Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Blonde Date (The Ivy Years, #2.5) by Sarina Bowen


22444651A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could possibly go wrong?

As a sorority pledge, there are commandments that Katie Vickery must live by. One: thou shalt not show up for the party without a date. Two: the guy shall be an athlete, preferably an upperclassman.

Unfortunately, Katie just broke up with her jerkface football player boyfriend. Even worse, her last encounter with him resulted in utter humiliation. She’d rather hide under the bed than attend a party where he'll be.

Yet staying home would mean letting him win.

Enjoying herself tonight was out of the question. She could only hope to get through the evening without her blind date noticing that he was spending the evening with a crazy person.

Andrew Baschnagel is living proof that nice guys don’t finish first. He’s had his eye on Katie since the moment her long legs waltzed into his art history class. So when her roommate sets Andy up to be Katie’s date, he’d be crazy to say no. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot of practice with either girls or parties. Yet.

Goodreads | Source: Kindle freebie (Amazon)

Review:
Great freebie NA novella. I was impressed at how much story and emotion Bowen was able to pack in.

After becoming a victim of a horrible prank by her ex, Katie’s self-confidence is shaken to it’s core. Unfortunately, as a sorority girl, she can’t slink off and hide until the whole thing blows over. Nor does she want to.

Katie and adorable, nerdy Andy were a perfect match and I’m so glad that she was able to appreciate what a great person he was so quickly even though he was so different from the type of guy she usually dated. They were awkward, sexy  and totally believable together despite how seemingly different they were from each other.

Katie realized what’s really important to her and it’s not popularity or the having the *right* boyfriend. I also loved how she grew as a character but she didn’t change who she was. She was rattled but not broken.

Andy – well he was just wonderful. Totally my kind of guy. Nerdy, sweet, willing to stand up for those he cares about. *sigh*

The epilogue was a bit unique and a really nice touch.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Happy Book Birthday to The Weight of Destiny by Nyrae Dawn!

Nyrae Dawn is one of my favorite authors and is definitely on my auto-buy list. I’m thrilled to help her celebrate the release of Book #1 in her new YA Misfits series – THE WEIGHT OF DESTINY.

You can read a little bit about the series on this post by Nyrae explaining why this project is so special to her because of the diverse/flawed characters. 

I read this book in one sitting the other night. Weight of Destiny has a swoon worthy romance that doesn't ignore the importance of friends and family. Loved it!

***

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When “crazy” runs in your family and your namesake is known for walking into a river with a pocket full of rocks, a girl kind of wants to avoid tempting fate at all costs. For Virginia Nichols, the only way to dodge that bullet is to be perfect at everything: school, student council, life. Too bad it’s all a lie, and underneath the perfection...Virginia is lost.

Ryder Blackstock knows a thing or two about being born into fate. The talents passed down from his father aren't exactly normal; instead of learning how to throw a fastball, he was taught to hot-wire a car like a pro and pick any pocket in sight. He’s got criminal blood, just like his old man. And as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll be living life on the run with his dad.

When Ryder and Virginia meet on the beach, it seems they couldn't be more different. Soon they discover they’re both trapped in their lives—Virginia denying her fate, Ryder embracing his. Like the rocks in Virginia Woolf’s pockets, the weight of their destinies will pull them under. But being together brings out pieces of themselves they didn't know existed—pieces that make them want to take fate into their own hands and rewrite their destinies...if it’s not too late.
 

***

"Whenever I read Nyrae Dawn, I am reminded that words are her art, and she wields her paintbrush with all the skill of Rembrandt. The tender romance of Ryder and Virginia is palpable on the page, and the story sings with all the complexities of the interwoven plot. I read late into the night to finish this one, and once again, Nyrae has managed a masterpiece. LOVED." 

~ USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author Courtney Cole 


"The Weight of Destiny unfolds like a storm. It is dark and electric and incredibly romantic. I lost and found myself. The characters are so vivid, so alive, you'll forget anything but them exists." 

~ David James author of Between the Stars and Sky

"The Weight of Destiny is YA at its absolute finest. Nyrae Dawn flawlessly brought two seemingly broken characters to life and showed everyone deserves a second chance at love and life. This breathtaking storytelling will blow you away." 

~ USA Today Bestselling Author Tiffany King

"The Weight of Destiny is art at its best, Ryder and Virginia canvasses on which the good and bad of life and love unfold in brilliant, true color."
~ Author Jamie Manning

***

destiny teaser 5

Excerpt:

“You’re strong and beautiful.”

She chuckles softly and shakes her head.

“It’s just a different kind of strength. You are who you are, and you don’t care what people think. You don’t care that you’re sober at a party where everyone is drinking. You don’t give a shit if you’re the girl who leaves to do her homework, because it’s important to you.”

“Is it still strength if the reason behind it is fear?” She sounds like she’s drifting away, her voice getting softer and softer. I need to reel her back in, keep her close, so I roll to my side, lean my head into my hand and let my elbow prop me up. With my other hand, I brush her cheek with my thumb.

“I don’t know. You’re the smart one. Regardless, I know you’re strong.” Because I know she’s dealing with more than I’ve seen; I just don’t have a clear picture of what it is.

“We’re still different, though, so why me?”

Words get trapped in my throat. I can tell her it’s because of what I said—she’s beautiful and strong. I can tell her it’s because sometimes the loneliness in her eyes mirrors mine, only I didn’t know it was there before her. Maybe it’s to prove I won’t screw up with a girl like her the way Luke thinks I will. There are a million possibilities, not all of them good. The only thing that manages to come out is, “Because the weight isn’t as heavy when I’m with you.”

Her breath hitches. I let my fingers gently glide against her neck, her throat. When she speaks, I feel the words vibrate through my fingertips. It’s a crazy-wild feeling, and I want it to keep going, want to touch all her words.

“The weight of what?” she asks.

I don’t know… I shrug. “Of everything.

” But it’s not my words that settle into my chest. It’s hers. Virginia shakes her head and answers her own question. “Of destiny.”

Monday, November 17, 2014

Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? by Ella Martin


22896451Bianca is the Westgate Prep quarterback’s sister—and that’s her only claim to fame. When her friends’ social experiment turns her into the It Girl of the Sopho-more class and she captures the attention of the most popular guy in her grade, though, she’s ecstatic to introduce the world to her first boyfriend. But no one’s ever told her what to do when her friends hate her boyfriend and Prince Charming starts acting like a control-freaky nightmare. It doesn’t help that being around her brother’s best friend is making her head all fuzzy, either.

Goodreads | Source: Purchased
Review:

This isn’t so much a review as a standing ovation and slow clap in the authors direction. 

I want to APPLAUD - throw confetti - hug & kiss Ella Martin for showing what really happens when you date a controlling boy because he’s unbelievably hot. Hallelujah for not having yet another YA where the guy is controlling and abusive but misunderstood only to be saved by a girl that just hangs in there long enough to save him with her love.

She did a great job of hitting all the points where a girl might be taken in by it all and even cover/lie for him. Ultimately, Bianca made the difficult - but right choice with the support of her friends and family.

This actually reads a little young for YA - Bianca is 15 years old but I think that's great. She's an excellent example for young girls who are just starting to date and faced with choosing boys over friends. It's a lighter kind of story even taking into account the subject matter but it will help get the message across without banging someone over the head with it.

I think the secondary romance wasn't written or developed quite as well but this was a great positive story about dating, growing up, friendships and first love.