Book Review: Going Geek by Charlotte Huang

Genre: 

Young Adult, web  Contemporary

Pages: 

304 pages

Part of a Series?:

Standalone

Release Date: 

September 13th, 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

A girl forced out of her comfort zone finds that being true to herself is the best way to live her life, in this second novel from the author of For the Record.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Skylar Hoffman’s senior year at her preppy East Coast boarding school should have been perfect:
amazing boyfriend
the coolest friends
the most desirable dorm
But it’s far from it. To her dismay, Skylar’s not going to rule senior year because she’s stuck in Abbot House, a tiny dorm known for, well, nothing. Living with a group of strangers everyone thinks is lame is bad enough. Worse is that Skylar wasn’t exactly truthful about how she spent summer break in Los Angeles—and her little white lie is causing her once rock-solid romance to crumble fast. And when it turns out that Skylar’s best friend is the one responsible for having her booted from Lincoln? It’s an all-out war.

Stepping out of her comfort zone never felt so scary—or necessary. But everything is different now. Including, maybe, Skylar herself . . .

My Review:

Have I ever mentioned how much I seriously love boarding school stories? Seriously. I probably would have totally hated going away to school, because I’m a total homebody and I would hate having a roommate, most likely, but I absolutely 100% love boarding school stories. It opens up so many possibilities. I love that there always seems to be a distinct lack of supervision. I doubt that’s the way it really is but I love that the stories ALWAYS include that and it provides for so much shenanigans. Boarding school life is always sort of romanticized in a way in books and as soon as I find out Skylar was a boarding school kid, I was hooked.

What I loved about this book, and what made me love Charlotte’s first book, is that she excels at capturing the teen voice and the teen spirit. There are times when I’m about ready to strangle Skylar’s neck but I love Skylar. I love her journey for It Girl to Geek Girl to just straight up, I’m Skylar Hoffman and I may not totally know who I am but I’m figuring it out and that’s okay. She makes Skylar so real. She rises and falls and makes mistakes again and again but she comes out at the end a little stronger than she was in the beginning. What I loved was that Skylar doesn’t come out of the story, perfect and all knowing. She’s still stumbling and figuring things out, which I think is pretty normal for any 18 year old girl.

The best part of the book, however, is all the supporting characters. I adore each and every single one of Skylar’s new friends in her new dorm. I love how each and every single one of them is so unique and fun and they all have their own dorky quirks. All I could think of any time one of them came on the page is how much I wish they were real and how much I wish they could be my friends. I really think its a great thing when authors can create incredible secondary characters. Sometimes the supporting characters sort of blend in the background because the author focuses so much on the main character but every character that Charlotte brings on the page is so unique and so well developed and its why each one will stick with you.

This book comes out in less than a week and this blogger will be moderating her launch event with Julie Buxbaum and Adriana Mathers at Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles and I honestly can’t wait. It’s a wonderful book and I highly recommend it. It’s a quick read, and a fun read and I absolutely adored it. Charlotte is two for two so far with me and I can’t wait to see what else she brings to the table.

 

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Winter Falls by Nicole Maggi

Genre: 

Young Adult, diagnosis Fantasy, discount Romance

Pages: 

N/A

Part of a Series?:

First in the Twin Willows Trilogy

Release Date: 

December 22nd, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Alessia Jacobs is a typical sixteen-year-old, dying to get out of her small town of Twin Willows, Maine. Things look up when a new family comes to town, but when she falls for the hot, mysterious son, Jonah, her life turns upside down.

Weird visions of transforming into an otherworldly falcon are just the beginning. Soon she learns she’s part of the Benandanti, an ancient cult of warriors with the unique power to separate their souls from their bodies and take on the forms of magnificent animals.

Alessia never would’ve suspected it, but her boring town is the site of an epic struggle between the Benandanti and the Malandanti to control powerful magic in the surrounding forest.

As Alessia is drawn into the Benandanti’s mission, her relationship with Jonah intensifies. When her two worlds collide, Alessia’s forced to weigh choices a sixteen-year-old should never have to make.

My Review:

 

After meeting Nicole recently at the Ontario TBF, and moderating not one, but two panels with her, I knew I had to get my hands on her books. She had so much to share about her series and it sounded so intriguing especially since she had done so much research about the Benandanti, and it just all sounded really awesome. Plus she was so passionate about her books and I just loved Nicole period.

And I’m so glad that TBF, as usual, brought a new author into my life because I truly enjoyed this book. I’ve been in somewhat of a slump lately (as you could probably tell from my lack of reviews) and was pleasantly surprised when I borrowed the ebook from the library and proceeded to devour in the span of one day.

Nicole has a way of capturing your attention immediately from page one until the last. The idea of a normal young girl discovering there’s much more to her own story than she thought is not something we haven’t seen before but I loved the way that Nicole tackled it. Alessia has a very unique power, being able to separate her soul from her body, transform into a falcon and become a part of the Benandanti. But she also shares it with others as well. I liked that. Yes, this was a journey she had to take within herself but she also became part of something bigger than herself and I loved every bit of it. I was rooting for more than just Alessia, I was rooting for her companions and everything that the Benandanti fought for.

But I also love the romance. As someone who usually spends most of her time writing romance, I appreciate a story that can balance some really great fantasy with really great romance and I absolutely love the connection and story between Jonah and Alessia. It feels whimsical, magical, unbelievable, like a fairy tale almost (which is how the story feels at time, in a good way!) but it also feels real, because when you fall in love for the first time, all of those things are so true!

I’m really excited to see what Nicole has done with the first book of this trilogy and even more excited that I don’t have to wait long for the next installments. I just need to get my hands on them to find out what happens next, especially after how the book ended! I had a feeling something…big was going to be revealed but it wasn’t quite the way I had expected and damn, I have no clue of how this is going to play out but I definitely can’t wait to see how its done!

Rating: 

4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Upside Down by Lia Riley

Genre: 

New Adult, rx Contemporary, this site Romance

Pages: 

384 pages

Part of a Series?:

Book #1 of the Off the Map series

Release Date: 

August 5th, buy more about 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she’ll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He’s never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

My Review:

I’m not going to lie. It took me awhile to get into this novel. My friends and I recently started our own little version of a book club, and this was my choice for the club. It caught my eye at Target and it had a blurb from JLA, who I adore so much, so I decided to read it. I ended up really really liking this book but I must admit, it took me a bit to get into it.

It starts off slow and I think that’s the problem with it. I have a hard time connecting with Talia right away and I’m not sure why that is is. She’s similar to me in ways and she lives in California, in a part of California that I’ve been lucky enough to visit, and, funnily enough, is the basis for the fictional town that I’ve created for my own NA series. Its not until she’s in Australia, going to school, and still struggling with the things she tried to escape in California…that’s when I finally connect with her. She’s sort of run away from her problems but her problems have followed her and the book becomes about her facing them head on and that’s when I finally got hooked. Her struggles, her insecurities, her anxiety and OCD….that is when she became a real person to me.

Then enter Bran. Who, by the way, is sexy as hell, and now I really want to go to Australia and meet a tortured Australian boy who will show me an amazing time in bed. Moving on, I adore his character. I love the tortured boy thing a lot and we know there’s a lot going on there with Bran and its frustrating but it only makes you love him more. He has trust issues, he’s had his heart broken before and he obviously has this connection with Talia but he’s unwilling to just take the plunge.

The two of them have a lot to deal with it, especially when it comes to the past. When they connect together, it takes a lot of time and a lot of push and pull, but they eventually are able to open up to each other and share their struggles and become closer because of it. Their romance is beautiful and heartbreaking all the way to the last page. I didn’t realize that this was a series and even though the ending of this book is absolutely beautiful, I know there’s much more that these two have to go through in the future and I can’t wait to dive into book two and read more about them.

Rating: 

3.75 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Nash by Jay Crownover

Genre: 

New Adult, buy more about Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

302 pages

Part of a Series?:

Book #4 in The Marked Men Series

Release Date: 

April 29th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Will their past determine their future?

Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life—especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down… and now he’s trying to do it again.

Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them —or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on—especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.

When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself for all over again?

My Review:

So besides Jet, I think Nash ended up being my favorite in this series. I absolutely love the story of Saint and Nash. Oh I love it so much. By this book, I knew that I was completely sold on this series. Done. Over. I’m a huge fan and I’m ready to just lay down my heart to the Marked Men. And then here’s Nash to just make me fall massively in love with him.

Saint isn’t as much my favorite as Nash but I can see her, I can relate to her. Simple words said when she was in high school have had an affect on her for her entire life. Her entire life! That’s incredible. But it feels very very real. Words have an insane power over us, both good and bad. Sometimes, I think, especially the bad. Which is what happens to Saint, and what makes it worse, those words are said by none other than Nash himself.

Then you have Nash, who is revealed to be the son of the man he thought was his uncle his entire life. And as he’s finding out this incredible truth, which feels like a punch in the gut because Nash already saw him as a father figure and feels betrayed, he also finds out the guy is dying. Legit dying. And it brings a lot of things into perspective. After drinking himself into a stupor and then being “saved” by Saint…the two of them just keep running into each other. Its magnetic. They’re obviously meant to be together.

I think the best part of this book, to me at least, is the way they are brought together. How their insecurities and the drama going on in their lives and both of their tendencies to be scared at times gets in the way but they just keep getting pulled back together. They have an incredibly beautiful romance and I love Nash from page one to the very last page of this series. Because even as his world is being turned upside down and he finds out he has a father, and he has to take over Marked and open up a whole new shop, and all of this, he just takes it. He goes with it in the best way he can and he makes it work. And he falls in love along the way.

Only book four and the feels are real…stay tuned for books five and six…

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

June Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2015:

150

Am I On Track: 

6 books behind. Not even stressing. I’ve been writing SO much and so its hard to be mad that I’m not reading when I’m writing so much :)

Books Read So Far: 

68

Total Books For June: 

9

The Perfect Game

15783307

Rule

17866388

Scorched

18045624

I can’t even begin to explain the impact that this book had on me. Seriously. It blew my mind and it drove me to get help for myself. To read more about it, treatment check out my open letter to JLA here

Coming in from the Cold

24917521

One Week Girlfriend

17202452

The Fill-In Boyfriend

18660447

Signs Point to Yes (ARC)

24464110

Tonight the Streets Are Ours (ARC)

23310761

Jet

17866389

*****

SO MUCH NA!

LOL

How did you do this month? Any book recommendations? Share them in the comments!!

April Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2015:

150

Am I On Track: 

3 books behind (That being said, unhealthy I’m really proud that I didn’t get further behind. I was 7 books behind at one point. April was the most INSANE month so I’m stoked that its only 3 books)

Books Read So Far: 

46

Total Books For April: 

13

The Understatement of the Year

Understatement of the Year

Three Day Summer (ARC)

23232396

The Deal 

24504048

Royal Wedding (ARC)

23215471-1

What We Saw (ARC)

20922826

The Shameless Hour 

23346876

All Played Out (ARC)

22249707

Sweet (ARC)

Sweet

How to Love

22693175

Alienated (Re-Read)

13574417

This One Summer

18465634

The Mistake

25031450

Every Last Word (ARC)

23341894