Soundtrack Saturday: The Air He Breathes

Welcome to my second Soundtrack Saturday! I had so much fun coming up with a mini playlist last week that I thought I would do it again. This week, I’m going to spotlight the book The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry. You can find my review here.


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Soundtrack Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by Erin @ The Hardcover Lover. It’s a way to relate songs to books.

Here are the guidelines:

  • You can use The Hardcover Lover’s image or make one of your own
  • Please link The Hardcover Lover somewhere in your post
  • Create a soundtrack or mini-soundtrack for your chosen book
  • Add your name to the link-up tool so others can find and read your post
  • Leave a comment on The Hardcover Lover’s blog post

A song that you think goes well with the beginning of your chosen book:

I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy (I refuse to use P. Diddy, Diddy or whatever. He was Puffy back then!) would be a good choice for this one.

A song you think fits a character in your chosen book:

Every Breath You Take by The Police was the first song that came to mind when I thought of Tanner. I know, the first song I chose is a remake of this one. They’re the same but different and it works.

A song that represents a relationship in your chosen book:

I don’t think I could have found a more perfect song for Tristan and Elizabeth’s relationship than A Great Big World’s Hold Each Other.

A song that fits the ending of the book:

Savage Garden’s I Knew I Loved You is a song that I think fits kind of the whole vibe of the book, especially the ending.


And that’s a wrap. Happy Halloween!

Review: A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak

A Winter Wedding (Whiskey Creek #9) by Brenda Novak

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

Publisher: Mira

Synopsis:

Kyle Houseman has given up on love. He’s already married and divorced the wrong woman once. He also knows he’ll never find anyone that compares to his ex-girlfriend, Olivia. Kyle knows it’s his fault they didn’t end up together, but the fact that she married his step-brother is still raw. It makes family dinner tons of fun.

Country music sensation Lourdes Bennett came to Whiskey Creek to escape the spotlight and work on her new album. She was supposed to be spending the Christmas holiday squirreled away in Whiskey Creek with her fiance Derrick. Instead, she’s here alone dealing with the possibility that Derrick might not be as loyal to her as she thought.

When Lourdes can’t get her rental’s furnace to work, she calls her landlord, Kyle. As Lourdes and Kyle begin to get to know each other and become friends, they both notice a spark. But will Lourdes be willing to give up Nashville for a quieter kind of life in Whiskey Creek?


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Whiskey Creek is one of my favorite contemporary romance series. I love the group of friends Brenda Novak has created the series around. I’m always curious to find out which friend is the next to fall in love and who it will be with.

I was excited when I learned we were finally getting Kyle’s story in A Winter Wedding. I’ve been waiting to see inside his head ever since I read Olivia and Brandon’s story in When We Touch. Since Kyle’s been (not so secretly) in love with Olivia the entire series, I wondered what kind of woman would be able to capture his attention.

Brenda Novak couldn’t have created a better character than Lourdes to win Kyle’s heart. She was strong and independent — everything Kyle needed in a woman after dealing with his ex Noelle. I loved the connection they had and how protective of Lourdes Kyle was.

Since I mentioned Noelle, I have to say I absolutely loved her part in this story. It was fun to get a glimpse into her head and see what she’s been thinking the entire time she’s been pining after the ex-husband who is in love with her sister.

Kyle’s story was everything I was hoping it would be. A Winter Wedding was the perfect Christmas-time contemporary romance  read. It was fun, fast-paced and included all of the Whiskey Creek characters I’ve grown to love. If you love contemporary romance series, I would highly recommend the Whiskey Creek series and A Winter Wedding.

Other books in this series:

        

Before the Blog: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Publication Date: August 6, 2009

Publisher: Orion

Goodreads Synopsis:

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.

This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

I remember thinking it was pretty hilarious when I read it. I thought they did a pretty good job on the movie version released last year, but (of course) the book was better.

 When did you read this book? 

2009 or 2010. I’m not sure exactly. I picked it up at Borders Books when it was on the new(er) releases shelf.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Adults that enjoy a good, comical book.

WWW Wednesday: October 28, 2015

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading but is now hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So here we go…


Currently reading:

Right now I’m reading Brenda Novak’s A Winter Wedding. It’s the ninth book in the Whiskey Creek series and it’s Kyle’s story. I’ve been waiting for his book forever! This is one of my favorite contemporary romance series. I would recommend it to adults that love sweet romances.


Recently finished:

  

I’m finished an ARC of How to Be Brave by E. Katherin Kottaras in one sitting. It was pretty quickly paced. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting and you can read my review to find out more.

I’ve been waiting for read Wicked Restless (Harper Boys #2) by Ginger Scott since the moment I heard it was coming out. I loved Wild Reckless and I’m so happy Ginger Scott decided to give us more from the Harper boys. I’m crossing my fingers for a spin off about Trent now. You can find my review here.

Finally, I read The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry. I read it as a buddy read and was surprised by it. My review of it posted today.


Reading Next:

I feel extremely lucky to have been approved through NetGalley to read The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. Karen White is one of my favorite authors. I’ll read anything she writes.


What are you reading next?

Review: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry

The Air He Breathes (Elements #1) by Brittany C. Cherry

Publication Date: September 25, 2015

Publisher: BCherry Books

Synopsis:

Elizabeth knows she should stay away from Tristan Cole. Everyone has told her he’s bad news. But there’s something inside Tristan that Elizabeth can relate with. Elizabeth sees Tristan and knows he’s not what they make him out to be. She knows he is just damaged like she is.

As Elizabeth gets to know Tristan, she finds an understanding and shared loss they can both relate to. It brings them closer together and soon they find themselves using each other in ways they never planned.

But they can’t go on forever living in the past and the future hold surprised neither of them could ever imagine.


My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


The Air He Breathes began as New Adult romances normally do: Messed up guy meets messed up girl. They are the only ones who really see each other. Then, Elizabeth and Tristan’s relationship went in a weird direction I didn’t like. They started using each other in a way that disturbed  me. The story lost me for a bit. Thankfully, Tristan and Elizabeth’s relationship got back on the right track and it went back to being what I have to come to expect from NA romances. But then, BAM! Surprise twist — in more ways than one.

Holy smokes. The Air He Breathes was not what I was expecting at all. Well, that’s not entirely true. I could foresee what was going to cause the biggest problem in Tristan and Elizabeth’s relationship from the beginning of the book. Other parts of it were a complete surprise, though. I didn’t expect the twist toward the end. That blew my mind.

For the most part, I really enjoyed Brittany C. Cherry’s writing and characters. I loved the bits and pieces I got to read of Tristan’s past life. Even though they had been through a similar situation, Tristan was more interesting of a character than Elizabeth was to me. I would credit that to some of the secrecy behind Tristan.

My favorite character in the whole book, though; had to be Elizabeth’s best friend Faye. She was outspoken and hilarious. Some of the things she said — oh, my! She was such fun to read.

Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure how to rate The Air He Breathes. There was so much going on in this story. It almost felt like two or three different books in one. Some of it I loved, other parts I hated. Overall, it was really good. So when it came down to rating it, I kept having to ask myself if I just liked it or did I really like it? It falls somewhere in between, so I went with 3.5 stars.

So, would I suggest reading it? Yes! If you like NA romances, give this one a try. While my rating is on the average side, I did really enjoy The Air He Breathes.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Great Books/Series with Witches, Ghosts, Werewolves and Vampires

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Halloween themed freebie , so I’m going with Ten Great Books/Series with Witches, Ghosts, Werewolves and Vampires.


1.  The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

2. The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine

3. Rooms by Lauren Oliver

4. The Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater

5. Witching Savannah Series by J.D. Horn

6. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

7. The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris

8. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

9. The Harper Connelly Series

10. The Caster Chronicles by Cami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Wicked Restless by Ginger Scott

Wicked Restless (Harper Boys #2) by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

Synopsis:

Andrew Harper knows what people in his small town say about his family. His brother, Owen,  may have tried to protect him from the rumors and hurt, but Owen’s gone now. Andrew’s on his own now to prove everyone wrong.

Then, Andrew meets new girl Emma Burke at school. She’s the most beautiful girl Andrew’s ever seen. She’s also smart and sweet. Emma’s heard the rumors, but she doesn’t seem to care. It makes being stuck in the small town of Woodstock bearable.

Emma may not be the talk of the town, but she has problems of her own to deal with. Problems she’s keeping secret from Andrew. She knows she needs to tell him, but she just wants to be a normal teen for a while.

As Andrew and Emma are quickly falling for each other, they will be faced with a choice that will change the directions of their lives forever. Their choices will not only divide them but ruin them.

Five years later, Andrew can’t let go of the pain. He’s hurt and angry.

Andrew always wondered what he would do when he saw Emma again. Now, he knows: get revenge. He has the perfect opportunity to do it and he’s going to take it. But as he puts his plan in motion, the truth of what happened all those years ago starts to present itself — along with feelings he thought were long gone.

If Andrew and Emma can’t make peace with their past, they may lose out on their future.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Wicked Restless is the second book in the Harper Boys series. I couldn’t wait to read it because I absolutely loved the first book, Wild Reckless. (You can read my review here, if you’re interested.) Wild Reckless was about Owen Harper, while Wicked Restless is about his younger brother, Andrew. Each book can be read as a standalone, but there are some things that carry over from Wild Reckless to Wicked Restless.

Dude, socks. If you just wore socks, this wouldn’t have happened.

Wicked Restless started out sweet, cute and funny like many YA contemporary romances. Andrew and Emma’s instant connection during P.E. class is funny and cute. I was so excited for this couple!

“I want this girl to be the girl – my girl. The one I take to things and experience everything with.”

Then, everything gets all complicated and messed up. It turns into the angst filled NA romance I was expecting. It plays with my emotions in ways I didn’t expect.

The decisions Andrew and Emma make tear them apart. It tore me apart! It was heart breaking to read. I hurt for Andrew. He was trying to be such a good person and all it did was prove the rumors true. I couldn’t help but dislike Emma. I felt like she ruined his life. I kind of hated her. I honestly wondered how Ginger Scott could ever redeem her at this point.

Flash forward five years. Andrew has changed. He’s no longer trying to prove he’s not what people think he is. Andrew runs into Emma again. Understandably, he hates her and wants revenge. (I kind of want revenge on her myself!) He doesn’t care about anything but making Emma suffer.

It’s from this moment that every choice Andrew makes is gut wrenching for me to read. I didn’t like what the past five years had done to him. It was so sad to see who Andrew had become. When Andrew takes his anger out on Emma, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. I went quickly from hating her to understanding her. I wanted Andrew to understand her, too. I wanted the sweet and innocent Andrew back.

I’m not going to give anything else away from the story. Just know that I absolutely loved Wicked Restless. It played with my emotions in so many different ways. One minute, I was happy. The next, I was angry. It went on the entire book! Everything felt so intense. At times, the story took turns I wasn’t quite sure I believed. That didn’t matter, though; Ginger Scott’s writing is so good and packed with so much emotion that I could look past those things. Wicked Restless was an amazing follow up to Wild Reckless. Now, I hope Ms. Scott will give us a spin off in the form of Andrew’s roommate, Trent. Love that dude.

If you are a NA reader looking for an emotionally intense series filled with beautiful writing, I would highly suggest Ginger Scott’s Harper Boys series.

Other books in this series:

ARC Review: How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

 How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:

Georgia isn’t excited about starting her senior year of high school. She just lost her mother and isn’t quite sure how to go on. Her mother left her a letter telling Georgia who her mother would like her to be. Mostly, she wants Georgia to be brave and have the courage to try new things.

With the help of her best friend, Liss, Georgia decides to make a “Live Life List.” Together, they set out to complete the list. But nothing goes as easily as planned and soon Georgia find her life going places she never wanted it to go. Friendships are ruined, hearts are broken and trust is gone.

Georgia must be brave and take the steps necessary to put her life back together again.


My rating: 3 out of 5 stars


“It’s not you, it’s me.”

I feel like that pretty much sums up how I feel about How to Be Brave.

How to Be Brave started out strong. I really felt for Georgia and could identify with her. The writing was great. I loved the way Georgia’s memories were poetic. The issues in the story were important and relatable.  Then, it lost my attention fairly quickly.

To be honest, I think it was the tone of the book. It started out sad but optimistic. I was excited to see how Georgia was going to take her mom’s words of wisdom and where she would go from there. I had high hopes.

How to Be Brave just didn’t meet them. Instead of being a hopeful book about seizing life, it became Georgia’s decent into mischief and misery. It was depressing. While I understand why it took this direction, it wasn’t fun to read — at least for me. I kept reading in hopes that things would pick up and get better for Georgia. They did, but it just didn’t feel real to me. It felt like even her future might be depressing. I wanted to be uplifted. I wanted to see major growth throughout the entire book.

Something was just lacking for me in How to Be Brave. I have a feeling other readers are going to love this book. It was a good book — I just think it wasn’t for me.

**I received a copy of How to Be Brave from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Soundtrack Saturday: Wicked Restless

I am kind of behind on reading / book reviews this week (or I just had an actual life beside reading maybe), so I thought I’d try something new and different. Today, I’m going to attempt my first Soundtrack Saturday. 

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Soundtrack Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by Erin @ The Hardcover Lover. It’s a way to relate songs to books. This week, I’m going to spotlight the book I just finished and am still working on reviewing, Wicked Restless by Ginger Scott.

Here are the guidelines:

  • You can use The Hardcover Lover’s image or make one of your own
  • Please link The Hardcover Lover somewhere in your post
  • Create a soundtrack or mini-soundtrack for your chosen book
  • Add your name to the link-up tool so others can find and read your post
  • Leave a comment on The Hardcover Lover’s blog post

A song that you think goes well with the beginning of your chosen book:

Wicked Restless is spilt in two parts. The first part takes place in high school and is about first love. I chose Taylor Swift’s Love Story because I think it fits it. Andrew and Emma kind of have a Romeo and Juliet thing going on.

A song you think fits a character in your chosen book:

My choice for Andrew is Break Stuff by Limp Biskit because he’s always on the edge of losing it during the second half of the book.

A song that represents a relationship in your chosen book:

I think Adele’s new song Hello sums up Andrew and Emma’s time apart.

A song that fits the ending of the book:

I had a hard time finding a song I thought fit perfectly, so I’m going with Leann Rimes’ I Need You.


So, that’s it. What do you think of this Saturday meme? If you’ve read the book, what songs would you have chosen?

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Publication Date: October 12, 2013

Synopsis:

High school senior Fern Taylor knows she’ll never be beautiful like her best friend Rita. Fern’s got crazy red hair, glass and braces. If that wasn’t enough, she’s so tiny she could pass as a child. Fern knows she’ll never be beautiful enough to capture the attention of her crush, Ambrose Young.

Ambrose Young has it all. He’s not only tall and handsome, he’s smart and talented, too. The wrestling state championship has everything going for him, yet the pressure to be the winner his small town needs overwhelms him. So when the opportunity to be more presents itself, Ambrose grabs onto it. He enlists in the armed forces and convinces his four close friends to join him.

When tragedy strikes, Fern’s small town is torn apart. Five boys may have left for war, but only one will return alive.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I had to give Making Faces 5 stars. The message in this story is so important — especially to teens and young adults. It’s a story about looking past what you see on the outside to what’s on the inside of a person. Looks can be deceiving and words can be hurtful.

I almost gave it 4 stars because it took me a while to get into the book and understand its flow. I was a little confused by the different points of view. I thought there would be two: Ambrose and Fern. There were three. Bailey, Fern’s cousin / friend, was also a narrator. I wasn’t expecting that. There were also some flashbacks peppered throughout the book that I didn’t get at first. I knew it would all make sense, it was just getting further into the story to understand where it was all going.

The beauty and message of this story completely negated those complaints. Once I got a few chapters into Making Faces, I honestly didn’t want to put the book down. I forgot about my previous confusion. I read it in one day. The story was filled with such love and loss — not just for the main characters but for the entire small town. It was also filled with beautiful writing and a powerful message. It’s a book I wish I would have read in my late teen / early adult years when I put so much pressure on myself based on my looks.

Making Faces was an incredible story. It’s one that will stick with me for a very, very long time. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d encourage you to consider it. To entice you, I’ll share one of my favorite quotes from Making Faces:

“If God made all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?

Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see?

Does he curl the hair upon my head ’til it rebels in wild defiance?

Does he close the ears of a deaf man to make him more reliant?

Is the way I look a coincidence or just a twist of fate?

If he made me this way, is it okay, to blame him for the things I hate?

For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror, For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear.

Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can’t see?

If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?”

Beautiful, right? Read it!