#ARC Review || Cloudwish by Fiona Wood || When You Wish Upon a Star

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood
ARC via Publisher
Published: October 18, 2016
Goodreads || Amazon

For Vân Uoc, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing or pointless. Daydreaming about attending her own art opening? Nourishing. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, star of the rowing team who doesn’t even know she’s alive? Pointless.

So Vân Uoc tries to stick to her reality–keeping a low profile as a scholarship student at her prestigious Melbourne private school, managing her mother’s PTSD from a traumatic emigration from Vietnam, and admiring Billy from afar. Until she makes a wish that inexplicably–possibly magically–comes true. Billy actually notices her. In fact, he seems to genuinely like her. But as they try to fit each other into their very different lives, Vân Uoc can’t help but wonder why Billy has suddenly fallen for her. Is it the magic of first love, or is it magic from a well-timed wish that will eventually, inevitably, come to an end?

CLOUDWISH arrived on my door step without be ever having heard of it before. And I read it because it was the one being published earliest out of the three novels that I received. It wasn’t because I though it sounded the best, or I liked the cover the best, or because this was the one that I though would top both of the other books. However, after having finished it, I’m not incredibly certain that the other two books that I received are going to be able to live up to the cuteness, and the importance, of the story that is CLOUDWISH.

Van Uoc is practical beyond belief, but when one simple wish made in English class turns into something she never believed possible, she’s forced to confront the possibility of magic. As well as think about the possibility of Billy, the boy of her dreams, liking her without magic. Juggling the IB program, with I am a graduate of, her floating friendships, her parents’ expectations and her mother’s PTSD is difficult enough. Trekking through real life and fantasy?

Well, darlings, that’s another monster in itself. And this girl spends her days trying to navigate it all.

Gonna be real honest here and just come out and say it: pretty sure one of the reasons I like this book so much is because of the fact that I wasn’t expecting to like it all that much. AND, Y’ALL. THAT ASSUMPTION HAD NO PARTICULAR REASONING, AND OBVS, IT DIDN’T ACTUALLY CORRELATE WITH MY VERY REAL EMOTIONAL STATE.

I mean I literally opened and read the first chapter and fell in love with Van Uoc. She’s so easy to relate to (practical and wary, yet a TOTAL romantic) and her interaction with other characters made her so likeable. She questions the world around her because that’s what she has learned, and she’s navigating through a world her immigrant parents can’t understand, but is the only one she’s ever known.

We have her, her fabulous posse of fiends, and then we also have Billy. Now I’m going to mince my words here and say that Billy, while, yes, apparently attractive, has super sketchy picks for friends and is, more often than not, kind of a nasty human being. Van Uoc is also very practical (my girl) in this measure because she’s all like ugh stupid emotions, I know logically that I shouldn’t like you because I mean pranks, and uppity uppity, and friend choice, and ignorance, and general disregard to other people’s emotions. But she’s also like he was super sweet that one time and What Would Jane Do.

I definitely never saw him through whatever candy-rimmed glasses she wore, but I can see that he has the potential to be a decent human. Maybe. Y’all are going to have to decide that for yourself, I suppose, when you read this book.

Is it or is it not magic? Will she follow her dreams or fulfill her parent’s hopes for a doctor daughter? Will she ever summon Jane Eyre into her vocal chords and speak up for herself? WILL SHE EVER KNOW IF THE WISH CAUSED THE BOY TO START ACTING FUNNY?

And, most importantly, will she ever know her family’s history? And will her mom be okay?

All of these questions, dear reader, are for you to read about in CLOUDWISH.

#ARC Review || Playing it Cool by Amy Andrews || Rough, Tough Coco Puff

Playing it Cool by Amy Andrews 
Published September 12, 2016
eARC via Publisher + NetGalley
Amazon || Goodreads || Aesthetic 

Harper Nugent might have a little extra junk in her trunk, but her stepbrother calling her out on it is the last straw… When rugby hottie, Dexter Blake, witnesses the insult, he surprises Harper by asking her out. In front of her dumbass brother. Score! Of course, she knows it’s not for reals, but Dex won’t take no for an answer.

Dexter Blake’s life revolves around rugby with one hard and fast rule: no women. Sure, his left hand is getting a workout, but he’s focused on his career for now. Then he overhears an asshat reporter belittle the curvy chick he’d been secretly ogling. What’s a guy to do but ask her out? It’s just a little revenge against a poser, and then he’ll get his head back in the game.

But the date is better than either expected. So is the next one. And the next. And the heat between them…sizzles their clothes right off.

Suddenly, this fake relationship is feeling all too real…

Please excuse me for a brief moment while I just SQUEAL all the SQUEALS for the ending. It’s a must. Pinky swear.
Okay, babes. When Harper’s asshat of a step-brother is his usual self in front of the holy trinity of hotness rugby player, Dex, things suddenly begin to spice up a bit in Harper’s life. Dex asks her out. Asshat brother sputters and acts aghast. Harper is dubious of the player’s intentions, and the rest is a give and take and fall face first into emotions you don’t really want (Dex) and also emotions that you kind of need (Harper).
Let me just talk about Harper for a bit. Because this chick is awesome, and resilient, and so full of love (side note: did anyone see that one Criminal Minds episode where the killer was trying to recreate his mother’s murder/suicide and played “I’ve got a great big bottle (bundle) of love? No? Just me?) and y’all I just think that she’s the bee’s knees. Harper is a super strong, take-no-shit character. She does not need a significant other’s love to make her whole; she’s whole all by her own damn self. That being said, affection is nice. So is having someone to wake up to in the morning, and ask you how your day was, and is genuinely interested in hearing all about the things that make you who you are.
For Harper, that’s art.
Like any good book, plot twists are a must. I think that PLAYING IT COOL did a really nice job of making the twist seem like something that the characters would, like, legit do. And not something that was done because we need to keep the book going.
Please, do not do that. If the book wants to end, let it.
The mad bliss, downfall and confusion and stupidity, the Come to Jesus Moment; all of it completely worked. By doing all of this, the author also set the reader up for the next book (need, yes, please, give me) while not deviation from Harper and Dex’s story.
Can I get a woop woop?
I’m going to pretend you did the woop woop. For my own personal ego.
Overall, following their lust/love/undying devotion to each other was SO MUCH fun. I like the characters, the plot, and the cover is, well, you can see it. I don’t know what it is about rugby. Maybe it the fact that nobody’s got any brain cells when the games over, or maybe it’s the pack mentality—whoops, those are the things that worry be about sports. Let me rephrase: I don’t know what it is about Dex (probably his weird reactions, and his abs. I mean, let’s be honest.) but that man is swoony. Swoony squared. He and Harper work. This book works.

And basically you must read it.

#ARC Review || Claiming the Enemy by Lauren Hawkeye || *fans self*

Claiming the Enemy by Lauren Hawkeye 
Published: September 12, 2016
ARC via Publisher for review
Goodreads || Amazon

Piper Dawson has spent a lifetime living by other people’s rules.
She’s worked hard to get what she wants—a residency at her first choice hospital—and no one will ever tie her down again, not even her severe yet incredibly sexy supervisor, Dr. Alexander “Ace” Lennox.

Ace is done with love. He’s had his heart shattered, and he never wants to go there again. But when he’s inexplicably enticed by the sexy, tattooed woman with blue streaks in her hair and a perpetual smile on her lip, he figures that maybe he can keep it to just sex.

The problem? He thrives on control, and Piper dances just around the edges of it.

But when they’re together, control is the first thing to go…

*clears throat*

ARE YOU IN THE MOOD FOR SOMETHING HOT, HOT, HOT, THAT HAS A SPUNKY YET GENUINE UNDERTONE?

To be completely honest, I’m never not in the mood for the book I described above. Like, literally, I can’t remember a time when I’m not in the mood for all the serious swoons. Y’all are very well awake by now that I’m a total mood reader. Rarely am I ever in a dystopian mood (albeit, THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE, as well as DELIRUIM) and I’m pretty much never not in the mood for a romance for the ages.

I’m talking epic love story, babes. Preferably with some social justice or dragons, but I’m also down for just a straight up contemporary.

CLAIMING THE ENEMY is a straight up contemporary.

A freaking fantastic one at that.

This book delves into the notion that opposites attract, the consequences of work place relationships, and outside relation dynamics. All of this, combined with the actual personalities of Piper and Ace. Having been nothing other than slightly attracted and super duper annoyed with each other before this, their not really but kind of chance encounter in a bar after work (his mother was there, y’all. Pause your thoughts.) sets their attraction on fire.

They help each other, they sleep with each other, and eventually, well, to put it incredibly eloquently like the Southern Belle I am: shit happens. Rapidly rising conflict is like adding gasoline to an already hyped fire.

This is the story of them, and it’s a dang good one.

I do, as you may have guessed, have a few things to complain about. This book felt really short and I’m not sure if I read even faster than I usually did or if the book is actually short? I finished it in an hour. I would have loved to see some of the more minor characters fleshed out more, along with having Ace’s and Piper’s backstories gone into depth a bit more as well. I may have loved them both, but I didn’t really feel like I knew them.

I was just amused by the two of them together.

That being said, I still think that CLAIMING THE ENEMY is a book worth of a spot on your to-read list.

Review: Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

Anything Could Happen
             // by Will Walton
Published: May 26, 2015
Push Publishing
Goodreads // Amazon
Edition: ARC Format via #booksfortrade

When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.

The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.

Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained. 

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN is a poignant, hard-hitting exploration of love and friendship, a provocative debut that shows that sometimes we have to let things fall apart before we can make them whole again.

Will Walton enters the world of young adult with a debut about a boy who falls in love at the wrong time, who as able to watch things unravel and put together the torn strands, and who through it all remains an eternal optimist. In his head, Tretch never ceases his quiet chanting it will get better. He worms his way through coming out, falling in and out of love, finding out what love really means, and exploring a friendship that has the potential to stay steady until the world falls down. In all honesty, this book did draw emotions that were overly enthusiastic or overly drastic. But, this book let me breathe, It gave me hope. it kept me optimistic. It let me smile and chuckle. It drew from me hope. It seems like a bunch of coming out and into stories like to touch on the tragic- and although ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN broached the subject of bullying- it didn’t make me gush tears. Which I thoroughly appreciated.

So let’s talk plot and characters. Yes?

First off, we’re going to have a little chat about why I think Tretch is such a strong and such a dynamic character. I love his optimism. Right off the bat-and I’m talking the first sentence of the book- we know that Tretch is in love with his best friend, Matt. He realizes he is in love with his best friend while sitting in a service at church. Which I found a little amusing. Okay, so through the book Tretch is kind of thinking about how he’s going to deal with his sexuality and how he is going to deal with just being him. This is a point that I think is really important. It makes a person look at this book as more than a coming out story, but rather a coming of age story. (ten point to Walton, who seems to write this with the up-most ease) Tretch’s family is dealing with lots of stuff just on their own too: death and love and dying and cancer and Christmas and leaving and coming and going and living. No wonder Tretch is so overwhelmed. To relax and just be himself, he dances. To Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding. (Anything Could Happen-do you see it now?)

Onto who our main boy fancies himself in love with- Matt. Oh, Matt. As sweet as you are, you are so oblivious. Though I can’t really blame you. Tretch did an awesome job at only giving himself half of you-and the world- to love. I really do like Matt. Not as much as the boy in love with him. ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN was coming of age book for too. Maybe even just as much as Tretch. Not so much because he was figuring out who he is, but more so because he is trying to learn about girl and family and friendship. Although, for a middle school-high school kid, he’s got a pretty good grasp on all three of those already. He is the one who- I think- was the hardest to come out too to Tretch. Because of the whole having a crush thing. I loved their friendship. I love how neither one of them want to let go of it. How they want each other to be happy whether they’re with the other or not.

This book is set during winter break.

I think that was the perfect amount of time. I also think that everyone should read this book. Please, please go buy a copy. *puppy dog eyes* It’s totally working, isn’t it?

ARC Review: The Artisans by Julie Reece

ARC via Month9Books
Goodreads / Buy It
Published May 19, 2015

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

Dios mío. This book is one of the most amazing books I think I’ve ever read. The Artisans has everything I’ve ever wanted in a book, plus has me liking things I’m usually not too fond of (like ghosts and ghouls) a whole flipping lot. A modern twist on Beauty and the Beast with a dash of a few other fairy tales for good measure, this tale is one of a curse, a steampunk dress-maker in a modern world and a boy entwined in the middle of it all (whether it be by his own design or not).
When Raven’s stepfather messes with the wrong family, he’s finally in over his head. Gideon Maddox calls for him to come pay his debt, but he’s unable to go and Raven goes in his place. She strikes up a deal with the bad boy who has a troubled past and magic that goes on for days. Terribly handsome, terrible lonely and terribly hopeless, Raven is just what Gideon needs to battle the demons of his past and the ones that reside in the halls of his mansion. Raven stays at the mansion with Gideon and his two in house servants and makes clothes for Gideon’s clothing line. Nightmares keep her awake and soon she really can’t rest until she’s figured out everything. Everything about the house and everything about the boy who isn’t as bad as everyone believes.

“You are everything I never knew I wanted” (ARC).

Okay, so that was a really bad over view of the novel. Nothing can really describe how amazing this book is. I mean its romance and mystery and self-discovery and heartbreak and meaning and finding meaning and friendship and family. That doesn’t really describe it any better though, does it? Let’s just go with its amazing. So, so amazing.
The characters are fantastic: Raven, Gideon, Ben, Maggie, Dane, Cole, Edgar. I love them all. Cole is the ghost who made me like ghosts. Something I’d never thought would happen, by the way. But he’s just so completely sweet. Maggie and Dane are the best friends that anyone could have. They sort of made me ask the question how far are you willing to go for the ones you love? As a matter of fact, this whole story made me ask that question. Well, that and where can I get a Cole or Gideon or Dane? Costco? Ikea?
The mystery with the whole curse really had me going for a bit, but the way it was composed was breathtaking and wonderful. I sat down and I read it all. That’s how good this was. Now, this isn’t a debut novel. That kind of surprised me. It felt fresh. But, since it isn’t a debut that means I can totally binge of the other books this author has written.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is this: go read or pre-order or order it right now.
Oh, one last thing. That nursery rhyme. Be still my heart. 

ARC Review: Dark Redemption by Angie Sandro

Dark Redemption by Angie Sandro
Dark Paradise #3
Published September 2, 2014
Review Copy via Publisher + Netgalley
Goodreads

Synopsis

From rising star Angie Sandro, a steamy Southern gothic romance that will appeal to fans of Beautiful Creatures . . .

Deep in the Louisiana bayou, Mala LaCroix cannot escape the mysterious things she’s seen. Haunted by her otherworldly past, she only wants to hide her special abilities and care for the man she’s come to love. But the dark swamp she calls home holds more than just Mala’s secrets, for a killer is leaving behind ghosts trapped between worlds, hungry for vengeance . . .

Landry knows Mala could never turn her back on those in need. It’s part of what attracts him to her. But now that he’s wrestling with his own demons-and losing-he fears that just being near the woman he loves endangers her life. And that traps him in a terrible dilemma: leave Mala alone to catch a murderer by herself or stay close-and risk entangling her in the brutal battle for his very soul.

This is the end of the oh so very unique and rather fantastic trilogy about coming into your powers, falling in love, and generally just being a little badass while retaining the need to be saved every once in a while. Because who doesn’t want a knight in shining armor? I WANT ONEEEE! *****If you haven’t read the other two –Dark Paradise and Dark Sacrifice- beware of spoilers from previous books. ALSO! Y’all should look at the Dream Vacay post Angie Sandro did for my blog! Okay, onto the story.

We always start where the previous book left off exactly. And that’s just how I like it. I hate WITH A FIERY PASSION when books somehow skip a few months into the next book. It annoys the crap out of me. The reader has our same loveable and annoying character that I have grown attached to.  Because they’re them. How can you not grow to want them to be happy when they have a crazy voodoo queen of their booties and dead people wanting them dead? How can you not want them to be happy when they’ve already been through so much? That’s right. You want them to be happy. Everyone does at this point. But nothing is ever easy, now is it? And goodness do Mala and Landry have a lot on their plate.

In the final installment we have evil and crazy and evil and I didn’t like this one as much as the first one. I still love the characters, don’t get me wrong. They all have stolen a piece of my heart. And some my soul. Literally. Crazy voodoo queen is freaking loco to the nth power.

Again, we are surrounded by spirits, murder and magic. Again, we have a love that can last either an eternity or end in a millisecond. Again, we have something so very dark that you can’t just help to secretly hope for the bad stuff to happen so you can see how the characters react. But then again, we also have relatively the same story line we’ve had the entire series, just with a few extra hints of surprise (like that ending . . . HOLY FREAKING MOLY!) After the whole prison and psyche ward shenanigans we have the strange and grotesque murder of little boys that seemingly only Mala can solve. And solve she does.

But then we have the pesky non-demon making itself all comfortable in Landry’s head. I am rather fond of señor non-demon.

This was a satisfying end. I got the answers I needed, granted, some I was totally not prepared for. But there were some I really needed. And I got them. Ms. Sandro, you deserve applause.

The best quote was made by the occupant in Landry’s head: I am immune to the evocative nature if a females breasts. Unless they belong to Mala LaCroix. She, as humans say, has a fine rack.
Well, it’s the end! So bittersweet.

The Dark World: Cue the Swoon and Kick-Butt

The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz
May 27, 2014
ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads

Summary

Paige Kelly is used to weird–in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn’t fazed by Paige’s propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she’ll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that’s overrun by demons-and she might never make it home



AHHHHH!!! PEOPLE! GO AND GET THIS BOOK NOW! I beg you. This, my friends, is a breathtaking, heart pounding book with a totally swoon-worthy boy with a rather large secret. The Dark World is a hilarious book with witty humor, demons, warlocks and ghosts. (Shout out to Dottie, the 1950’s ghost with awesome dating advice!) We have demons after Paige, the girl who can talk to both the Dark and Light world, also known as a Traveler and a valuable weapons for both the warlocks and the demons. She has people after talent, but there’s a tiny issue with the whole using her power causing her to get weaker and die. Just a tiny issue. Also, Logan the dude who was assigned to protect her, *swoonnsss* and their whole relationship was just *muffles laughter*
So let’s talk about Logan. I mean what’s all the fuss about? Right?

Fine. I’ll just show you.
Exhibit A: “In the story of my life, that’s where you cracked the spine of the book. The mark is there, forever tattooed on my narrative and I couldn’t be happier.”  WOAH MAN WOAH! He’s writes letters. He can actually write. Oh sweetlord, someone (preferably Logan) catch me. A hot, sweet, shy, strong, funny boy who can write. I’m done. I am so done. *grins like a maniac*
Exhibit B: He messed up guys. I know, I was shocked too. But he admitted his mistake and he tried to remedy it in the simplest yet utterly romantic way: he was going to wait for her to come to terms with the secret and wait for her to talk to him when she was ready. *le sigh* And when she did talk to him he was so so so sweet and understanding and sorry and he thought that they were over. She was all like I don’t think so, not yet anyway. And he was so happy. She was like I have a few questions. He was just like anything. I’ll tell you anything. Just please don’t leave. Not in those exact words but God, it was perfect.  They just sat and talked. This book was totally PG- there was hardly any kissing even but lord was it romantic. Their dynamic was just pure awesome. They were comfortable with each other, but shy and timid. They laughed and fought and saved and hoped and helped the other have somewhere to belong.
Can you tell I like romance? This wasn’t even the biggest part of the book though.
Yes, there’s more. . .
The biggest part was the fact that Paige was wanted by both sides of the revolution. After an accident she was able to talk to ghosts. When the Dark Worlders find out about this, they send demons to abduct her and Logan protects her and teaches her to fight. It amazes me how strong and brave she was. She wasn’t whiny and weak like a lot of female leads when they have a male to look out for them. That sold me on this book right there. Okay, fine, maybe it just made it more appealing.
The plot was intriguing and the characters were kick butt and the writing was perfect for this kind of book.  The dynamic, Dottie, the romance, the action, the plot, the questions and the very high school like high school made this book the perfect book to get me out of my reading slump!

So…quite the rant. I really hope y’all ran to go get your hands on this lovely little book. The only complaint I really have is about the cover. Her face just doesn’t seem right. You know? 
So what are y’all’s thoughts on the cover?
On Logan?
Oh, and he’s mine. So paws off.

Review: Off Sides by Sawyer Bennett

Off Sides by Sawyer Bennett
(Off #1)
February 21, 2013 by Big Dog Publishing
Source: Kindle Freebie
Goodreads

Summary

“I’m not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed someone… something… to derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost… a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved…”

Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.

Forced her to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.

With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days…



OFF SIDES was short and sweet but not entirely original.
We begin a not-so-subtle romance with a trip to the diner. The waitress is none other than our main girl Danny. Danny has purple tips in her hair and piercings but underneath her exterior, she’s basically a kitten. At the table is our man guy Ryan, who happens to be the captain out the school hockey team and a genuinely nice guy even with his oh so very cutthroat political parents.
This book takes us through the unlikely romance of two people from the completely opposite side of the tracks. We see the trials they face, and romance and the HEA.
Okay, let me just start off with I predicted every single thing that happened in this book. While this book is obviously a light-hearted read with no real plot twists, I still felt it needed something (please?) to give it some more substance than it had. When things got messy (his ex, his mom, their status) the issues were over as quickly as they were to arrive and although that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it did make the book less enjoyable form my stand point.
Also the language in this book is…off. I don’t mean cussing or any of that but just the way Ryan referred to Danny using names like ‘toots.’ I’ve never heard anyone my age call anyone toots.

Favorite Quote:Finally Ryan pulls away slightly, breathing hard against my mouth. “Jesus, Danny.”
I don’t think Jesus has anything to do with the explosion that just happened between us but if He did, I’m heading to church to thank him.”

I’ve seen a lot of good reviews for this book. Have any of y’all read it? Tell me what you think! Leave me a link to your blog to I can check it out!

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan {Review}

Page Count: 352 pages
Published: May 14th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
Original title: Grotesque
ISBN:0385743114
Source: Kindle 
 

Summary

 
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

Set in the dark, mysterious and utterly romantic city of Paris, Page Morgan offers us a stunning debut with one of the less written about creatures: gargoyles. That gorgeous cover drew me in but Page’s unique and magical writing style and way with words are what kept me reading.
Wow! That is one would that describes my feelings on this amazing novel. The Beautiful and the Cursed reminded me why I love books with gargoyles and books set in Paris. I mean PARIS is Paris. It’s beautiful and magical and ugh! Why can’t I be there already? The way the city was portrayed in this book was true to the era. I love historical fiction. I think it is just so intriguing to read about a different time. This one was set in 1899 and Page did a fantastic job of transporting me there. I could see everything unfold before my eyes. 
There was mystery, romance, gargoyles who are sworn to protect, evil fallen angels. Ingrid’s story is told from multiple POVs. I believe that it was mainly between her, Gabby (her sister), her brother and Luc (the really amazing Gargoyle protector). What was really interesting to me was the way the classes and social standings were addressed in this. You have the humans, demons, gargoyles, angels and the Alliance. The Alliance are humans who fight for the safety of humanity. Gargoyles were humans, but they all committed the same sin that doomed them to serve the Angelic. Angels obey God without questioning and the demons obey their master without questioning. 
I personally love the whole gothic scene in books and the entire mood of this book was gothic with hints of mysterious disappearances and forbidden love. I think you’ve all gathered that I love forbidden love. Oh, and there is a love triangle in this book. It’s totally obvious that the two guys are utterly devoted to her. I found the love triangle is this book a little annoying, but that’s probably because I strongly preferred one guy over the other. Though the other is cute, he’s more like friend zone material. Sorry. 

Ingrid deserved better than selfish kisses and an empty, hopeless future. Even if the Dispossessed allowed it, she deserved to be more than Luc’s human obsession.

But of course, Luc is the gargoyle who is utterly protective. His devotion to Ingrid is super sweet and he is just wow. *runs to see if any of the gargoyles on Notre Dame are actually really hot guys who are sworn to protect humans*
*comes back empty handed*
Darn.
 
Ingrid is the true main character of this book. I really liked her. She was stronger than anyone realized, even more than she thought. She fights for what she believes in and won’t stop for anyone if it means saving someone she cares about. Through all this though, she is broken from what happened in London. (I really wish they elaborated on this incident a little more. Maybe they will in book 2?) It doesn’t take long for her to fall all over again. She’s careful with her heart and with what she’s been through, she is breakable. It’s weird though. I almost think that her breakability makes her stronger.
Okay then, I really loved this book if you couldn’t tell. I can’t wait for The Lovely & The Lost to come out! (May 14th 2014, are you kidding me?!) I am so totally reading it. Mwahaha.
  .5
I actually designed an outfit on Polyvore for this book:

Can you tell I like this book?
Also have y’all ever heard Miss Jackson by Panic! at the Disco? It fits this book really nicely.

Best,
Jackie

The Darkest Part by Trisha Wolfe {Blog Tour}

Paperback, 374 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Trisha Wolfe
ISBN: 1491289554 
Summary
Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.

Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler’s remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only…is Sam ready for him to leave her?

When the black sheep of the Marks’ family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler’s case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother’s ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him…plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.

On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she’s unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her.

New Adult Contemporary coming this year.

New Adult is a rising genre, and I have to say, I love it. The main thing with all the NA drama is it focuses of self discovery. Usually the main character(s) are broken in some way and through out the book they heal and figure out who they are and what they want from life. This is exactly what Trisha did and it was done beautifully.  

This book deals with some heavy subjects that a lot of books don’t dare touch. Yes, a lot of authors kill of the loving and utterly devoted boyfriend (rawr) but hardly any have the heartbroken girlfriend (and fiance) see his ghost. Sam doesn’t just see his ghost but can heard him talk. And she talks back. 

There is so much conspiracy around Tyler’s death and she is drowning in everything.  Then, she decides to take a road trip to everywhere they would’ve gone on their honeymoon they planned. And she’s taking Holden, Tyler’s older, artsy brother with her. Against her will, of course. 

They’re both hiding so much from each other on the trip that it’s a little aggravating. And even though Holden is head over sneakers in love with Sam, he’s totally afraid of her mental illness. He’s afraid of breaking her. He’s afraid her won’t be able to put her back together if and when she does break. He’s afraid that she won’t ever get over his brother. He’s afraid she doesn’t want to. 

 “He’s got some deep-seeded anger, a past that haunts him, and I don’t think I’m strong enough to wrestle his ghosts.Not while I’m dancing with mine.

I love Holden. His emotions in this book were raw and real and oh so very scary (hey that rhymed) He was just as broken as Sam even though he doesn’t show it nearly as much. He wanted to help her so much and he didn’t know how. It was like his brother all over again except this time he’s in love with the person he can’t help. It’s killing him to see her becoming a shell of her former self. 

Sam is awesome. She has her good days and her bad days. She’s having a hard time letting go and this trip, even though it hurts, brings her closer to Holden, brings her back to herself and helps her let go of Tyler. She is so strong. 

Mel and Darla are awesome. I really don’t know how to explain their awesomeness. *shrugs*

I love, love LOVE how the title was incorporated into the book. Ohmigosh. It’s almost a summary of the entire book.  The way Sam describes The Darkest Part Of A Tree then how Holden does. It’s kinda perfect.

 “I may have zero chance with Sam. But if she ever does give me a shot, I won’t back out this time. Not for anyone. Not even his ghost.”

Overall this story was heartbreakingly beautiful. It didn’t draw me in as a lot of other New Adult books do. It was decent, just not really rip your heart out awesome. I mean I would read this again just because I adore Holden. (have I mentioned I love Holden. Book Boyfriend, anyone?)  The story is filled with secrets, lost love, renewed hope, new love and then sprinkled with desire. I mean this is New Adult (; 

Should you read it? Uhm, yes. Holden. Is. Awesome. 

   .5

Best,
Jackie