WWW Wednesday: October 7, 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:

 

I started reading Jill Shalvis’ All I Want (Animal Magnetism #7) last night. The Animal Magnetism series is my favorite series by Ms. Shalvis. They are fun contemporary romance reads.

I’m also still reading The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz with my seven-year-old daughter at night. It’s slow going because we only read one chapter a night. We’re about 85% through it now.


Recently finished:

  

I read the sequel to Me Before You, After You at the end of last week for a buddy read with my favorite Goodreads group. Then, I read Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling because it had to go back to the library ASAP. At the beginning of the week, I read Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines.  Reviews to come on the last two, but you can read my review of After You, here.


Reading Next:

Okay. I’ll be picking Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale back up. I read 18 pages before I had to return it to the library. A friend recently lent it to me, so I need to get crackin’ on it. I said that last week, but this week it’s true. I will probably read some more of it today.


What are you currently reading? What’s next on your list?

A Stone in the Sea

A Stone in the Sea (Bleeding Stars #1) by A.L. Jackson

Publication Date: February 21, 2015

Synopsis:

Sebastian “Baz” Stone lives in deep despair. His only break from his troubled life is when he steps on stage as the lead singer for his band, Sunder.

When Baz is faced with assault charges, he’s forced to take a break from touring and hide out in Savannah, Georgia. One night, Baz walks into a local bar called Charlie’s. He’s just there for a drink, but what he finds is so much more. It’s more than he deserves.

Waitress Shea Bentley has given up a lot to live her small town life. She’s always been happy with her man-less life. Or she was until Baz walked into her bar. Now, Shea’s fighting the attraction she feels for a man she doesn’t know. A man she knows could break her heart.

Baz and Shea can’t seem to stay away from each other. There’s a chemistry between them that neither can deny. But each holds a secret that has the power to destroy them both.


My rating: 4 stars


I’ve had A Stone in the Sea on my bookshelf and TBR list since early this summer. I meant to read it several times, but it got pushed down the list thanks to library books, NetGalley requests and Goodreads Giveaway books.  Last week I put it on my WWW Wednesdays posts in hopes it would inspire me to finally read it. It worked. I read it this weekend between soccer tournament games.

Honestly, what sets A Stone in the Sea apart from other New Adult novels is the writing. It’s simply beautiful. It’s almost lyrical. The whole thing could be a song or maybe a poem. It was very nice to read. What could have been a pretty typical New Adult romance had an extra wow factor because of the writing.

It was also a quick read that I didn’t want to put down. I read most of it in one evening. I liked the chemistry between Shea and Baz. The tension between the two of them was palpable. Once again, I’m crediting the amazing writing.

The only thing that drove me a little crazy was the cliffhanger. Luckily, the second book in the series is already out so I don’t have to wait long to find out what’s next. If it wasn’t already out, I think I would be a little frustrated!

I truly enjoyed A Stone in the Sea . I think New Adult romance readers will love A.L. Jackson’s writing style.

Other books in the series:

Irresistibly Yours

Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1) by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis:

Cole Sharpe has been a freelance editor for Oxford men’s magazine for years. He’s finally ready to take a more permanent editor position with the magazine. It should be his, no problem. All he has to do is say he wants it.

When he does, Cole is shocked to learn that he has to apply for the position. Not only that, but Cole has competition. Female competition in tiny tomboy, Penelope.

Penelope Pope needs the Oxford sports editor job. She’s moved to New York to escape her past in Chicago. This job is exactly what she needs to pick up the pieces of her life and career.

Neither Cole nor Penelope is looking for love. Cole likes his playboy ways and Penelope is not his type. She’s all tomboy, while he likes curves. So, why can’t he stop thinking about her?

Penelope knows she’s just one of the guys–always destined to be in the friend zone. She’s fine with that. So, why does being around Cole make her long for more?


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Irresistibly Yours is the first book in the Oxford series, but it’s a spin off of the popular Stiletto series by Lauren Layne. I have read a couple of the Stiletto books in the past and thought they were a lot of fun, so I requested an electronic copy of Irresistibly Yours from NetGalley.

Irresistibly Yours was just as much fun to read as the Stiletto books. The chemistry between Cole and Penelope was hot! I liked their easy banter with each other and the way they tried to avoid falling for each other.

I would recommend Irresistibly Yours to readers that like a quick paced contemporary romance. Some of the characters from the Stiletto series are mentioned, but Irresistibly Yours can be read as a standalone novel. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in the series about Lincoln, Cole’s friend and co-worker.

**I received an electronic copy of Irresistibly Yours from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Things I Want to Quit Or Have Quit

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Bookish Things I Want to Quit Or Have Quit. Below the my ten bookish things I want to quit.


1. Reading every book an author releases in a series.

I’m not talking about series where the story continues from one book to the next. I’m talking about series where each book is about a new character (usually met earlier in the series) and a new situation. I love series like this, but the problem is that after six or seven books, the series usually starts to become lackluster. Instead of getting a fresh new story, the updates from previous characters start to take over. I like getting updates, but when they take over a new, fresh story I get bored.

2. Finishing books I’m not enjoying.

Unless it’s a book a committed to reading, I’m going to stop finishing books that I don’t like. I know that’s hard for a lot of people because they feel a need to finish. I’m in that boat as well, but time is too precious to be reading something I can’t stand.

3. Reviewing every book I read.

I need to remind myself I’m blogging because I want to share my love of books with everyone. It’s not a job. It’s for fun. No one cares how many reviews I post. No one will know if I don’t review a book I’ve read. Just have fun!

4. Continually reading books in the same genre.

Lately, I feel like my blog reviews are starting to get a little generic. I know it’s because I’ve been reading too many similar books and sequels. I admit I’ve been compulsively reading New Adult romances. I can’t help loving them, but I need to remember there’s other book genres I love out there. I need to broaden my horizons.

5. Not reading books I’ve requested from the library.

I hate admitting this. I request a lot of books from the library. More than half the time, I return them unread. The library books sit on my counter for the three weeks I can have them checked out while someone else is patiently waiting to do read them. It makes me feel guilty. I do want to read them, I just get sidetracked by other books.

6. Staying up too late reading.

This is a major problem for me. I read while my husband watches T.V. at night. I don’t pay attention to time. I want to go to bed at 10:00 pm, but I will stay up later reading if my husband stays up later watching T.V. I’ve been so tired lately because of this.

7. Reading in bed.

I need to stop reading in bed before I go to sleep. If I do, I can’t put the book down. This isn’t exactly the same as #6, but it’s close. Usually, once my husband turns off the T.V., I put away the book. Lately, I’ve been reading in bed after that.

8. Reading while eating.

My Kindle makes this too easy. I need to pay more attention to what I’m eating and my family during mealtimes.

9. Talking about books when I’m out with friends. 

But what else would I talk about, right? Lol. I guess I should really say I shouldn’t try to talk about books with people who aren’t readers.

10. Bookbub

Oh, man. I love Bookbub. I love getting a daily email with amazing book deals tailored by genres I love. The problem is, I can’t seem to say no. I’ve been downloading free/cheap books when I see a book or author I want to read. The books are starting to pile up on my Kindle. It’s not a bad problem to have, but I’m starting to feel like an ebook hoarder. It’s probably why those library books aren’t getting read. Oh, and it’s probably why I keep reading NA contemporary romances, too! Lol.


Do you share any of these bookish things to quit?

If You Only Knew

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: HQN Books

Synopsis:

Wedding dress designer Jenny Tate had what she thought was going to be her happily ever after. She had the perfect job, the perfect husband and (hopefully) soon the perfect children. But Jenny’s happily ever after imploded when her husband Owen surprised her by asking for a divorce. Now, a couple of years later, Jenny’s stuck with the perfect ex-husband and a new best friend (Owen’s new wife). Her goal of having a family like her sister Rachel’s is down the drain.

Jenny still wants a happily ever after. Putting some distance between her past life in New York, Jenny moves back to her hometown. She’s starting a new boutique and hoping to find love.

Rachel has the perfect life Jenny’s always dreamed of. Her husband, Adam, is a handsome and successful lawyer. She’s the perfect housewife and stay-at-home mother to three beautiful little girls.

Her life is exactly as she wants it…until one text ruins it all. Rachel no longer knows what to believe. Is her husband having an affair or is it a wrong number? Rachel’s always said she would never stay with a cheater, but will she change her mind if her husband isn’t as perfect as she thought he was? Is she willing to walk away from the perfect life they have created together?

During this time of transition, Jenny and Rachel find themselves leaning on each other more than they ever thought they would. Their strengths will help each other make the tough decisions they never thought they would have to make.


My rating: 5 stars


I was kind of scared to read If You Only Knew. That probably sounds lame, but I had a feeling Kristan Higgins’ journey into Women’s Fiction (That’s actually a genre? Is there a Men’s Fiction, too?) was going to tug at my emotions. I wasn’t ready to (maybe) feel sad.

Now that I’ve read it, I’m glad I let If You Only Knew sit on my Kindle a month before reading it. Not because it wasn’t a good book. It was great. It had the sad stuff I was worried about, but it also had the humorous dialogue I’ve appreciated in Ms. Higgins’ past novels. It’s more a case of perfect timing.

The reason I’m glad I waited to read it is more personal. I’ve hit the time in my life when I have several friends going through marriage problems. There has been adultery, emotional affairs, conflict and loss. It’s been hard to watch friends deal with the emotional ups and downs, as well as the fall out. I ache for my friends.

I also ached for Rachel in this book. Her thoughts captivated me. For her, there was no decision that wasn’t going to hurt. Nothing would ever be perfect again. Not that things would never get better. They would never be the same. And that’s okay. The message of If You Only Knew hit home with me and my feelings this week. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Rachel is not the only POV in this book, though. There’s also Jenny. I found her POV, while sometimes sad, to be the humor I needed to round out this novel and keep it from being totally depressing. I could totally see her as a character in one of Higgins’ hilarious Blue Heron novels.

So, who would I recommend If You Only Knew to? This book is geared toward adult women. The characters are in their mid-thirties to forties. I think women in that age range or higher will probably be able to relate to If You Only Knew best. Or anyone who has gone through or is going through a crisis in their marriage.

After You

After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes

Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Penguin

Synopsis:

Louisa Clark is struggling to live in a world without Will Traynor. She’s getting by but barely living. She knows Will would be mad at her for the way she is living, but she just doesn’t know how to go on without him.

When an accident forces Louisa into a grief support group, she knows it’s what she needs to get her life going in the right direction. The Moving On support group helps Louisa come to terms with losing Will. It also reunites her with Sam Fielding, the paramedic who responded to her accident.

Louisa is drawn to Sam. He makes her forget and feel alive again. Louisa finally feels like she’s starting to see a life after Will. Then, someone from Will’s past shows up. Instantly, Louisa is once again caught up in Will’s family drama. Being drawn back into his world will force Louisa to decide once and for all whether she is going to live in the past or the present.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Me Before You was the first book I read that had me examining my thoughts and beliefs. It made laugh. It made me cry. It was one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read. It’s one of my all time favorites. Honestly, I didn’t think it needed a sequel. But I was excited to hear there was going to be one. I knew life wasn’t going to be easy for Louisa after Will and I was excited to get a look into her life after.

I’m going to be honest. It took me a while to figure out how to rate After You. I had to think hard about how I truly felt about it. I know some readers aren’t going to like it. After all that Louisa’s gone through, some people will want sunshine and rainbows for her. They want a motivational happily ever after love story. After You is not really like that. I think that’s actually one of the things I ended up liking about this sequel. It was grittier than I expected.

After losing Will, Louisa has reverted back to the person she was before meeting him. She’s sort of pathetic and she’s hurting. And when she has a chance to move on, she lets herself be consumed by Will’s family. Some people aren’t going to like this twist in the story. They’re going to think it’s unnecessary. I kind of liked it. It gave me a glimpse of what happened to Will’s parents after and the impact his choice had one them.

Going into After You, I kept an open mind. It probably helped that it’s been a couple of years since I read Me Before You. While I remember the story, it wasn’t fresh in my mind. I think that’s the best thing you can do, go in without expectations. Read it like you don’t have ties to the previous book. If you give it this chance, I think you’ll enjoy the story.

Jojo Moyes’ writing is beautiful. The novel was fast-paced and the story drew me in. I didn’t want to put it down. And while I missed Will, I ended up really liking Sam. What I truly loved about After You, though, was the way it brought Louisa’s story full circle. I thought the ending was perfect. It left me with hope for Louisa. (I have to admit, if Ms. Moyes wrote a third book about Louisa I would happily read it.)

So, would I suggest reading After You? Well, if you loved Me Before You, then yes. I would definitely suggest reading it. I truly enjoyed reading it. Just understand that it’s not probably going to effect you the same way Me Before You did. It’s a completely different experience.

Other books in this series:

Escape in You

Escape in You (Escape #1) by Rachel Schurig

Publication Date: October 2, 2013

Synopsis:

Zoe Janes’ life sucks. Partying with her friends and vodka is the only way she can cope. It’s the only way thing keeping her from succumbing to her horrible home life.

When Zoe meets bad boy Jet Taylor at a party, she can’t help but be attracted to him. Brooding, muscular, and tattooed, he’s everything Zoe loves in a hook up. And it’s clear to Zoe that Jet’s not the type of guy to fall in love. He’s just like her — looking for a little fun, an escape.

Despite agreeing to keep things casual, things keep getting deeper and deeper between Zoe and Jet. The more time they spend together, the more they worry about the fun ending. Neither one of them is willing to admit they might just want more than “fun.” But both Zoe and Jet are trapped by a pasts that might make a future together impossible.


My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


To quote Zoe and Jet, Escape in You was “boring-ass normal”. By that, I don’t mean the book was boring. It wasn’t by any means. I found it to be a fast-paced, easy read. Escape in You was just so typical of a NA romance. You have your two main characters, Zoe and Jet, that are tragically broken. They both have mommy issues, drink to drown their sorrows and avoid romance. Of course, they connect in a way that makes life better for each of them. It’s a pretty standard NA book, right? I was hoping for more. I kept waiting for a “WOW!” moment. I didn’t ever really get it.

I feel bad because all of that sounds negative. I don’t mean for it to sound like the book wasn’t good. It was. The writing was great and I enjoyed reading it. I will probably read the sequel about Ellie and Fred because I’m truly interested in seeing where the characters go. There just wasn’t anything in Escape in You that stood out to me to make it phenomenal. Like I said, it was typical.

I would recommend Escape in You to NA readers that enjoy bad-ass characters falling in love and saving each other in the process.

Other books in this series:

Series Review: The Falling Series by Ginger Scott

This is the first time I’ve reviewed an entire series in one post. I decided to review the Falling series by Ginger Scott this way because I binge read all three books in a row. It seemed easier to put them all in one post together than to make separate ones. Each book in the series is about one of three college roommates: Rowe, Cass and Paige. The novels overlap in time, events and characters. It’s important to read them in order, as each book has a little surprise of its own that would be ruined if you read them out-of-order. So, here we go…


Book 1

 This is Falling 

My rating: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis:

Freshman Rowe Stanton left her depressing existence in Arizona behind to go to college in Oklahoma. She’s hoping the change of scenery will be just what she needs to move on from the tragedy that took over her life more than two years ago.

When Rowe meets All-American baseball player Nate Preeter, she can’t believe he’s interested in her. A guy like him should be interested in the super hot sorority girl type, not quiet Rowe.

Rowe expects him to run when he learns about the scars she carries, but he doesn’t. Instead, for the first time in over two years, Nate makes her want more.


Book 2

 You and Everything After

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Cass Owens is looking forward to starting college far away from anyone who knows her. She wants to leave her tarnished image behind. No longer will she be the slut that likes to hook up at parties, the girl with MS or the not quite as pretty twin. Cass is ready to be someone new.

Tyson Preeter may not do love, but he has no problem hooking up with chicks. Even his wheelchair doesn’t slow down all the action he gets. His good looks and confidence are all he needs. But meeting Cass may just knock down all of Ty’s defenses and change his outlook on love.


Book 3

 The Girl I Was Before 

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Paige Owens had plans for her college years. She was going to join a sorority, make popular friends, and have the right boyfriend. Paige accomplished it all but it cost her. Now, she would do anything to make up for the hurt she caused. Paige wants to be the girl Houston Orr sees.

Houston Orr isn’t the typical college student. While other students are partying or playing sports, Houston’s working. He’s doing everything he can to get by. Houston doesn’t have time for a relationship, but he can’t seem to stay away from pretty Paige. He knows beyond her beauty and arrogance, there is something more.


My review:

If you’re a follower of my blog, you probably already know that I adore Ginger Scott‘s writing. She’s usually a 4 to 5 star review for me. So, it should be of no surprise to you that I loved The Falling series. If I had to give the entire series one rating it would be 4.5 stars. 

My favorite thing about this series was the heroes. Nate, Ty and Houston were all very different personalities but the way they supported their girl was awesome. Each one had a moment that almost left me in tears — Nate especially. I loved how sentimental (but still strong) Nate was. I loved how cocky and independent Ty was. I loved how understand Houston was. They just rocked and made the series.

As for the girls, each one had a big issue they were dealing with. While I loved This is Falling, Rowe was the toughest character for me to identify with. I thought she was supposed to the super nice girl, but her judgement of people or certain things didn’t always align with that. Honestly, when I think about it now, that’s probably more true to life since no one is nice 100% of the time. But for the story it felt a little off.

Cass was an interesting character for me. Living in the Pacific Northwest where the incidence of MS is high, I have friends and relatives affected by this disease. While I couldn’t completely relate, I could identify with Cass’ struggle. I loved the way Cass and Tyson talked to each other and could understand each other needed.

After reading The Girl I Was Before, Paige became my favorite female of the series. While she might not have always been the nicest, I enjoyed watching her transition and growth throughout the series.

Another thing I really loved about the series was being able to see the dynamic between Cass and Paige. It was kind of like reading a series that has a book for the girl’s POV and then a book for the guy’s POV, except with sisters. So, you not only got to see their relationships with the guys but with each other. It added so much to the story.

Oh, and I also loved that each book had a little surprise in store for the reader–something I wasn’t quite expecting.

If you’re looking for a good NA series filled with great writing, amazing characters, tons of feelings and sweet college romances the Falling series by Ginger Scott is for you.

Before the Blog #12: Save Yourself

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? 

 Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

Publisher: Crown

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Patrick Cusimano is in a bad way. His father is in jail, he works the midnight shift at a grubby convenience store, and his brother’s girlfriend, Caro, has taken their friendship to an uncomfortable new level. On top of all that, he can’t quite shake the attentions of Layla Elshere, a goth teenager who befriends Patrick for reasons he doesn’t understand and doesn’t fully trust. The temptations these two women offer are pushing him to his breaking point.

Meanwhile, Layla’s little sister, Verna, is suffering through her first year of high school. She’s become a prime target for her cruel classmates, not just because of her strange name and her fundamentalist parents: Layla’s bad-girl rep proves to be too huge a shadow for Verna, so she falls in with her sister’s circle of outcasts and misfits whose world is far darker than she ever imagined.

Kelly Braffet’s characters, indelibly portrayed and richly varied, are all on their own twisted paths to finding peace. The result is a novel of unnerving power-darkly compelling, addictively written, and shockingly honest.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book?

Save Yourself is different than the romances I normally read. It was also the first book I read by Kelly Braffet. I was impressed with her writing and story telling. She took five characters and wove their lives together in a dark and angst-filled way. You know from the beginning there’s not much that could turn their lives around to make them all live happily ever after. What I loved most about Save Yourself was that I wondered the whole time how it was going to all play out. I wanted to know how Ms. Braffet was going to save all her characters.

When did you read this book?

August of 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

I would recommend it to mature readers that like darker fiction. Also, some readers might be intrigued by the fact that Kelly Braffet is married to Stephen King‘s son, author Owen King.