Review: Up In the Treehouse by K.K. Allen

Up In the Treehouse
Author: K.K. Allen
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Note: I received an ARC from IndieSage PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I wanted to tell him all my secrets, but he became one of them instead.

Chloe Rivers never thought she would keep secrets from her best friend. Then again, she never imagined she would fall in love with him either. When she finally reveals her feelings, rejection shatters her, rendering her vulnerable and sending her straight into the destructive arms of the wrong guy.

Gavin Rhodes never saw the betrayal coming. It crushes him. Chloe has always been his forbidden fantasy–sweet, tempting, and beautiful. But when the opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the biggest mistake of all and turns her down.

Now it’s too late . . .

Four years after a devastating tragedy, Chloe and Gavin find themselves crashing back into each other’s lives. Haunted by the past, they’re forced to come to terms with all that has transpired to find the peace they deserve. Except they can’t seem to get near each other without combatting an intense emotional connection that brings them right back to where it all started . . . their childhood treehouse.

Chloe still holds her secrets close, but this time she isn’t the only one with something to hide. Can their deep-rooted connection survive the destruction of innocence?


I can’t tell you how happy I am to have read Up in the Treehouse. When I started it, I had no clue it was by a local author! Yes, I know K.K. Allen now lives in Florida now, but I’m claiming her as a local Seattle author since she grew up here. And I’m guessing she might have been more South Sound than Seattle by the setting of her book. But I’ll get back to the setting in a bit.
I truly enjoyed K.K. Allen’s writing. Up in the Treehouse  was a dramatic story told in dual points of view. It alternated between past and present so the reader could understand the special history of the main characters, Chloe and Gavin.
Chloe and Gavin were childhood friends who hadn’t seen each other since a tragic event after their high school graduation. Both were deeply hurt by what happened their last night together, and their experiences tore them apart. They’re finally seeing each other after four years apart, and neither of them know how to navigate their lost friendship. The awkwardness and attraction between them was so much fun to read.
What I loved most about these characters was that neither of them was perfect. Their reactions and feelings felt real and honest. Both had been through the same event, but had recovered from it in different ways. I liked Chloe and her new determination to face her fears, but I also got annoyed with her for constantly avoiding things she didn’t want to deal with. Gavin was sweet and his frustrations were easy to understand. I liked how he wasn’t quick to let Chloe back in. I enjoyed watching them learn how to be friends — and maybe more — again.
20150807_164814[1]
Now back to the setting. Up In the Treehouse was perfectly set. The accuracy with which Bonney Lake, Washington was described was incredible. I can say that because I live 15 minutes from Bonney Lake. I’ve spent many hours on Lake Tapps (I’m pretty sure that’s the lake Chloe and Gavin live on.). You can check out the picture above to see what some of the area actually looks like, including Chloe’s view of Mt. Rainier probably looked like from her house. I’ve been to Allan Yorke Park more times than I can count. I’ve spent time at the pool tables in Babalouie’s. I smiled at every reference to one of my favorite lakes and the surrounding area attractions. The only thing missing was time spent complaining about the commute from Bonney Lake to Bellevue. Chloe must have hated that! It’s bad enough to deserve a mention. 😉
I loved everything about Up in the Treehouse. It was a slightly angsty romance with amazing characters and a couple of great twists. I know other New Adult readers will as much as I did. I really hope K.K. Allen will write more in this setting. I would love a story about Monica or one of Chloe and Gavin’s other friends.

About K.K. Allen

K.K. Allen is the Contemporary Romance & Fantasy Author of the Summer Solsticeseries (Enchanted, The Equinox and The Descendants), Soaring (short story in theEchoes of Winter Anthology), and Up in the Tree House, which will be available late Spring / early Summer.Ms. Allen was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, raised in Seattle, Washington, and currently resides near Orlando, Florida. She has always had a passion for reading and writing and has done so every day since the young age of 12. K.K. enjoys writing stories inspired by nature, magic and love. She loves manatees, learned to swim for the mere purpose of pretending she was a mermaid, and adores the beach so much she promises to one day live on one (in a tent if she has to) in Hawaii and serve snow cones on the side of the road.What’s Next: K.K. is gearing up to release her New Adult Contemporary Romance, Up in the Tree House, which deals with friendship, love, and everything in between.

Review: Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

Adorkable
Author:
Cookie O’Gorman
Publication Date: March 31, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

 

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

 

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

 

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties.

 

The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless.

 

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:

 

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?


I honestly can’t believe Adorkable is Cookie O’Gorman’s début novel. Seriously? The writing was brilliant. It didn’t feel like a début at all! It may have bordered on slighty corny at times, but it was so much fun I didn’t care. Plus, it had my most favorite relationship trope ever: best friends to lovers (or best friends to dating because there’s no lovers in this YA novel).

I absolutely adored the story and the main characters. Sally was this geeky girl who didn’t mind not being the most beautiful or popular girl in the room. She kept her eye on the future and what she wanted. Her only little insecurity was the crush she had on her best friend, Becks. She didn’t think he would ever like her as more than a friend, so he seemed like the safest choice as her fake boyfriend. Sally just didn’t think the “pretending” would be so hard or make her want him even more.

Becks was the most popular and gorgeous guy in school. He could (and maybe did) have any girl of his choice, but he was totally willing to help Sally out. Becks had his own reasoning for being Sally’s fake boyfriend, but he truly would have done anything for her. He wasn’t just some popular athlete, he was a good guy and an amazing friend.

As for the other characters in the story…There was one I have to talk about. I couldn’t stand Sally’s other best friend, Hooker. I had major problems with her. She wasn’t a good friend at all. She obviously didn’t respect Sally’s thoughts or believe in her enough to allow Sally to find a boyfriend on her own — if she wanted one. I get that Hooker wanted Sally to be happy, but she had a really poor way of showing it. She made me so mad! But without her, the story wouldn’t have been quite as funny. Some of those dates…

Adorkable was everything I love in a YA Contemporary Romance. It was an upbeat, funny and fast-paced read. I read it in one evening — it was that good! It kept me smiling from beginning to end. If you enjoy YA contemporary romances, you should definitely check out this book. Cookie O’Gorman will be going on my YA must read list with Kasie West, Miranda Kenneally, Sarah Dessen and Ali Novak. I’m going to be keeping my eye out for her next release. I don’t want to miss it!

Release Day Review: The Hard Count by Ginger Scott

Welcome to THE HARD COUNT review
tour with Ginger Scott, hosted by Wordsmith Publicity. Be sure to check out all
the participating blogs, reviews and enter the tour giveaway!

THE HARD COUNT
Mature YA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone
Release Date: July 15, 2016
PURCHASE LINKS
 SYNOPSIS:
Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.
West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.
I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.
Life on top.
Lies.
My world is the ugly one.
Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in
the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in
whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watchedit kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.
In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
Quarterback.
Hero.
Heart.
Good.
I hated him before I
needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was almost too late.
When two ugly worldscollide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.
REVIEW:

  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Wow. Just wow.

I’ve been devouring Ginger Scott’s books ever since some Goodreads friends recommended them. I love each and every one of them. They all have something special, something I connect with. I always have a hard time picking my favorite, but The Hard Count has taken that problem away. It is officially my favorite Ginger Scott book. Let me tell you why.

When I first picked up the book, I knew I was in for something epic. Private school dynamics, football tradition, different sides of town, a forbidden love, a narrator who is behind the scenes of it all…It had the makings of a timeless love story.

As always, Ginger Scott’s writing was flawless, captivating and filled with heart. Her characters were complex and the situations they dealt with were relevant to today’s world.

Reagan was that easily forgettable girl everyone knew of in high school, but didn’t really know. She wasn’t popular or unpopular. She was just kind of around, taking everything in. Even after finishing the story, all I can remember about her looks was her long hair, pale skin and freckles. It was perfect. What stood out about her was her “voice”. I loved seeing the people, football, school, Nico –the world —  through her eyes. Despite her upbringing, or maybe because of it, she challenged who she was told she was supposed to be. I could identify with her struggle to be seen.

“I’m willing to go the distance,” he repeats. “No matter how far that is.”

Nico was one of those poor kids from the bad part of town you see overcoming adversity and making something of themselves on the local news. He was handsome, determined, nice and a good kid. He knew how to play “the game” by his own rules. I loved the respect he constantly showed throughout the story. Can I add him to my book boyfriend list since he’s 18? I feel kind of creepy, but man, he was so dang sweet and mature.

Arguing with him was always so easy. This — this is hard. The quiet. It’s too honest.

I loved how Nico and Reagan’s relationship slowly evolved throughout the story. They started out as competitors who didn’t necessarily like each other. Reagan took a chance asking Nico for help and it shifted their entire relationship. Their connection was so sweet. It was one of those high school sweetheart relationships you hope will last a lifetime.

The story didn’t just star Nico and Reagan, though. Every supporting character in this story was important and played into the social and political setting of the story. The ones that stood out the most were the Prescott and Medina family members.

Reagan’s entire family was submersed in the local football culture. Their lives revolved around a culture based on money, power and success. They all dealt with the pressure differently, but every decision each member made affected the entire family. The dynamics between them couldn’t have been more perfect.

Nico’s family life was vastly different from Reagan’s. They may have been in survival mode, but their relationships were stronger and closer. They did the best they could, while working for something better. Their lives weren’t about football, but family.

“Reagan, your world…Nico’s world…same fuckin’ world. You come from different parts, but who cares? You meet in the middle.”

The social politics of this story were right on and so important to today’s culture. I really respected the care with which Ginger Scott spotlighted the problems and prejudices so many face. Her message was clear and rang true. It made me stop and think about how I can change my initial perceptions.

Oh, and I can’t leave out the football part of this story! Ginger Scott’s love and understanding of the sport were apparent in this book. I’m not a huge football fan and I honestly didn’t know what a hard count was before reading this, but I enjoyed reading the plays on the field.

Normally, I’m addicted to a story and on a rush to the end to find out what happens. This one I had to slow down and savor. I knew I wasn’t going to want it to end. I didn’t want it to end. I’m just in awe of this book, this story. The heart that it had. I absolutely loved it. I can’t name one thing wrong with it.

That’s why I loved it and why you need to read it.

(Just in case you’re curious about the whole “mature” YA book thing, I can verify there is no actual sex. There’s a partial nudity scene, but it’s tamer than some other YA books I’ve read. It did have a more mature feel to it, though. I would probably say it’s best for ages 16+.)

  
GIVEAWAY
1 signed copy of In Your Dreams, $10 Amazon gift card
Open International

 

 

ABOUT GINGER SCOTT:

Ginger Scott is an
Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young
and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless and In Your Dreams.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she
often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and
towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

CONNECT WITH GINGER:
Website:  http://bit.ly/1M8g5bi
Facebook:  http://on.fb.me/1U7lDvQ
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1TBkPPT
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/YHKtlF
YouTube:  http://bit.ly/1RcfgqZ
Google:  http://bit.ly/1Rcfjmt
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1QKNuyr

 

 

 

Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


I loved The Way to Game the Walk of Shame from the very beginning. The whole awkward moment of waking up in an unrecognizable bed, with a half-naked guy cracked me up. I can only imagine the horror! (Thankfully, this has never happened to me!) From that point on, the story had my utmost attention. It was fresh, fun and full of self-discovery. It was exactly what I like in a YA contemporary romance.

While I loved the story, I have to admit Taylor wasn’t my favorite female character. It wasn’t her fault. She falls into my least favorite type of teenage female category: the pretentious smarter than everyone else know-it-all. Usually this type of character really grates on me. I was impressed with how Jenn P. Nguyen wrote Taylor. She only had a few moments of being super irritating. The way the story and Evan’s character were written can be thanked for that. His influence on her character brought large sections of reprieve from the Taylor who was consumed with being perfect. I think I fell for Taylor’s character as Evan did.

Evan was my favorite character in this story. I adored him. He came across as this laid back guy without a care, but he had some deeper issues going on. He wasn’t the slacker everyone perceived him to be. I liked that his story wasn’t just about him finding that he could be more than a womanizer, that his future came into play too.

Taylor and Evan’s relationship might have started out as a ploy to get everyone to stop gossiping about Taylor, but it was easy to see how they would fall for each other. Each moment they spent together was special and touching. There was such a nice sweetness to their relationship. It never felt fake. Although, I do have to admit I worried a lot about the true nature of their relationship being discovered. It added an intensity to the story I was expecting.

My only teeny tiny complaint about this story was the ending. I wanted a little more resolution than what I got. It was sweet but way too brief. Maybe it needed an epilogue with a look into the future. But I did love that Evan and Taylor’s memories of what happened at the part that night were included at the end. I absolutely loved those chapters. They were my favorite part, along with that first chapter.

I enjoyed The Way to Game the Walk of Shame so much that I really, really hope the author decides to make it into a series. I would love a book about Carly or Aaron or Carly and Aaron. Or even Brian or Lauren. I just want more!!!

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is a book that all YA Contemporary Romance readers should have on their summer to-read list.

Review: Good Girl by Lauren Layne

Good Girl
Series: Love Unexpectedly, #2
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


A country music star who crosses all genres and whose relationship status is hounded by the paparazzi? Does this sound like one of today’s most popular music stars? *Cough* Taylor Swift…

I have to admit the minute I began reading Good Girl I began switching the name Jenny to Taylor in my head. Obviously, Lauren Layne did a pretty awesome job at depicting a true to life country music star on the run from the headlines. Jenny was sweet and pretty innocent. She was trying to do the right thing for her reputation and self by retreating from the public eye to a rural Louisiana mansion. Unfortunately, people wanted to believe what they wanted to believe about her. It definitely made me want to second guess all those sensational celebrity “news” stories out there. And honestly, this book couldn’t have been read at any more perfect time than right around a real life country music star’s real life breakup. *Cough* Taylor Swift.

Jenny’s retreat wasn’t as solitary as she was hoping, though. Grouchy caretaker Noah made Jenny’s much-needed alone time pretty impossible. He was constantly throwing her supposed indescretion in her face and ruining her solidarity. He was crass, abrasive and downright harsh. I had a love-hate relationship with him. When Noah was a jerk, I couldn’t stand him. When he was sweet, I loved him. I, like Jenny, had whiplash from his ever-changing moods.

I absolutely loved the other supporting characters in Good Girl. Noah’s best friends, Vaughn and Finn were so much fun! I loved the relationship between the three of them. I would love more books in this series about them. (Hint hint, L.L.!) And Noah’s ex Yvonne… Man, she was crazy but I loved her! She added a really fun dimension to the story.

All in all, Good Girl was a very cute and funny celebrity romance. It wasn’t my favorite LL New Adult romance, but I did really enjoy it. There were some ups and downs (due to Noah’s jerky behavior), but I was smiling ear to ear by the end. I will never think of pink zip ties the same. Sorry, you have to read it yourself to discover what that’s all about! And I suggest you do! Good Girl is part of a series, but the first book doesn’t have to be read before reading this one. It’s a standalone and does not have any characters or relations to the first book in the series.

 

 

Review: Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Paper Princess
Series:
The Royals, #1
Author: Erin Watt (Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick)
Publication Date: April 4, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Synopsis:

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Hey MTV, CW or ABC Family —  I think I found the book you need to base your next TV series on.

Seriously. Paper Princess was that good. The writing was fantastic and I was immediately hooked. It had complex characters, a great plot and such witty dialog. It was Young Adult pushing New Adult. I freakin’ loved it.

In Paper Princess, seventeen-year-old Ella is struggling to make it after her mom’s death. She’s a high school student by day and a stripper at night. It’s a tough schedule to maintain, but Ella has big plans for college and life.

All of her carefully crafted plans go out the door when Callum Royal shows up to claim guardianship of her. Ella’s swept off to the Royal estate to live amongst the five Royal boys. What should be a dream come true is a nightmare. The Royal boys don’t want Ella around. They’re determined to make Ella’s life at home and school a living hell. But Ella’s been through worse and she’s not about to give up without a fight.

The characters were so cool and perfect for this story. Ella was smart, resourceful and stood up for herself. I loved what a strong female teenage character she was! The book was so much fun to read because of her point of view and personality.

 

At first, I felt exactly the way Ella did about the Royal boys. They may have been hot, successful and popular, but man were they jerks! They knew how to make Ella’s life a living hell. Reed was especially good at this, which was why I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to stand Ella falling for him. I mean, I know he was hot and making her lady bits tingle, but looks can only take you so far before your mouth ruins things.

But I loved Ella and Reed’s connection. There was just something so raw and gritty about their chemistry. I’m not sure if it was the enemies to lovers aspect or the down dirty thoughts and actions of the two of them together. It so hot…and in an almost too mature to be YA way. They sizzled.

Back to the rest of the Royal men… Even though they were jerks, they started to redeem themselves a little. I was just starting to like Easton when the book ended. And I wish I had gotten to know the twins a little more because they seemed so deviously interesting. There has to be more to their story! Same with the eldest Royal boy. I need to know what his motivations are. I need to know more about ALL of these boys NOW!

My only complaint (not really a complaint) about this book was that it ended with a cliffhanger before I was ready to be done reading it. I didn’t want it to end. 🙁 At least the next book comes out in July…

All that’s left to say is that you need to read this book. Like now. I absolutely loved it and know other readers will, too. It’s a crazy ride that will definitely entertain you and leave your begging for more.

Review: Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

Ruin

Series: Ruin, #1

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Publication Date: August 10, 2013

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


 

Ugh! This is one of those books that I really liked but feel at a loss of what to write in a review. I guess I’ll just keep it simple.

I couldn’t and didn’t want to put Ruin down. It made me laugh. It made me come close to tears. It surprised me in some of the best ways.

Wes and Kiersten were adorable. The love and friendship they shared was sweet and unconditional. The strength they gave each other was really beautiful.

I really, really enjoyed this book. You should read it, if you haven’t yet.

Review: Fractured Faith by Jasmine Denton

Fractured Faith

Series: Glass Houses, #1

Author: Jasmine Denton

Publication Date: March 25, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

Note: I received an electronic copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When her sophomore year of high school began, all Faith cared about was fitting in. She’d made up her mind that this was the year—she’d be the most stylish girl in school, finally catch the eye of hottie athlete Tyler. All of that changed with a class assignment. The project was simple enough: write an autobiography.
When Faith looks into her past, she realizes her history isn’t as clear as she thought was. Driven by the nagging feeling that her parents are hiding something sinister and an ever growing pile of questions, Faith enlists the help of her cousins (and best friends) to uncover the truth. Faith is about to discover that some secrets are kept for a reason….
As she pokes at the past, she unleashes a hidden danger that could put her–and everyone she loves–in the ground.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


Oh my goodness. I think it’s going to take me a bit to recover from reading Fractured Faith.

Fractured Faith felt like a wild ride. It captivated me and kept me wanting to know the answers to all of Faith’s questions. It was so intense! I kept having to take little breaks while reading it because I couldn’t handle the suspense at times. I thought I knew where the story was headed but the twist and turns it took surprised me.

I felt bad for Faith. The truths she found weren’t something anyone would ever want to know. The way she acted out after learning her history made complete sense. I wish her parents would have been open and honest with her about it all. It might have saved Faith from being so self-destructive.

The only thing that kept me from giving Fractured Faith 5 stars was the major twist at the end. While it shocked me, part of it just didn’t feel like it could happen in real life…

**SPOILERS**

…I could see the Carver still being alive, but having multiple children with his victims? That seemed a little out there. Up to that point, it was a believable situation.

**END SPOILERS**

Fractured Faith was a dark and intense Young Adult novel that readers who like thrillers will enjoy.

Review: Friday Night Players by Michelle DiCeglio

29846905Friday Night Players

Author: Michelle DiCeglio

Publication Date: April 4, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Note: I received an electronic copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Fans of Glee, Pitch Perfect, and So You Think You Can Dance will fall in love with this in depth look at what it’s like to find yourself while pretending to be someone else.

“My heart began to race. Was all this applause really for me? I felt a nudge from behind me and stepped forward. The audience began banging on their tables, and I heard a few cat calls from the side of the stage. The more I let the performance rush linger, the more I realized I wanted to do this as often as I could.”

It’s a typical Friday night for “River Dancer,” who initially joined dance troupe Friday Night Players to get closer to “Siren,” the troupe’s leading female performer. When River learns that Siren is dating another member of FNP, however, he must decide where his loyalties lie: with the troupe or with his heart.


  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


I’ll be the first to admit I’m a huge fan of both Glee, the Pitch Perfect franchise and So You Think You Can Dance. So when I saw the blurb began with a nod to those masterpieces, I was curious. Would I love Friday Night Players as much as I loved those fan favorites?

Friday Night Players started out with a very strong and mysterious first chapter. I was just as intrigued as River was with beautiful Siren. After that chapter, the story lost my interest until about 1/3 of the way in. I just didn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted to.

River, as a main character, was kind of a mystery throughout the book. I never really felt like I got to know him. I knew all about his attraction for Siren and what he thought about the Friday Night Players (FNP), but I didn’t really get to know him and what made him tick.

Sultry Siren was a horrible person. I couldn’t stand the love triangle she created between herself, River and Spence. River worshipped her, but she used him. He just chose not to see it because he was so infatuated by her.

The rest of the supporting characters were an interesting bunch. They were a cool and unique family. My favorite was Ginny. She may have been disgruntled, but she stirred things up and brought so much to the story.

Friday Night Players had a really cool performance element to it. The characters’ confidence and abilities shown through in these scenes. I’m just not quite sure I would have compared it to Glee or the Pitch Perfect franchise, though. That made me compare it to those shows and expect an upbeat, funny comedy. Friday Night Players was all about the drama.

Friday Night Players was an interesting, dramatic story. There were parts of it I really enjoyed and other parts (love triangle) that I didn’t. Overall, it’s a fun read for readers who love the performance arts.

 

 

Review: Jerkbait by Mia Siegert

Title: Jerkbait

Author: Mia Siegert

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Fiction

Note: I received an ARC from Mia Siegert through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.

Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can’t escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie’s future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.

As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie’s secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


The minute I picked up Jerkbait, I could tell it was going to be an emotional read. The thoughts and feelings going through Tristan’s head weren’t happy ones. He was a self-absorbed teenager who believed his family didn’t truly see him. I could understand why he would feel this way, even though I was frustrated by his inability to see the whole picture at times. His parents were horrible and didn’t support his dreams. They may just be some of the worst YA parents I’ve ever read.

Tristan’s relationship with Robbie complicated things even more. His resentment of his brother was made even greater by their parents’ reaction to the suicide attempts. They would rather focus on hockey than Robbie’s mental health. They took away what little freedom Tristan had and put him in charge of watching  Robbie.

Meanwhile, Robbie was a mess. It was painful to read what he was going through. He was fearful of what coming out would do to his future hockey career and his friendships with his teammates. I felt so bad that the only place Robbie felt excepted was an online chat room with other gay teens.

Jerkbait was relevant, smart and boldly honest. It touched on so many issues important to today’s society. I was transfixed by the story and read it in one sitting. The only little complaint I had with Jerkbait was the extra paranormal aspect added in at the end. It distracted from the reality of the rest of the story for me.