18667779Genre: 

Young Adult, Romance

Pages: 

307

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

May 14th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
 
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

My Review:

So I won a giveaway that Victoria Scott was holding a couple months back, which earned me a signed ARC of Salt and Stone (!!!) and a few other books as well. This was one of the books in there. I needed something contemporary and decided I would read it.

First off, can I just please meet Nina so I can kiss her for writing this story? Seriously. It is absolutely beautiful. Its so refreshing to read a lesbian romance and one that just feels so incredibly genuine. It didn’t read like it was a LGBT book, like its purpose was to highlight a LGBT relationship. It read like a normal contemporary romance and that’s what made it beautiful. It wasn’t forced or fake. The growing friendship and romance between Emi and Ava is slow, steady, and real, and I loved every minute of it. It was refreshing to read, and it just felt so effortless on the page, as if I could easily read a relationship between two girls and have it feel so real.

But I also loved the background of it as well, the mystery of the letter and the bigger mysteries that it leads to. I love how it brings all these people together, besides just Emi and Ava. Its such a great character novel. Every character breathes life into the book, into the story, no matter how small they are. Even just the character of the movie industry/business and the character or Southern California just felt so real and deep. I’ve lived in Southern California my entire life and I really enjoyed to see so much life in it.

Honestly, plain and simple, I was really impressed with this book. I had never heard of it, to be completely honest and I hadn’t heard of Nina either. I’m really glad this book was in that box I won though because I sincerely enjoyed. It was a beautiful story of incredible characters in my own backyard, and it was incredible to read such a real and genuine relationship between two girls. Thank you, Nina, so much for writing this book.

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

22824819Genre: 

New Adult, Romance, Fantasy

Pages: 

284

Part of a Series?:

First Novel in a Trilogy (?)

Release Date: 

December 15th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

My Review:

Seriously. Cora. How can you do this to me? First, you made me fall in love with Carson. And then Silas. Then, let’s face it, I’ll probably fall madly in love with Torres. But in the meantime, I just fell madly in love with Kalli and Wilder.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it was going to be good because the Rusk University series has seriously made me fall madly in love with Cora as a writer. I read Inspire because it was on sale for 99 cents and I couldn’t really turn down a deal like that, especially when I was feeling a little slumpy (despite the hundred books sitting in a pile, waiting to be read), so I decided to buy it.

And I just love it. It was such a beautiful and addicting book. I didn’t think it was possible for Cora to make me love her more as a writer but it was. I immediately absolutely love Kalli. You’re in her head, and you feel her struggle. She’s a goddess, a muse, weighed down by this power that she has to use…but also is dangerous to use as well. You feel her struggle and you just want her to have a normal life. She immediately felt like someone I would want to be best friends with, and not just because she would help my writing flourish haha.

Then we enter Wilder. And they immediately have a connection, from their brief encounter at the grocery store, to their first encounter…in…the…shower, I was sold on them. Their romance was quick, thrilling, sexy, hot. There is a thread of fate between them and I knew that I wanted them together so badly. They had an incredibly chemistry, and there are some seriously steamy scenes between them that made me blush in all the best ways possible. You really want to root for them. You really want Kalli to have a normal life even though she really can never possibly be normal.

And that’s where things get complicated. The book is in split point of views, so that we get both sides of the story, Kalli and Wilder. And when we learn things about Wilder that Kalli doesn’t know (which I can’t say, because, you know, spoiler free), your hands are clutched tightly to the pages, frantically flipping, waiting for the moment when things are going to implode, because inevitably shit is going to hit the fan. And when it does, I was in near tears, hoping that things were going to work out. This book is an emotional roller coaster. It made me laugh and blush, and it made me pant and it made me tear up more than once.

What really gets me about this book though is that its so different from anything we’ve seen from Cora yet. She says that fantasy is actually her forte, what she had spent many years writing and that she went with the contemporary of Losing It, to try and get published. Now, having read Inspire, you can see how that was something she felt so comfortable writing for so long. It seems effortless, the world and characters that she has created and I bought into almost immediately. And its a story of Greek mythology that I definitely don’t think is out there. Kalliope and her sisters, the muses, you don’t see versions of that at all.

All in all, Cora completely scores with this fantasy romance, with her characters, her steamy scenes and the mythology she weaves into the novel. Its beautiful and she leaves me with such an epic cliffhanger that I was super disappointed when the book ended. Luckily, hopefully, I won’t have to wait too long to find out what happens next!

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 Stars

10194514Genre: 

New Adult/Young Adult Romance

Pages: 

392

Part of a Series?:

The first in a series of companion novels

Release Date: 

June 1st 2012

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My Review:

Katie McGarry has been floating around in my peripheral vision of YA/NA literature for quite some time now. I think the first book I noticed by her was Crash Into You, which I believe is the third in the series. But I remember a lot of hype around it when it came out and I remember seeing it on the shelves of bookstores and all that and I remember thinking, well I’ll read it soon.

Now I’ve been in one of the worst slumps I’ve ever had. Ever. Guys, last year I read 208 books. With less than a month left in this year, I’m at 120 books. 120. I read two books total in the month of November. I have a stack of roughly 100 books that need to be read and I just can’t read right now. Its awful.

That being said, this book really helped to pull me out of a seriously rough slump. I immediately fell for both characters. They both felt real and it was easy to fall in love with them. I felt like it was easier to fall in love with them than it was for them to fall in love with each other. That was seriously cheesy. But very very true. They had instant chemistry and I believed in them right off the bat. Their romance had ups and downs, and it was difficult and there were secrets and it wasn’t perfect, but that’s what made it good. Romance isn’t perfect, relationships definitely are NOT perfect. And their romance is great.

What I really loved about this book is that the characters are great in themselves, separate from each other. Echo and Noah both have incredible stories, they’re both trying to figure out their lives and move on and come to terms with the things that have happened to them. And I’ve read books where it can seem cheesy or overdone or too dramatic but it didn’t feel like that at all. Everything that the two of them go through, especially Echo, really feels real. Even though I’ve never gone through these sorts of things, I felt connections with them. I felt their journey, their emotions.

Bottom line, great book. I’m excited to continue onto the rest of the series because truly, a great romance, a great character story and Katie is a fantastic writer.

Rating: 

4 out of 5 stars