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.

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

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Title & Author: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories Edited by Stephanie Perkins (All authors listed at the top of the book cover)

Publisher/Year: St. Martin’s Press/2014

Source: Publisher in Exchange for an Honest Review

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4hearts*

*I definitely enjoyed some stories more than others. Some I would give a 5 heart rating to while others I’d give a 3, so I felt a 4 heart rating was fair since it was right in the middle.

What This Book Is About

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I would have loved to have had this review posted BEFORE the holiday but unfortunately I didn’t finish it until December 23 and I have a prior commitment to post a review on another book by December 25 at the latest.

As I said in the rating area, some of the stories I loved a lot more than the others. I would love to see some of these stories be made into a standalone novel, especially Rainbow Rowell’s, Kiersten White’s and Ally Carter’s. I will rate each of the stories individually, but they were all entertaining and fun to read especially with the approaching holidays.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 5/5
The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link: 2/5
Angels In The Snow by Matt de la Peña: 4/5
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: 3/5
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 3/5
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: 4/5
Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 3/5
What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 4/5
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 3/5
Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: 4/5
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: 4/5
The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 2/5

I loved how the stories involved characters of all different races, backgrounds and even sexual orientations. They were all original and not your typical cookie cutter holiday romance stories. They also were mixed genres as well, some were contemporary and others fantasy. I definitely enjoyed this book and would recommend it to every single reader who is into young adult fiction. It would also make an excellent gift if you have a young adult reader in your life. You can’t go wrong with this book during the holiday season. There is a summer themed one scheduled for publication in 2016, also edited by Stephanie Perkins but featuring 11 different authors that I cannot wait to read.

Harmony House by Nic Sheff

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Title & Author: Harmony House by Nic Sheff

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/ March 22, 2016

Genre: YA Mystery, YA Thriller

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Goodreads 

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.

After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.

A classic horror story finds a terrifying home in Harmony House, drawing on favorite tropes and edgy, modern characters to create a chilling tale of blame, guilt, and ghostly revenge.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I absolutely love young adult thrillers and even though we’re in a happy holiday season at the moment, I jumped at the chance to read Harmony House. I was even more excited to read it because it takes place in New Jersey where I am from and currently live. The summary just sucked me in and I knew the ending was going to be something I hadn’t been expecting.

In my opinion there was different twists in the plot that I hadn’t been expecting and hadn’t seen coming. I was turning page after page to find out what was going on and what would happen next. It took me 2 days to finish reading Harmony House, and I enjoyed every minute of reading it. I’m not quite sure why it was a lower rating on Goodreads (currently 2.96) because I thought the plot line was original and was actually thrilling.

The characters were amazing. I was of course rooting for the main character Jen the whole time. She was not only easily likable but easily relatable. It was easy to see where her thoughts and feelings came from and I often noticed I felt the same feelings she was throughout the book. Jen’s dad was quite a character as well. Without giving too much away, it was so easy to not like him from the beginning. There were a few other characters that made small appearances throughout the book who really added to the storyline.

The way the author brought the story all together at the ending was something I didn’t see coming and it surprised me. I thought it was a great way to end the story and to explain everything that had been going on. The descriptions of all the scenery and the house itself was described in good detail to create the perfect mental images I needed in my head as I read the book.

I would definitely recommend reading Harmony House in March when it is published especially if you enjoy a good thriller. I hope Nic Sheff writes other young adult thrillers in the future that are just as amazing as Harmony House.

’89 Walls by Katie Pierson 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

89WallsAuthorPhoto

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!

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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

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

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Title & Author: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Publisher/Year: Harper Teen/2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: ATW ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Debut Novel!

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

When I first read the summary for The Night We Said Yes, I knew this was going to be a book I had to read. It was right up my alley when it comes to my favorite genre of young adult books and I loved the concept of the characters saying “yes” to everything in an entire night. I also enjoy books that show either two different perspectives or that switch back and forth between a ‘now’ and a ‘then’ because I feel like it gives the reader a better understanding of not only the story, but also the characters. Now onto the characters.

I actually liked the two main characters, Ella and Matt, a lot. I also really like Ella’s best friend Meg. Ella and Meg had an amazing friendship that was portrayed in the novel. Meg helps Ella out when she is down and Ella keeps Meg’s spirits up when she gets upset. A few chapters into the book I was already rooting for Ella and Matt to get back together. I also understood that it wasn’t going to happen right away due to what had happened between them before. As soon as Ella saw Matt again for the first time since he had left I wanted him to immediately apologize and explain why he had did what he did. I really loved the other relationship that began in the novel.

The characters really brought a lot to The Night We Said Yes and really made me fall in love with the story (and the characters too). I had a mini book hangover after I finished reading this and it took me a couple days before I could move on to another book. The only reason I gave it 4 hearts instead of 5 was that every chapter switched between ‘then’ and ‘now’, where I would have liked to see maybe a couple ‘then’ chapters in a row and then a couple ‘now’. I got confused a few times in the beginning and had to flip back to see what chapter it was. I cannot wait to purchase my own copy when The Night We Said Yes and if you enjoy young adult romance or contemporary, this is one you definitely want to add to your 2015 TBR list.

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

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19732381Title & Author: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books/2014

Genres: YA Mystery, YA Thriller, YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback (U.K. version)

Source: Book Depository

Other Books By Author: Dangerous Girls (My Review)

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

It all comes down to this. Oliver, Ethan, and I. Three teens venture into an abandoned lake house one night. Hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding. The other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder …? Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece the story together – a story of jealousy, twisted passion and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful faces …

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Dangerous Girls was one of my favorite books last year and my most popular/viewed review to date on my blog. I was beyond excited to see that Abigail Haas had another young adult book coming out. Because I live in the US the only format available was the Kindle version and I’m not a big fan of electronic readers. I finally received a copy for Christmas and was super excited but unfortunately I had quite a few review copies I had to read before starting any “personal” books. As soon as those review copies were done, Dangerous Boys was the first book I read.

It didn’t even take me 2 days to finish it I was so sucked in. The same page turning thrills and mystery that was present in Dangerous Girls, Abigail Haas brought back in Dangerous Boys. I had no idea what was going to happen next, much less which brother survives. I loved that each chapter switched from different times, Then, Now, and The End just like her previous book. I also loved that the ending had my mouth hanging open with shock.

Without giving too much away, it is safe to say I definitely enjoyed one brother more than the other. They were the one I was rooting for throughout the entire book. The main character Chloe however had her moments where I liked her and many where I wanted to smack some sense into her. She at times could be a, excuse my language, complete bitch, but that definitely brought something more to the storyline and developed her character a lot.

With the amount of anticipation, hopes and expectations I had for Dangerous Boys before I began reading it, I am so happy to say that it definitely delivered. With just two young adult thrillers, Abigail Haas has become one of my favorites when it comes to this genre. I have yet to be disappointed (along with her other books) with her thrillers and am not only hoping but praying and looking forward to another mystery/thriller from her.

If you LOVED Dangerous Girls I would highly recommend you head over to Book Depository (or Amazon if you’re into eBooks) and get yourself a copy. If you have not read Dangerous Girls and you are someone who enjoys YA fiction, then you reallyyyy need to check it out. It was absolutely amazing and completely shocking.

Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy is one of those books that has been on my TBR list for months and I just have finally gotten around to reading it. I’m in a group on Goodreads where they have a “Copycat Challenge”. Everyone is paired up with someone and you have to pick a book from their read list to read for yourself. I saw Easy on there, checked my library and decided to go for it.

Easy by Tammara Webber

How I Acquired This Book: Library Rental

4stars

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When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night – but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

(Summary from Goodreads)

I really enjoyed Easy more than I had been expecting. The only reason I didn’t give it 5/5 stars is because I hadn’t realized that it was a New Adult book. I feel like the biggest difference between YA books and NA books is that NA books contain more graphic and/or frequent sex scenes. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I just don’t see the necessity of it. Once or twice maybe, but any more than in a 300 paged book to me is a bit much. Anyhow, that is why I took 1 star away (had it been a YA book I would have done the same). I really did like the story though. It was more mature and touched on more sensitive topics than a lot of young adult books deal with. I felt like I was able to make a lot of connections as well because the main characters are all in college, just like myself.

I loved Jacqueline and Lucas, the two main characters of the story. I often got frustrated when they would be together and in a way deny their attraction and feelings for each other. They had been through some intense times together and Lucas had saved Jacqueline from being raped one night after a party. Soon though Jacqueline is also emailing a tutor for her econ class and looks forward to his responses and wonders about him quite a few times. I won’t completely give anything away, but the connection was pretty obvious to me halfway through the book.

The summary makes it seem like Jacqueline has no one besides Lucas and that he is hiding secrets (correction the summary even says that), but it is all false. Jacqueline and her roommate and another sorority girl are still close friends and it seems like those were the only two girls Jacqueline was close to even before the break up. Lucas also is in no way “hiding” secrets. These secrets are very personal information and when the reader learns what it is, it is completely understandable why he didn’t just blurt it out to Jacqueline the first time they hung out. I also don’t think that Jacqueline trusted Lucas any less after learning his secrets. Basically, don’t let the summary fool you into thinking Lucas is bad or deceptive because he definitely is not.

So, forget what the summary says and just get this book and read it when you can. It was really good and I think I want my own copy to keep on my shelf so I can reread it whenever I want.

No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

Expected Publication: December 9, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

4stars

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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.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Oh my goodness, when I began reading this book I thought it was going to be light story about a small town girl who falls in love with her best friends brother. It was much better and more intense than that. I love storylines where the main character falls in love with their best friends brother, not quite sure why that it but maybe because the relationships are so much deeper since the characters have known each other for so long before they get together. Anyhow, I loved the whole storyline. There was a ton of family drama, but it didn’t really kill my mood overall for the book. I felt like the family drama actually added a lot to the book and the reader a good insight on Amber and why she makes the choices she does.

I really liked the two main characters, Amber and Devon. Amber is determined and although she made some not so smart choices in the book, I really liked her. She seems super sweet, caring, and like your typical teenager. Like I said, she made some not so smart choices, but she always has the best intentions at heart. Her best friend Devon gave me mixed feelings, but in the end I really liked him. He is like a typical teenage boy, putting his love interest before many other important things. When he was in that stage he got on my nerves a few times, but he soon realized and changed his ways. Amber and Devon together made a great pair of friends. Devon supported Amber even in some difficult times.

There were other characters that I didn’t care for as much, but the story would not have been the same without them. Two of the characters were Amber’s sister and her sister’s husband who is a local drug dealer and has her sister under his control to do what he wants and when he wants it. Amber tries to be there for her sister, but her sister constantly pushes her away even after she is arrested and child protective services comes to investigate. The other character was Devon’s love interest, the new boy at school, whose name I cannot remember at this time (opps :-/ ). He seemed like your typical high school jocky, douchebag. My only wish would have been for Amber to sock him real good in the face and put him in his place.

In No Place to Fall, so much was happening at once and the story never had a chance to slow down to a boring speed. Whether Amber was dealing with her family, her singing, her confusing relationship with Devon’s brother Will or just typical high schooler issues, the story was always interesting. I finished this book in a day which surprised me. It was a bit lengthy compared to the last book I finished and I don’t have as much free reading time as I did before. Granted I did stay up way too late and was super groggy in class the next day, but it was so completely worth it.

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

So the first week of classes is over and today starts the second week/first full week of classes. I was able to still finish 4 books last week which isn’t saying much. I haven’t had much homework yet, but as classes pick up I imagine I will drop down to 2-3 books a week. This week is only going to feature three of those books. I will schedule the other for next week. If I can keep ahead of myself than I should always have reviews scheduled for the following weeks to come. Thursday I will be hosting a book tour so come check it out. I also have an awesome offer that comes with that book tour that is available both Thursday and Friday. Now enough of my babbling and onto the first review of the week!

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

Expected Publication: December 9, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

4stars

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Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

(Summary from Goodreads)

When I read the summary I was expecting something completely different than what the book was really about. Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless takes place on Christmas Eve, but for some reason I was thinking she was working the 6:30am shift before school. TTCYC is a funny, quick story with a light mystery mixed in. I really enjoyed this book for numerous amounts of reasons.

First, the characters are all so different and aren’t your usual “cookie cutter” characters you read about in every other young adult book. They all come from completely different backgrounds and that really shapes who their character is and how they act throughout the book. They were also all pretty likeable. Some got annoying, but usually because the character was purposely being annoying at that part of the story. I also liked how even though they didn’t know each other too well, some never even talking to each other before, they all stuck together when getting blamed for the money being stolen.

Second, I loved the lists throughout the book. I myself am a list maker for so many things, some have a point while others are just for fun. I liked how it broke up the chapters every now and then and some of the lists had me cracking up. My favorite was the one around the lines of the weirdest things that Chloe ever experienced at GoodFoods. Some seemed so strange, but I could picture them in my head and I am sure they have happened at stores before. (My first guess would be at a Walmart, I mean have you ever seen the website peopleofwalmart.com?) It also helped up understand Chloe better too because we learned a lot about her from her lists.

Third, I loved although it was a cute romance book, there was a mystery thrown in. This mystery was so much different than most of the mystery books I have been reading lately. While the issue itself wasn’t light, compared to the past mystery books I’ve read, this mystery was light. At first I honestly had no clue what character had done it. Toward the end I was getting suspicious of one character, the right character. I was pretty surprised of who it was as well. It was something I hadn’t been expecting and it gave the book a nice surprise element. I also like the cute romances featured in the book. They weren’t anything serious, but were a cute little touch.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless a lot better than Liz Czukas’ other book, Ask Again Later. It only took me a few hours to finish reading this book which was great considering I’m short on time now with my fall courses. It’s one I’d reread in the future and I have already added it to my birthday/Christmas wish list.