#ARC Review || Run to You by Rachel Lacey || Hello, New Career

Run to You by Rachel Lacey 
Amazon || Goodreads 
Published August 30, 2016
ARC via NetGalley + Publisher

ONE LITTLE LIE. A WHOLE LOTTA TROUBLE.

Moments after meeting the most gorgeous guy ever, Gabby Winters promptly gets stung by a zillion yellowjackets and falls-not gracefully-into a stream. Yup, Ethan Hunter is trouble with a capital “hot,” and Gabby definitely needs to keep her distance. Except in the small town of Haven, there’s nowhere to hide from Ethan’s sexy, infectious grin . . . and all the residents are conspiring against her.

At the center of the town’s matchmaking is Ethan’s grandmother, who’s convinced their relationship is a done deal. Rather than break her heart, Gabby and Ethan find themselves cornered into pretending to be falling in love. The problem: there’s serious sizzling attraction between them. And if this charade continues, they won’t fool just the entire town – they might fool themselves too . . .

When one girl is running away, and one man is running to, there’s a sure hope for a collision. Gabby and Ethan meet much like I met this book—by total accident. A chance encounter. Was it fate? Lucky for me, I didn’t fall butt-first into a yellow jacket nest like Gabby did. In fact, I fell head over heels in love with out two main characters in the best way possible: without expectations, with chocolate in my hand, and with a new plan for my future career.

Maybe I should start my own natural spa? In the middle of a super cute small town where the local war hottie left me to go seek his great perhaps? And I’m still holding a grudge because he was being a complete and total ass? But now I’m wildly successful and known everywhere and my rock bathtub in middle of the forest is the bee’s knees? (I want that book now)

The point is that I’m in love. With a little old lady, dreams, and a group of guys who are All the Swoons. The book is amazing because the characters are fleshed out. They feel real. And the actions are responses that I can see myself having if I were in a similar situation.

Gabby’s got a bit of a horrid past. It involves her ex. And spoilers, which I won’t be sharing. Ethan is on the verge of losing the most important person in his life: his Gram. Fate intervenes with these two people and send them on a most extraordinary path. They get together and mess up and make up and mess up some more. Basically, they are in a complex relationship. Also there’s a really cute pooch.

What I’m trying to say is that this book is amazing it feels real. I mean I was frustrated and annoyed at some points, but I was also enjoying the ride. This is a mood book. And you’ll either be in the mood for it or not, I think. Especially if you’re like me and that’s just how you read. I was in the mood for something sort of sappy with some heavy moments. This was it. And it was real good.

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#ARC Review || She’s Got a Way by Maggie McGinnis || One Cabin Doesn’t Fit All

She’s Got a Way by Maggie McGinnis 
Amazon || Goodreads
ARC via NetGalley + Publisher
Published August 30, 2016

Gabriela O’Brien is devoted to the girls at Briarwood Academy—even when their bad behavior earns them an entire summer at a remote campground in Echo Lake, Vermont. When the headmaster assigns Gabi to be their chaperone, how can she refuse? A long, hot summer with neither indoor plumbing nor wireless access might be just what she needs to get her own life in order…right?

Before Briarwood took over Camp Echo, Luke Magellan spent years there helping troubled boys. When four spoiled rich girls and their seemingly uptight den mother show up for the summer, it’s hard to hide his amusement as he watches them tackle the great outdoors. But it’s even tougher to resist the passion he sees in Gabi—especially when he learns about her past, and sees how much she cares about her students. Is this destined to be just a grownup version of a summer-camp romance—or can they find enough in common to build a love for all seasons?

When a group of group of four prep-school girls have finally crossed the line, they’re a hair away from expulsion. Instead, they’re subjected to a seemingly worse fate. The board of directors at the school decide that the girls will be camping (no cabins!) for four weeks as a consequence for their actions. The rest of the book follows the girls tentative team building, unveiling secrets, and Gabi, the girl’s housemother, who’s actually the main character of the book, dealing with a no-lesson plans summer camp, a vacation that is no more, and one hot as hell camp handyman who has a whole lot more to him than meets the eye.

First off, I had astronomical hopes for this book. And in general, the book, the characters, the love, the life (whoops, hello Pinterest quotes) fell a bit flat for me. I think the plot itself is incredibly adorable, and I even liked the characters. And by characters I mean especially Luke. Luke who vaguely reminded me of the Luke from The Bachelorette. All country bad boys who is good with his hands. He compliments our main girl rather well, I think.

Here is where my complaints begin—the relationship felt very strange. I don’t even really know how to put it. It wasn’t forced. It wasn’t instantaneous. It just felt real awkward to me. I didn’t know what to make of it. I didn’t find it to be believable. That doesn’t mean that the growth wasn’t a super amusing and occasionally awkward event. It was cute, but cringe-worthy. Odd but also endearing.

It was also super fast, with no real reason for whatever was happening at that moment in time, whether that be poison ivy, hurt feelings, people generally being rude or whatever. To be completely honest with you, I liked the minor characters more than I did the main characters. \

So back to the astronomical hopes. They fell flat. The book had so much potential (sound like a renovation show much?) and it just wasn’t what I was in the mood for. I wanted a bit more of a build. Instead, I got some rocky jumps from emotion to emotion with no real connection. While I enjoyed reading the book, it had it’s flaws.

#ARC Review || The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis || How Deep is Your Love?

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Published September 20, 2016
ARC via Andye @ ReadingTeen
Goodreads || Amazon

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

“My violence is everywhere here” (ARC)”

How does one even begin a review of a book that is literally EVERYTHING that they were hoping for? There’s this poem by Rudyard Kipling that you should read, mainly because the second half of “the female of the species” phrase is super revealing in terms of the context of the book. Plus it’s also just a really fun poem. Mwahaha.
THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is the story of Alex, Peekay, and Jack. The story begins with Alex telling the reader how she kills. Alex is damaged by the Criminal-Minds worthy murder of her older sister. Her sister’s name was Anna, and she was both Anna’s protector, and the one to calm her when she felt too much. Her story is what I wanted from the New Adult book Marrow, by Tarryn Fisher. While I liked that one, THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is a story that will stick with me for a long time. And it’s all because of Alex. She may actually be one of my favorite characters out of any book ever.
She’s incredibly unique. I haven’t read a character like her except for in Marrow.
Alex is the discourse of right and wrong, she is the line between sanity and the insane, she is the vengeance and redemption. She knows who she is, and she’s more than aware that she is capable of murder, and is able to do so again. When Peekay and Jack invade her life, she does not suddenly become a whole new person. Peekay is the preacher’s kid, and their working together at the animal shelter brings them together. Jack is the beloved sporty hot guy of the high school, and senior year marks a fascination with Alex that he can’t shake off. They both want to know her.
THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is about social injustice (think rape, sex offenders) just as much as it is about murder, a wolf in human skin, and the main character interacting with people her own age—really just people in general– for the first time. The book is all about the gray areas.
The story itself is incredibly authentic. I was connected to the town, to each of the character’s families. I was made to wonder, wanted to look through my high school year book, which of my classmates was the one who quietly avenged those wronged by society. In the center of Alex’s turmoil with her own (being, should I call it being?) being there was still a high school with academics and teenage drama and Life After High School.

The fact is that this book is beyond beautiful, and brutal, and heart-wrenching. And I love it.

“I’m this raw, bleeding thing feeling everything for the first time, the joy and the pain” (ARC). 

Me, In Real Life


IT IS MY FIRST DAY OF COLLEGE; SOMEBODY HOLD ME.

Okay, y’all have been with me through the thick and thin. (thanks for all the twitter love + happy wishes for the real world experiences)

When I began this book blog as a high school fishy, I never imagined that it would amount to all the opportunities I’ve been to gifted to have. Thanks to this lovely community of people I adore I’ve been in books, met and talked with the laughed with authors who I’m now happy to call my friends, met my New Adult buddies who’ve recc’d some killer reads, been to author events and book festivals.

I’ve even illustrated a children’s book with one of my closest and best friends.

I’ve interned with HelloFlo, working under some lovely ladies who’ve both made me a better writer.

Y’all are an awesome support group.

Anyways (no I’m not brushing away tears) (okay maybe I am a little bit) here’s to another new beginning! I hope you’ll be with me for another awesome 4 years.

The best is yet to come, babes. The best is yet to come.

#BookLook || Worked Up by Tessa Bailey

Worked Up by Tessa Bailey

Worked Up by Tessa Bailey by nobentspines featuring evening bags

My Two Cents
That skirt. It’s everything I ever wanted but never knew I needed.
And I do mean need. 
The Look 
Factory mechanic Duke Crawford just wants to watch SportsCenter in peace. Unfortunately, living with four divorcee sisters doesn’t provide much silence, nor does it change his stance on relationships. But when a fellow commitment-phobe stumbles into his life, getting him good and worked up, he can’t deny his protective instincts.
Samantha Waverly’s brother just put her in an impossible situation. The only way out? Marry huge, gruff, gladiator look-alike Duke—for show, of course. She doesn’t make promises—she knows too well how easily they can be broken—and this is no exception.
As the blistering attraction between them grows, the lines around the no-strings relationship blur. But Duke and Samantha’s marriage is only for show…or is it?

#ARC Review || I’m Still Here by Clelie Avit || A Modern Sleeping Beauty

I’m Still Here by Clelie Avit
ARC via Publisher + NetGalley
Published August 23, 2016
Amazon || Goodreads

A modern take on Sleeping Beauty, for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Elsa is spending her thirtieth birthday in the hospital bed where she’s lain for months after a devastating mountain accident. Unable to speak, see, or move, she appears to be in an irreversible coma, but her friends and family don’t know that she’s regained the power of hearing.

That day, a stranger named Thibault enters the hospital to visit his brother, who’s just been injured in an accident that killed two young girls. He instead seeks refuge in the room where Elsa lies, and quickly becomes intrigued by the young woman, returning day after day to sit beside her, convinced that his words are being heard.

As their connection grows, the doctors deliver a devastating blow to her family. Is it possible that Thibault knows something no one else does, and can he reach her before it’s too late?

Once upon a time, a girl who is desperately in love with snow covered mountains takes a fall. For five months she is in a coma. On the fifth month, and young man’s brother enters the hospital to bring his mother to his bother. His brother is currently hospitalized for driving under the influence and killing two children and injuring himself in the process. He does not visit him. Instead, he wanders the hallways and finds his way to the woman in the coma. He sits with her, falls asleep, and talks to her in a way that no one has in a long time: without treating her like she is made of glass.
Well, dear readers, I’M STILL HERE is pitched as a modern Sleeping Beauty. Human falls in love with a sleeping-like-the-dead human and proceeds to wake them up.
(of course, the original tale included necrophilia, rape, pregnancy and birth while in this sleeping-like-the-dead state, as well as a lovely dose of death and cannibalism. The olden days were grand indeed.)
I actually liked this more than I expected. The book follows the thoughts of the two main characters. She’s struggling with hearing the world move on without her, and he’s struggling with the crime his brother committed and where to take their relationship from where it left off. They’re both serving a purpose to the other. For her, he’s inspiration to wake up—to try harder to wake up. For him, it was like a really good therapy/ nap session.
To be honest, I could see how she fell for him. I mean he sat there and talked to her and was a different voice in the bleak. He was a nice deviation from the weekly grind. For him though? I was very questionable. He’s in love with a girl who hasn’t expressed a single though or emotion to him. Hasn’t contradicted a thing he has said. Hasn’t held his hand. Hasn’t met his family. Hasn’t shared her hopes and her dreams.
So, yeah, I can see her falling in love her his oddly placed affection for her. Not necessarily him falling for her. I mean all she did was be in a coma while he figured things out in his personal life.

So while I thought the plot was intriguing, I didn’t quite buy the romance aspect. For a The Sleeping Beauty retelling though, claps. Lots of claps.

If he’s a Bad Romeo, she’s a real Bad Juliet

via Pexels
Cassie and Ethan have a past full of rocky waters. Because of Ethan’s traumatic past, he’s very uncomfortable with affection. He is untrusting, is easily jealous, and easy to anger. Cassie, the main character of the novel, wants the relationship to manifest past the behind the scenes everything-but-sex. She wants their relationship to be out in the open, where everyone can know that they are with each other.
While this is understandable from an emotional standpoint—I mean, everyone wants to be acknowledged—I don’t agree with her pressuring him to have sex with her when he clearly had said no. Yes, the reader can tell that he wants to have sex (I mean he even said he did) but pressuring over (and over and over and over and over) just because you don’t feel like going out and ordering a vibrator is a no-no.
Regardless of his reasons (this being that he wanted to protect her from himself; how self-sacrificial), when someone says no to sex you do not pester them until they agree. I feel like this was brushed over, and while I (sort of) get why, I’m going to go ahead and chat with you about it for a bit.
In BAD ROMEO, Cassie wants to get rid of her “pesky virginity” and she wants Ethan to be the one to do so. Ethan is very hot-and-cold, back-in-forth, love-her-love-her-not through the entire novel. This boy has so many unresolved issues.
To be frank, I don’t think that he should have been in a relationship in the first place. His self-esteem is so low that it’s destructive. Through reading the entire book, I wanted to drag him to a therapist’s office to talk and rant. And then maybe to a boxing gym to punch things.
This leads me back to the sex issue. Cassie is horny beyond belief through the book and I wanted to buy her a vibrator as much as I wanted to take Ethan to see a therapist. Instead, she continuously pressures him to take their intimate relationship further. It seemed to me that she was brushing off his obvious personal problems in favor of her own sexual relief. While he obviously wanted to have sex with her, he didn’t.
Not once did she really, like open and face-to-face and in his interest, ask why he didn’t want to go ahead and have sex. When she asked, she felt like he didn’t want her. Again: understandable. But, come on babe; you are literally the only one that he makes a conscious effort to be open with.
I was expecting him to have done something horrible. Disgusting beyond belief horrible. The way it was built up throughout the book. I was more frustrated with her than I was with him though. For loving him so much and all that, and for being so broken by his actions and words (or lack thereof) she is as much at fault—maybe more so—as he is. And I just really wish that was acknowledged.
I mean if a guy was pressuring an emotionally distraught girl to have sex—even if she did actually want to have sex—even after she sad no, what would the world be saying then? Hmmm? No matter the people in the relationship, no matter the person doing the pressuring, no matter the circumstances, once someone says no then back the hell off.
And freaking take the other person’s emotional state into consideration.

Anyways, that’s my two cents about the book. I adore the cover, but sadly the inside was less than for me. Obviously I’m in the minority here. Leave me some of your thoughts in the comments! Have you read BAD ROMEO?
Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven
Paperback Edition 
When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan’s romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time. 

Cast as romantic leads once again, they’re forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they’ll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks.


#BookLook: Playing by Her Rules by Amy Andrews

Playing By Her Rules {Book Look}

Playing By Her Rules {Book Look} by nobentspines featuring red shoes

My Two Cents
I got an email about this book from the publisher. Hell, is it how or what? *fans self*
That skirt and that clutch. They are actually everything I’ve ever wanted. I don’t know about you, but I would wear this thing everywhere. Loooove. Love. Love. Loooooove. 
Please. Give me. It all. 
About the Book
In this grudge match, the first to score… 
When style columnist Matilda Kent accidentally lets slip that she was once involved with the captain of the Sydney Smoke rugby team, she suddenly finds herself elevated to the position she’s always wanted – feature writer. The catch? She’s stuck doing a six-part series on her ex. Still, there’s no way she can turn down a promotion…or the chance to dish the dirt on the guy who so callously broke her heart.
…could win it all!
Tanner Stone wants to be involved in a feature series about as much as he wants to snap an Achilles. But the thought of seeing Tilly again is a bonus—and has him more worked up than he wants to admit. Only he’s not prepared for how different she is – all cool and professional. His Tilly is still in there, though…and he still wants her, now more than ever. All he has to do is charm her into giving him a rematch. And this time, winner takes all!

#Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Published: April 8, 2014
Goodreads || Amazon
Putnam Juvenile

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

Magic, manners, and forces of evil find us in (and Harper Price) in the South. Harper Price has it all: a super hot boyfriend, a best friend who lacks cattiness, jealously, and is just a Good Person, a doting mother and father. However, when the school’s janitor dies on her and passes his magical powers onto her, she’s transformed from a well-behaving, no swearing southern belle, to a southern belle with some serious pow-pow skills. I like her. I also like David, the person she is tasked with protecting from said dark forces. Together, they’re trying to figure out what they each are exactly, and how their personal lives (or more adeptly Harper’s, more superficiallyà her boyfriend) are going to be affected by said new found magical powers and kick-butt ability.
This book, even though I am not completely in love with is, is absolutely hilarious. I mean snort-giggle funny. Harper is so dang proper and polite, but when she’s pushed she does what she thinks is right to the best of her abilities. With the decorum of a hormonal fairy godmother in training. She’s bubbly, confused, and has got the best kind of sidekick in her BFF. She rolls with the punches with a reasonable amount of wariness. I love her. She’s practical but still is willing to take a leap of faith.
Same kind of goes with David. He’s kind of a nasty human at first. However, the story goes on and we, the reader, and Harper get to know him and his Aunt a bit more. His magical powers lie directly with Harper’s. Their destinies are intertwined.
Overall, I liked the plot, liked the romance, loved Harper, loved the friendship. Honestly this book was super enjoyable. And the cover is cute beyond belief. I don’t adore the book, and I’m not totally itching for the next books in the series. After adding this book in 2013 and not getting to read it until now, I’m a bit disappointed. It was good, but it wasn’t great. It was, however, worth the read.

The portrayal of a female friendship is perfect.

A Note About Loving Yourself || Smart-Mouthed Waitress by Dalya Moon

Dear Perry,
Love is a funny thing. People survive for love, strive for love. And you, you change for love. Well, not love exactly. More like sex and the notion that your virginity is something that you want to dispose of fast. There are two guys in your story, and the entire time you act like they have no choice is whether or not they are attracted to you. And babe, I wish you didn’t feel like the way you look is how you will morph them into someone who will desire you. I wish you loved yourself a little more. You can wear dreads and more ‘feminine’ clothes just as easily as you can cut your hair and wear black lipstick.
You knew this in the beginning of the book. When you commented on the stupidity of him liking you better soft than rough around the edges. (you make yourself unrecognizable and only then do you get a second look; his loss, babe) Everyone has a type; you shouldn’t have to change yourself to be his. If he really liked you, you wouldn’t have to feel like you need to change your identity for him.
You don’t belong to a man. You belong to yourself. 
I’m down with trying something new (I mean I just got a few crop tops and I am in love) but doing something because other people think you’ll look better…that makes me uncomfortable.
In your story, I never really got the feeling that you were comfortable with the ‘new you’ and felt like with everything going on in your personal life…you were drowning a bit. I suppose my main thing with your story was that I never really got to know you, and since this is your story I kind of need to know a bit about you.
What do I know? That you really want to lose your virginity. Not my personal approach, but you do you, girl. I don’t know…with this book…I just felt like you were desperate for the Male Gaze to an extent where you forgot about loving yourself. Unfortunately, you got yourself a reader who likes change when it’s for personal growth and not for the reason of changing who you are for another person to like you more. I didn’t see the ‘smart mouth’, but instead a girl who doesn’t really know who she is. Her family structure is crumbling a bit and all she wants is some affection.
I just don’t get you.

~Jackie
Find the book on
Perry makes a strong first impression, from her white-girl dreadlocks to her uncensored opinions.
When she combs out her dreads on a whim, she catches the eye of a cute guy who’s a regular at The Whistle, the diner where she works as a waitress. He mistakes Perry for someone completely different: the girl of his dreams.
Perry tries to become that girl.
But it’s so hard to be normal.
And eyebrow piercings are so cute.
~
With her mother down in LA recording her comeback album, Perry’s in charge of the family household, and things are going to change. She starts with paint colors and moves on to doling out retributive punishments for her fifteen-year-old brother.
What Perry really wants, though, is her first boyfriend. She’s eighteen, and it’s about time!
Boyfriend candidates include: the cute but quiet restaurant regular, the all-too-willing coworker, or the outgoing artist who’s eager to whip off his clothes and model. One of these guys loves Perry exactly how she is, but how can she tell which one?