that also makes for a great beach read. It’s suitable in my opinion for tween and teen girls of any ages and I guarantee once you read Swept Away you’ll want to pick her other young adult books up as well.

MY DREAM CAST

These are some of the actors and actresses that I would match up to the characters in the book if it were being made into a movie.

Mandy Sullivan – Played by: Hailee Steinfield

SWEPT AWAY 8 MANDY

Mrs. Sullivan – Played by: Diane Lane

SWEPT AWAY 12 MANDYS MOM

Justin Sullivan – Played by: Taylor Lautner or Penn Badgley (it was a tie)

SWEPT AWAY 10 JUSTIN 

Cynthia – Played By : Lucy Fry

SWEPT AWAY 9 CYNTHIA

Joanna – Played By: Elizabeth Olsen

SWEPT AWAY 16 JOANNA

Patti – Played By: Sabrina Carpenter

SWEPT AWAY 15 PATTI

 Celeste – Played By: Jessica Green

SWEPT AWAY 14 CELESTE

Oliver – Played By: Nick Robinson

SWEPT AWAY 7 OLIVER

Alice (Oliver’s Mother) – Played By: Rachel Weisz

SWEPT AWAY 17 ALICE

Freaky Farmington – Played By: Tommy Lee Jones

SWEPT AWAY 13 FREAKY

So those are my top picks. I feel like they fit the characters really well in my mind. I really liked Penn Badgley for Justin but felt he might be too old looking for a college freshman/sophomore. Elizabeth Olsen to me looks like she could have an edgy New Yorker look/vibe.

GIVEAWAY:

Prize: Win (1) finished copy of SWEPT AWAY by Michelle Dalton (US Only)

*Click the Link Below, My non tech-butt cannot figure out how to embed the Rafflecopter*

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86103/?

SWEPT AWAY 3

Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

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Title & Author: Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse/July 14, 2015

Genres: YA Thriller, YA Psychological Thriller

Format: ARC eBook

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Other Books By Author: Debut YA Book

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decides just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

From the first day I saw Ruthless on Edelweiss I knew I had to get an advanced copy to read and review. After several attempts (I am quite persistent on Edelweiss when I see a book I reallyyyy want to read) I was finally granted access to download a review copy. Of course I immediately began reading it and was also immediately sucked into the story. Lately I have been on a young adult horror/thriller kick and Ruthless fit right into the thriller category and has also been one of the best I have read lately.

In the very beginning, I was just as scared, nervous, and confused as the main character, Ruth was. I have never felt so connected to a character before than I felt to Ruth. I felt like throughout the book we shared the same emotions. When she was filled with rage after finding out more about her kidnapper, so was I. When she was scared and her heart was racing so was mine. I loved that the author was able to make me feel so many emotions and really get that reaction out of me while I was reading.

About halfway through the novel I also thought to myself, “This would make an amazing episode of Criminal Minds or an amazing thriller movie”, but of course neither could do the book justice. It was interesting to see how everything came together in the end and how Carolyn Lee Adams linked the flashbacks to what was happening in the present. The storyline was original, it was thrilling, and it kept me turning (well swiping) page after page until it was finished. I of course was rooting for Ruth the entire time and was so insanely happy with the ending.

I loved how Carolyn Lee Adams decided to feature a strong female lead character. Too many times do we see women being portrayed as weak in similar situations in both movies and TV shows. It was refreshing to see a female lead character, one who was a teen, be able to fight back not only for herself but for the other victims who came before her. I wish we saw more female characters with the same drive, determination and hope that Ruth portrayed in the book. Every time she began to loose hope, she pushed herself harder reminding herself why she was doing what she was doing and who would be waiting for her when she was found. With all that being said you could say that I really liked the main character in Ruthless.

Ruthless wasn’t just a thriller but also a psychological thriller. Yes, I believe there is a difference between the two. The book wasn’t just thrilling, but it also messed with your mind a bit. When Wolfman (Jerry, what can I say I caught on to Ruth’s nickname) would tell Ruth things he had overheard her family and other girls on the farm say about her it really made you question if he was trying to break her down or not. He tried using so many mind games to control her that at times Ruth believed him and I did as well. You were also constantly thinking what was going to happen next and most of the time is was the exact opposite of what you were expecting. I loved how nothing was predictable about Ruthless, even the ending although I was satisfied with the way things ended.

For her debut young adult novel, Carolyn Lee Adams really knocks it out of the park with Ruthless. I am so happy and honored that I was able to read it and post a review for it before it is published. I hope everyone who reads this checks it out when it is published because you won’t regret it. I cannot wait to see what else comes out from Carolyn Lee Adams because I am positive they will be just as great as Ruthless.

Flirty Dancing (The Ladybirds #1) by Jenny McLachlan

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Title & Author: Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury Children/July 3, 2014

Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Love Bomb (The Ladybirds #2) – Coming March 2015

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

Bea Hogg is shy but fiery inside. When national dance competition Starwars comes to her school looking for talent, she wants to sign up. It’s just a shame her best friend agreed to enter with school super-cow Pearl Harris. Bea will fight back! But when school hottie, Ollie Matthews, who also happens to be Pearl’s boyfriend, decides to enter the competition with Bea, she will have more than a fight on her hands.

This warm, nuanced, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude . . . and dancing is impossible not to fall in love with. Jenny’s voice is fresh and convincing, and she handles both darker and lighter elements of the story with equal panache.  

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

It took me a few hours to finish Flirty Dancing and I loved it and cannot wait to read the rest in the series. Being a dancer in the past I was instantly drawn to the storyline of this book. The dance groups are usually always my favorite on America’s Got Talent and since the talent competition in Flirty Dancing is compared to Britain’s Got Talent, I had a feeling I was going to really enjoy the book and of course I did! It was a quick, light read and it was refreshing to sit and enjoy the book without having to do much thinking. I was nervous after seeing a friend on Goodreads rate it low and say it was predictable. I wouldn’t say it was predictable at all because I actually didn’t expect the ending.

I loved how clean Flirty Dancing was when it came to the romance, but was a bit shocked how nasty the bullying got at times. To me (I’m 22) the characters seemed very young to be so nasty over a boy or a dance competition, then again kids these days may be like that. I did like that the romance in the book never went beyond a kiss. Any further would have been a bit much for freshmen. I also loved how even though this took place over in the UK, the author didn’t make a ton of references that I had to look up because I had no idea what they meant. It also put a fun, quirky twist on the references made that I did understand.

I liked the main character, Bea, for the most part. I wish she had stuck up for herself before the very end of the book because that would have given me some satisfaction. I also liked how dedicated Bea was to her dancing especially since she wasn’t learning a “modern” style such as hip-hop, tap or jazz that most girls learn when they take lessons, but she was learning how to jive. Reading the parts where Bea and Ollie were learning their routines actually made me want to learn how to jive as well. Ollie was just a total sweetheart and at first I had the wrong impression of him but I liked the way he turned out. As for the other characters Kat and Pearl, neither were on my good side. Kat was supposed to be Bea’s best friend but wasn’t really much of any friend at all throughout the book. Pearl on the other hand was, and excuse my language, a complete bitch. Considering the amount of times she called Bea that, she probably should’ve taken a good long look in the mirror at herself.

Overall I really enjoyed Flirty Dancing and was happy that I didn’t let my Goodreads friend’s review influence whether I read the book or not. That is why every time I write a review on a book that wasn’t exactly my favorite, I always stress that no one should let my review change their mind on a book you want to read. If you really just want to sit back and enjoy a fun, flirty, quick book then Flirty Dancing is perfect for you. I cannot wait until March when the second of The Ladybirds books is published so I can see what happens with another character.

Little Peach by Peggy Kern

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Title & Author: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Publisher/Year: Balzer & Bray/March 10, 2015

Genres: YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: No Way Out, The Test

Rating: 2stars

What This Book Is About

What do you do if you’re in trouble?

When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.

Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.

But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.

This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

When I first signed up to read and review this book on an ARC tour, I thought the book was going to be longer and had expected a lot from it. I was so disappointed when I finished reading Little Peach. It was a lot shorter than I thought and I felt like I couldn’t make a connection to any of the characters because the reader never got a chance to really get to know them. I also pictured all of the characters completely different in my head because the author didn’t even describe them until a few chapters in. That didn’t really affect the story itself but it just gave me a different idea than what the author intended.

We don’t really get to know too much about Michelle herself. We know she has a mom with an addiction problem and that she leaves home for New York, but other than that there isn’t much else the reader really knows about her personally. I didn’t think she was going to be so young (14) and it kind of annoyed me the fact that she was so easily able to run away. The other two girls that live with Devon were just kind of there. We don’t know that much about them other then they’re prostitutes being pimped out by Devon.

In the end I was left with even more questions unanswered. No clue what happened to any of the characters besides Michelle. It was a pretty open ending with the reader guessing or assuming what happened to the other girls and Devon. I wish the author had let us know exactly what happened and if she had I would have given the book 3 stars instead of 2. I would have liked to see Devon get what he deserves if he even got caught.

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

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Title & Author: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

Publisher/Year: Roaring Brook Press/2014

Genres: YA Sci-Fi, YA Romance, YA Psychological Thriller

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Birthmarked, Prized, Promised

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

At first I was a bit skeptical because I am not a big science fiction fan and the last young adult sci-fi book I tried didn’t work out. I did however really enjoy The Vault of Dreamers. It was so incredibly original from any other futuristic situations that has been in a book before. A good amount of the characters were easily likeable and once again (yay!) it featured a strong, independent female main character. I liked the whole story line that these teenagers/students are attending a prestigious arts school but at the same time it was also a reality TV show in a way. Viewers were also able to chose specific student’s feeds to watch. Maybe real television should take notes because there is always that one extremely annoying person on a reality TV show that no one likes, yet they always last until the end.

I loved Rosie Sinclair and was rooting for her all the way. While we didn’t have a ton of things in common I did feel a connection to her because if I had been in her shoes, I’d do the same thing. I also liked Linus, Rosie’s love interest in the story. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship form and the two of them teaming up. There were a few other characters that would pop up in the story every now and then like Rosie’s friends, who were alright. As for the main antagonist of the story, you will despise him as much as you (or for those of you who read THG) despised President Snow.

At the end of the book I began to get really frustrated with what was going on. I mean you’re obviously supposed to hate/dislike/despise the main antagonist, but my goodness I felt a new type of rage. I also felt like Rosie was making careless and stupid mistakes/decisions. I was incredibly disappointed when it ended because I wanted to see what was going to happen next and still had a few questions left unanswered. I’m definitely happy to hear there is a sequel in the works and I cannot wait to see what will happen to the characters in the next book.

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

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Title/Author: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse – February 17, 2015

Genres: YA Paranormal, YA Horror, YA Thriller

Format: ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy)

Source: Edelweiss

Other Books from Author: The Murmurings

Rating: images (2)

What This Book Is About

The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future….

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I was so excited to be granted access to an ARC of The Bargaining on Edelweiss. I LOVE creepy, scary young adult books and was eager to jump right into this one. The Bargaining definitely delivered the creepy factor and much more. The first night I began reading this, I started dozing off and waking up, so by the next day I had to start all over again because I couldn’t remember anything I had read. I had been about 35 pages in and was just like…

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Once I started rereading the book, I was instantly sucked right in. I will admit that I began reading the book from the beginning for the second time in my Western Civilizations class, and I continued to read through the entire class. (Gotta love crazy old college professors…see Saturday’s post.) Luckily Monday was one of my short days, so I immediately went home and continued reading. In all honesty, and sorry for my choice of words, The Bargaining scared the shit out of me. Already being pretty afraid of the dark, reading this in bed in complete darkness (it was on my iPad so my lights were all off) may have not been my smartest choice. I was actually afraid to roll over because I thought someone or something would be standing next to my bed. I never experienced “scary goosebumps” from a book until I read this one. Seriously, read when it’s still light out!

I really liked the storyline of The Bargaining and how Penny’s and Miller’s pasts tied into it. I was constantly left guessing what was going to happen next and overall what really went on in those woods. Penny seemed like your typical moody, curious teenager. At first she annoyed me a little bit because she made no effort with her stepmom, but I ended up really liking her in the end. Miller on the other hand, we get to know his story in the prologue of the book. Knowing who he was and what he caused I think automatically influenced my feelings towards him. Even as he became friends with Penny, I still didn’t really like him too much. The huge shocking secret Miller finally shares with Penny at the end was so unexpected and surprisingly that I couldn’t believe it.

The Carver House reminds me of the many abandoned, haunted places that are all over the state of New Jersey. I’m a hug scaredy cat, but I’ve always wanted to check some of them out. (There were two specifically that really set the picture in my head for the Carver House and if you’re interested in reading about abandoned places and the rumors behind them here are the two houses. Demon’s Alley and Purgatory House. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a justifying article for Purgatory House.) I think I really was interested in the Carver House because of the mystery behind it. You don’t know what happened there or who previously lived there, just that a lot of people talk and have stories to tell about it. If the Carver House was real I may consider flying across the country to find it.

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(A house from Demon’s Alley, inspiration for what the Carver House looked like in my mind.)

Overall I think The Bargaining was great. It’s labeled as a chilling and suspenseful novel, and that it definitely is. It was truly terrifying at some points and I love when a book can deliver that level of terror. I will be purchasing a physical copy of The Bargaining in February when it is published and rereading it in the future. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in young adult mysteries, thrillers, paranormal, horror genres or anyone interested in local legends and abandoned places. I cannot wait now to read Carly Anne West’s other young adult book that has been on my TBR-list for so long, The Murmurings.