Top Ten Tuesday: Characters That Remind Me of My Teenage Self

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s is Characters That Remind Me of My TEENAGE self. I have to do teenage because I don’t read about a lot of characters who remind me of myself now. That’s one purpose. Reading is an escape. 😉

1. Bella Swan in New Moon

I know, I know. Bella? In New Moon? While most people weren’t a fan of this Twilight Saga book, I was. My teenage self identified with how Bella processed heartbreak and her feelings. As a teenager I had times where I was depressed over a relationship ending like Bella was. I thought Meyer did an excellent job portraying this.

2. Alexa in Calm Like Home

Alexa reminded me a lot of myself in college. I remember having felt so many of the emotions she did and all the ups and downs of being an adult but not really being an adult yet.

3. Emmaline in In Your Dreams

In Your Dreams came to mind because I knew someone exactly like the personal trainer chick that drove Emmaline nuts. I feel like Kristan Higgins based her on that person and how I felt around them. That’s why I picked Emmaline.

4. Tate in Ugly Love

I think I know why so many readers love this book. It’s easy to identify with. Who hasn’t been in some sort of relationship where they want things to be more while the other person doesn’t? I hate to admit that I put myself in this situation when I was much younger.  I definitely was Tate in some moments. Sadly, most of people never get the ending Tate did. (Hence why people love this so much.)

5. Bianca in The DUFF

I mean, who hasn’t felt like Bianca in The DUFF? I know I had many times where I felt like the unnoticed and uncool friend. I also remember going to 18 and over dance clubs like Bianca and her friends did.

6. Sam in the Fallen Crest High series

Sam and her running to escape her thoughts. I did that A LOT in my late teens and early 20’s. I was running to exhaust my mind and body. It worked, but makes me sad to think about now.

7. Tenley in Cupcakes and Ink

Tenley went to college away from home for a fresh start. Our reasons weren’t the same, but I could identify with this. I moved from WA to AZ for college because I needed something new and different.

8. Scarlett in Jock Row

I am the sensible one like Scarlett was. I was and am the designated driver, the one who is always trying to keep people out of trouble. I’m the nice one. I could relate to Scarlett in this way. I also related to the romance in the book. It reminded me of when I met my husband and our relationship in ways. Things were low drama, easy, and healthy.

9. Far From the Tree

I didn’t pick just one character because I could identify with all of the 3 main characters a some point in the story. I was adopted as a baby, so I could just identify with some of the feelings that went on in this book in my teenage year, as a young adult, and even now.

10. Molly in The Upside of Unrequited

Molly is a girl who lets her weight define her. She feels like she’s always in the background. She’s always the sidekick, never the one the attention is on. Guys don’t like her, they like her friends. This was totally me in high school. I’ve also felt the way Molly felt about her sister trying to hook her up with Will. I remember my best friend always being in a relationship. She would try to push her boyfriend’s friends at me. It was exciting, but also uncomfortable. No one wants to be forced on a guy (or girl) just because your best friend is dating theirs. It rarely works out and is so awkward.

This was a weird post to write. I don’t feel like it’s particularly positive and I don’t like that. I wish I had recently read some books with amazing mothers of only child daughters or 30-something happily married people so I could compare them to my life now. LOL. I guess I just like to read books about people young and experiencing new things. 😉

Review: Well Suited (Staci Hart)

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Well Suited
Series: Red Lipstick Coalition, #4
Author: Staci Hart
Publication Date: May 2, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★


Chemistry is my love language.

I’ve always been able to separate feelings from chemosignals. A shot of dopamine, a dash of serotonin, and a sprinkle of oxytocin—and bam. You’re in love.

And when egg meets sperm, you’re pregnant.

I couldn’t even be surprised as I stared down at the little blue plus sign, because I knew exactly when and how, and with whom it happened.

When: approximately five weeks ago.
Who: one night stand.
How: prophylactic malfunction.

The upside? I don’t have to go looking for a suitable mate.

Genetically, he’s the cream of the crop. His musculature is a study in symmetry and strength, his height imposing and dominant. He is a man who thrives on control and command, a man who survives on intelligence and resourcefulness. A perfect male specimen.

And the whole package is wrapped up in a flawlessly tailored suit.

I’m having this baby, and he insists we’re well-suited to have it together. And what’s worse? He wants more, in the way of love and marriage.

But love isn’t real. It’s just a product of chemistry.

And if he changes my mind about that, we’re both in trouble.

A couple of months ago, I picked up Staci Hart’s Work in Progress. I hadn’t read any of her Red Lipstick Coalition books yet, but that one called to me. I adored it. At the end of the book there was a preview for Well Suited. I knew once I read the preview that I had no read the book. I was already drawn into the story.

Well Suited was a fun romance between a tightly wound librarian and the man who was willing to accept and love her quirks. Katherine was a woman with rules. Her interaction with Theodore Bane was only supposed to be one night. Now that she’s pregnant with his baby, he’s going to be around a lot longer and that throws everything off for her. Theo accepts Katherine’s quirks and somehow manages to know her every need. It disarms Katherine in ways she doesn’t want to admit. Theo would do just about anything to get her to admit it.

The romantic coupling of Theo and Katherine was perfection. I enjoyed Katherine’s quirks. She did remind me of a couple other book characters I have read before, but she wasn’t a carbon copy. Katherine had a big personality and a ton of entertaining quirks. I loved how Theo accept and loved them. Theo was, for lack of a better word, dreamy. Staci Heart could not have written a better partner for Katherine. Theo was patient and loving, and knew how to approach Katherine. I really adored them together.

If you’re a fan of this series, I am sure you’re going to love this book. I did. If you haven’t read the series yet, I think you could start with this book (although there might be mild spoilers) and then read the rest of the series later. Or start at the beginning and enjoy all of them!

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About the Author


Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

Connect with Staci:

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Buddy Read Review: Again, but Better (Christine Riccio)

Again, but Better

Author: Christine Riccio
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ½


From one of the most followed booktubers today, comes Again, but Better, a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again.

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Today, my review is going to be a little different than normal. I had the pleasure of buddy reading this book with my friend Debby @ alwaysbooking. My review will be comprised of 5 questions we both answered about Again, but Better.

My Answers:

1. What was your favorite thing about this book?

Oh, boy. This is a hard question to answer without giving too much away. The second half of the book was my favorite part of it. It’s not because I loved it. There was just this period of truths that were important. Without those truths, I would have hated this book. Those truths were my favorite things about it. I guess I did have one other favorite thing. I loved the banter between Shane and Pilot. It was quirky, but cool.

2. Who of all the characters mentioned in the book was your favorite?

I honestly don’t think I had a favorite character. There were a few small moments of liking certain ones. Atticus and Babe both seemed like good friends. They had that going for them. Pilot made some decisions early on that I ended up thinking were super smart, but will probably make other readers mad. Wait! Let’s go with Shane’s cousin, Leo. He can be my favorite. (Which says A LOT, if you end up reading this book.)

3. Cover love or no cover love?

I think the cover fits the book. It’s unique. I wouldn’t say it calls to me specifically, but I like it.

4. Did you find the character developed well throughout the book or were you left wanting more?

Oh, geez… Shane was a freaking mess. She was obsessive and self-centered. She was supposed to be like 19 or 20, but acted more like a 16 year old. Which, I have to stop now and mention that this book is categorized as YA/Teen. I’m thinking that’s because the topics seem to be pretty juvenile at first. I don’t know that I agree with this, though. The characters are college age, so it should be NA. It doesn’t feel or read like a NA book, though. I would probably just throw it in the general fiction category. It’s doesn’t even read like a true contemporary romance.

Anyways… Back to the actual question. Shane let a possible relationship with a guy take over her life in only the way a teenager can, but it was super weird because there wasn’t much to build that obsession on. She basically decided to make him her life after minutes of meeting him. I didn’t like Shane and honestly didn’t care if she got the guy or not. Well, actually, I didn’t want her to get him. I just wanted to give her a good shake and tell her figure her stuff out. It wasn’t until almost the end of the book that I felt Shane’s character truly developed. Something gave her that shake I wanted to, and then I found myself saying, “FINALLY!”

So… Yes, there was character development. It came in fits and spurts. I think I was happy with it at the end. Honestly, I didn’t find myself wanting more at the end. I was just happy it was over. Brutal, I know. Sorry.

5. Would you attempt another book by this author, seeing as it was her debut book?

That’s a tough question. I want to say yes, that I would give this author another chance because it was her first novel and I didn’t think the writing was horrible or anything. The reality is that I probably wouldn’t unless the blurb was something I felt incredibly drawn to or I read reviews by trusted blogger friends that said it was a must read.

Debby’s answers:

1. What was your favorite thing about this book?

I don’t think I had a real favorite part of the book, maybe favorite parts… I liked the second half because in some spots I had thought the characters had grown.  However in other circumstances they didn’t.

2. Who of all the characters mentioned in the book was your favorite?

Leo was my favorite which is super sad because he is rarely mentioned at all in this book. It just goes to show how lacking the character depth was in this book.  OMG after getting your answers I realized we picked the same character!! HAAHHA

3. Cover love or no cover love?

I do not think this cover would make me pick it up in a store and go “oohhh ahhh I need to buy it now”  However it is pleasing to the eye.

4. Did you find the character developed well throughout the book or were you left wanting more?

NOPE not a single character developed at all throughout this series.  I wanted so much more from someone who has read books all their life.  You know character development is critical to getting someone to enjoy a book however they were to have aged 6 years and still acted like a teenager? That didn’t make sense to me at all.

5. Would you attempt another book by this author, seeing as it was her debut book?

Yes I almost always give an author a second chance.  This plot had a lot going for it, it however lacked follow through and development.

And that’s it for my review. If you have any other questions for me about this book, leave them in the comments section.

Series Review: Broken Hill High (Sheridan Anne)

Lately, I’ve been searching for series that have a similar feel to Tijan’s Fallen Crest High. I miss the emotion and drama of that series. One of the series that popped up when I went looking was Broken Hill High. Since it was available on KU, I decided to give it a try.

Book 1:

Broken Hill High is the first book in the series. It starts when Tora is a senior in high school. Her parents have left the country to take care of her ill grandmother, and while they’re gone Tora is forced to stay with her parents’ friends. Tora is not excited to stay with these friends because they have two sons who hate her. Nate, another senior, is particularly mean to her. You know what they say about boys who bully girls, though. It turns out there’s a very fine line between love and hate for Nate. Soon Tora’s dating the bad boy of Broken Hill High, and life starts to get even crazier. All of the attention has the people who would like to take Nate down gunning for Tora.

I thought this series started out pretty strongly. I liked Tora. I even liked Nate. The beginning of relationship was actually pretty sweet. That sweetness combined with all the over the top drama was a lot of fun.

Book 2:

Broken Hill Halo is really just more of Broken Hill High. Tora loves being Nate’s girlfriend despite all of the drama that brings. Instead of being meek like she was when Nate tormented her, Tora’s learning to stand up for herself. Being with Nate has given her courage. Instead of standing by and watching, she’s dealing out her own wrath. Tora’s changing in little ways in this book. Some of them I liked, others I didn’t.

Book 3:

Things begin to take a turn for Tora in Broken Hill Hurt. The ramifications of her actions have started piling up. Her parents aren’t so sure Nate is the best influence. Tora’s determined to prove to them that he is. The problem is that Nate agrees with them. Now, Tora has to learn how to deal with everything crashing down around her.

Things have turned toxic pretty quickly for Tora. I felt badly for her, but I actually agreed with her parents. I had respect for Nate. I got what everyone was trying to do and point out to her.

Book 4:

In Broken Hill Hearts, Tora is still learning to live without Nate. He’s there, but he’s not. Tora is determined to make Nate see the errors of his ways. It’s hard when she can’t stay out of trouble or drama, but she’s going to do it. I still felt bad for Tora, but I liked the direction she was headed with this one. I felt like she really grew a spine and figured out what she needed to do for everything in her life to work itself out.

Book 5:

Broken Hill Havoc begins a new chapter in Tora’s life. She’s left Broken Hill High behind and is now at Broken Hill University. The setting may be different, but the drama is still abundant. Tora and Nate have settled into their relationship. It’s not so up and down. That’s okay because Tora’s relationship with Brooke is. Honestly, I couldn’t stand that girl and how she didn’t believe Tora. That was the most frustrating part of this book. I did like how all of the storylines wrapped up. It was also interesting to get a chapter in Nate’s POV. It makes me excited for Broken Hill Honor.

Book 5.5:

Broken Hill Honor was a novella in mostly Nate’s POV. It was cute and sweet. It wrapped up this series in a great way.

Overall thoughts:

Broken Hill High is a dramatic series filled with over the top teenage drama. There is fighting, love, sex, partying, violence, and relationship troubles. I would classify it as NA romance or very mature YA romance based on the amount of sex and partying involved. Many of the scenes require maturity to read and process.

I liked that the main character, Tora, who start off as quieter, weaker girl and blossomed into a strong young women. Sometimes I wanted to roll my eyes at her actions and reactions, but I did feel like she reacted like a 17-year-old would react. Her relationship with Nate throughout the books progressed well. I liked the ups and downs of it.

Nate was the classic bad boy who ruled the school. He had nasty habits and was a jerk, but he also had redeeming qualities. He was extremely loyal. Once Tora was his, he was incredibly sweet to her. Nate would have done anything to ensure Tora’s safety. I didn’t always love his choices, but I wasn’t supposed it.

Honestly, I wasn’t a big fan of Tora’s friends. They were just kind of there and added a little to the drama. I did really love Nate’s brother Jesse, though. He was a ton of fun. I liked his friendship with Tora. Puck was also another fun friend of Nate’s.

What this book was missing from this series, in my opinion, was emotion. There was emotion written in the book, but I didn’t always feel it myself. I wasn’t consumed by Tora’s feelings. I felt for her not with her. I wanted to feel with her. That’s the only way I can think of explaining it.

Broken Hill High was a fun series to read, but I wasn’t in love with it. I did appreciate how addictive it was, and I think readers who like books with a lot of drama will enjoy it.

Series Rating: ★ ★ ★