Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2) Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

My Review:

I read Pivot Point when it first released last year, and since then I have read it again.  As soon as my preordered copy of this arrived in the mail, I began to read it.  I really liked this one, and I had trouble putting it down.  I liked how I got to read both Addie's POV and Laila's POV this time.  I never finished this review when I originally started writing, so I reread the book so I can finish the review, and it was equally as amazing the second time around.


The parts of this book told in Addie's POV contained some deja vu at first, but I'm not saying this is a bad thing.  I liked this, how I was seeing characters I remembered from Pivot Point that Addie did not remember.  One person that she meets soon after arriving at her dad's house is Stephanie.  Now this is Stephanie, Trevor's ex, who didn't like Addie at all in Pivot Point.  This makes it more surprising when they become friends.  I thought it was funny that she met Trevor's little brother before she met Trevor.  When she was talking to him, I wondered if he was the brother, and he was.  And, of course, she meets Trevor.  He seems familiar to her, but that doesn't mean she has the memories of him.  She knows she wants them back though.  Also, Trevor is starting to get suspicious when Addie does a couple of normally impossible things in front of him.

I liked how we also got to read Laila's POV in this book, since I liked her character in Pivot Point.  She has some interesting plans up her sleeve after she reads a note that Addie wrote to herself.  Of course, Laila wasn't supposed to be the one reading the note, but she finds out that she might be able to restore memories.  In the future that Addie didn't choose, Laila had already learned how to do that, but the Laila in the present doesn't know how.  She knows of one person that can help her, and this person is Connor Bradshaw.  Their relationship doesn't exactly start off on the right foot.  This is a hate-to-love romance, and I really loved it.  Watching Laila open up to love is awesome.  She meets her match in Connor, a boy who she can't manipulate, so everything between them has to be real.

There is a lot going on in this book that has to do with the secrets that the Compound is keeping.  The Containment Committee is pretty scary, since they are willing to do any memory to keep the Compound secrets from getting out to the world.  They also don't care if they need to manipulate someone's feelings and test them to see if they are trustworthy.  What they did to Addie in this book was pretty low.

If you like Kasie West books, read this book.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Fan Art When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.

My Review:

Fan Art was a sweet, fluffy LGBT book.  The story was cute, with a good build-up to the romance.  From the beginning, I knew who Jamie was going to end up with, so it was about the journey to seeing that actually play out.


Jamie was a well-written character.  He makes plenty of mistakes throughout the book, but he's a good guy.  He has come out to his family, but he is afraid of rejection, so he is not comfortable coming out to his friends.  He doesn't want to lose them if they are unwilling to accept his sexuality.  Also, his mom and stepdad are awesome.  I loved how they were supportive of his sexuality.  They didn't care that he was gay, and his mom even encouraged him to start dating boys.  She hoped that he would bring a boyfriend home to meet her someday.

Mason was such a sweet guy as well.  I liked seeing how Jamie's feelings for him developed, even though he tried to ignore them.  He didn't seem like the type of guy who wouldn't accept Jamie's sexuality, yet I can still understand why Jamie was reluctant to tell him.  I figured that he probably felt the same way about Jamie.  There were some moments when it seemed more obvious, like during the whole McCall fiasco.  The romance with Jamie and Mason was adorable, especially the moments that they shared after graduation.  It doesn't seem like it is going to be easy for Mason to be out, especially with his dad, but I think he's still going to be okay.  Plus, he's leaving for college in the fall, so he won't have to see his dad as much.

Eden is a good friend of Jamie's in the book.  She has figured out his sexuality with her own gaydar.  She is lesbian, so she knows what it's like, though she is technically out in school, though her family won't accept her as out, making her have pretty much the opposite situation as Jamie.  She is Jamie's prom date, and he even pretends they are really dating so her family will think she's dating a boy.  She also has a brother, Nick, who is quite homophobic, and calls Jamie "fagmag."  Jamie refers to him as the Redneck.  It is interesting to see how homophobic he is when is own sister is a lesbian.  Eden really wants Jamie and Mason to be a couple, which is nice, but sometimes she takes this a little too far, like when she draws a picture of them without thinking about how the picture could make Jamie feel.

There is a plot throughout about the literary magazine, Gumshoe, and how Jamie is trying to get an LGBT comic included.  This plot was interesting, because it showed how unwilling some people were to have this included.  In the end, Jamie made a mistake with how he went about including the conflict, but I can see that a compromise wasn't going to happen.  Some of the poems in the book that were in the magazine were pretty interesting.

If you like YA light contemporary LGBT, read this book.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Love and Other Theories Cover Reveal

Today, I am revealing the cover of a book that sounds awesome.  I really love this cover as well, and I hope you all like it too.  The story sounds amazing, too, and I'll be reading this once it releases on December 31st.

Here it is...

Displaying LoveAndOtherTheories_cover.jpg 
The official synopsis for the book is:

If you want more, you have to give less.
That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.
So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.

Here is a quote from Love and Other Theories:

Displaying Love and Other Theories Quote.jpg

Author Bio:

Alexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with Dylan McKay, her gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of the three C’s: coffee, chocolate, and cheese. LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is her first novel. Visit her at or on Twitter: @alexisbasswrite
LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is available for pre-order:

Finally, here is a giveaway for you, to win a $50 gift card to a book retailer.  The giveaway ends on Monday, June 30th.

<a id="rc-bfad928" class="rafl" href="" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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Thank you for checking out the cover, and I think this book looks so awesome.  I cannot wait to read it.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

The Art of Lainey Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

My Review:

I bought this book two days ago, and I immediately started reading it as soon as I got home from buying it, since I wasn't reading anything else, and this book looked absolutely amazing.  It was such a cute, fun read for the summer.  I loved the characters, and the romance was spot-on perfection.  I shipped the couple so much.  They were adorable.


First of all, the romance is this book was so amazing.  It was a bantery, slow burning romance that started out as fake dating for the two characters to win back their exes.  Now, as soon they started fake dating, I knew it wasn't going to be fake forever.  Reading about Lainey falling for Micah on their fake dates was so well written, and I wanted her to just admit her feelings to him, since I was pretty sure he felt the same way.  But, of course, their dating was part of a plan, so it took them a while to realize that maybe their exes weren't who they wanted to be with anymore.  Micah was also just adorable.  He had his own issues, like what happened to his dad in fifth grade, and the juvie thing from the previous year, but those issues didn't define him and make him a bad guy.  He was sweet and thoughtful and caring.

The friendship between Lainey and Bianca was perfectly incorporated into the story.  She was there for Lainey to help her to try to win back Jason, but she also encouraged her later on in the story that there may be someone other than Jason who is better for her.  She's also in soccer with Lainey, and they are able to practice with each other for that.  Not only that, but Bianca gets a sweet romance of her own near the end of the book, and Lainey is there for her to help the romance happen.  I wasn't as much of a fan of the Lainey and Kendall friendship.  Kendall seems more shallow and worried about what other people think.  She judges Micah when she doesn't even know him.  Also, she's Jason's twin sister. 

I liked Lainey overall, though at first she was overly dramatic about her break-up with Jason, calling it the end of the world.  But she grew so much over the course of the book, and I loved it.  She realized that maybe the person she was when she was dating Jason wasn't who she wanted to be anymore.  I find Lainey's character changes, as she fell for someone who she never would have imagined herself dating before, to be so full of win, so I loved it.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book. 


Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4) Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Haley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

My Review:

This was the fourth Katie McGarry book that I've read, and, as usual, it did not disappoint me.  I was captivated by the story and the characters, and rooting for the romance. 


While West may not have always been the greatest brother to Rachel in Crash Into You, he feels so much guilt about it now.  He is avoiding visiting Rachel at the hospital, because he blames himself for her accident.  It is sad to read the way he beats himself up over this, thinking about how if he hadn't stolen her money, she would have never been in that car accident.  Not only is he dealing with this, but he also gets expelled from school for fighting, which makes his parents disappointed in them.  He has to deal with being kicked out of the house, and where he can live when he doesn't have anywhere to go. 

Haley certainly has not had an easy life.  After her family lost their home, they have moved in with her uncle.  Her uncle is strict, and he would use any excuse to throw her family out of the house, so Haley has to be careful not to do anything wrong.  Not only is she dealing with this, but she has also had a bad end to her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Matt, who is a jerk.  More about the end of their relationship is revealed as the book progresses.  Haley was a kickboxer who held a national title until she decided to quit fighting.  Her grandfather owns a martial arts gym, and, though he cares about her, he is upset with her for quitting the fighting.  He wants her to come back to his gym and fight for him.  She has a brother, Kaden, and a cousin, Jax, who are involved in martial arts at the grandfather's gym.  They care about Haley, and they did not like Matt, and the relationship she had with him.  They also worry about her relationship with West, because they care about her and don't want her to get hurt.  They were good family to her.

Watching the relationship develop between Haley and West was awesome.  From the beginning, I was rooting for these two as a couple, even when they didn't actually like each other.  Haley is so determined not to get involved with West because he's a fighter, like her ex.  The fact that West offered to fight her ex in her honor was so sweet.  I liked seeing their relationship change as they had to spend time together when Haley was training West for the fight.  The growth of their relationship into a friendship with obvious chemistry seemed to develop quite naturally.  The chemistry was so great, and I love this romance.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.  You should probably read all the previous Katie McGarry books first, though.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List

I've never done a Top Ten Tuesday before, but I saw this one, and I decided that this was a good topic that I wanted to participate in.

Fan ArtIn the End (In the After, #2)On the FenceComplicit

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay - This one just came out today, and I have it ordered.  This one sounds like a light and sweet romance LGBT book, and I can't wait to read it.

In the End by Demitria Lunetta - I loved In the After when I read it last year, so I can't wait to see the continuation of the series, and what happens next in this post-apocalyptic world.

On the Fence by Kasie West - I think the only words that I need to say about why I'm excited to read this book are Kasie West.  I've loved every Kasie West book that I've read so far, and this sounds like it will be another cute contemporary romance like The Distance Between Us.

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn - I really enjoyed Charm & Strange, so I look forward to reading another dark, twisted story by her.

Rebel (Reboot, #2)The Art of LaineyThe Rules for Breaking (The Rules for Disappearing, #2)Since You've Been Gone

Rebel by Amy Tintera - I loved Reboot, so I can't wait to see what happens next in the lives of Wren and Callum.  Plus, I look forward to more adorable romance between these two.

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes - This looks a light and fun read about friendship and romance.  It sounds really sweet.

The Rules for Breaking by Ashley Elston - I enjoyed The Rules for Disappearing, so I'm excited to see what else these poor characters have to go through in this book.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - This sounds a good, summery, friendship story.  Plus, I like the cover with the ice cream cones.

Deadly Little Sins (Prep School Confidential, #3)17 First Kisses

Deadly Little Sins by Kara Taylor - I have enjoyed the first two mysteries in this series, so I am excited to read the third mystery, and see what kind of trouble Anne gets into this time.

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen - This sounds like a good story with friendship and some romance, too.  I can't wait to read it.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter

My Best Friend, Maybe Colette has been bored and lonely ever since her best friend, Sadie, dumped her the summer before they stared high school. She tries to be perfect for everyone left in her life: her parents, her younger brothers, her church youth group, even her boyfriend, Mark. But Colette is restless. And she misses Sadie.

When Sadie tells Colette that she needs her old friend to join her on a family vacation to the Greek Islands, one that leaves in only a few days, Colette is shocked to hear their old magic word: need. And she finds herself agreeing.

Colette tries to relax and enjoy her Grecian surroundings but it’s not easy to go on vacation with the person who hurt you most in the world. When the reason for the trip finally surfaces, Colette finds out this is not only a fun vacation. Sadie has kept an enormous secret from Colette for years...forever. It’s a summer full of surprises, but that might be what Colette needs.

My Review:

I had this book on preorder months in advance, and I would have started it directly upon its arrival if I didn't have so many books checked out from the library that I needed to read.  I started reading this about a week after it came in the mail, and I finished it in two days, during a busy weekend.  I really loved the story and characters, and it did not disappoint.


The main focus of this story is the complicated friendship between Colette and Sadie.  The end of their friendship was full of so many misunderstandings that both of them blame the other for its end.  There is a big secret that Sadie is keeping that relates to why the friendship ended.  There is a character's sexuality that is not revealed until close to the end, though it has been shelved as LGBT on Goodreads, so I don't really consider this a big spoiler.  I feel like this could have been revealed earlier in the story, but part of the story is that Colette never knew about this person's sexuality.

Colette struggles throughout the book with her relationships with boys.  She has been in a relationship with Mark for two years, and she has always told him that she loved him.  But she is sometimes confused about their relationship because he doesn't seem physically attracted to her, and he always seems to need a reason to make out.  One time, when he makes out with her, he apologizes for it afterwards.  He is religious, and is overly concerned with being perfect all the time, so much so that he hides his imperfections from Colette.  They have so many secrets that they keep from each other that it seems like their relationship has become pretty much dysfunctional.  When Colette decides to go to Greece instead of on a mission trip with Mark, he says that their relationship is over.  In Greece, she gets to spend some time with Sadie's older brother, Sam.  Her time with him gives her an idea of what a relationship with somebody other than Mark could be like.

The story also showed Colette's relationship with her family, though she is across the globe from them for most of the book.  I was not a fan of Colette's mom.  She had very close-minded views, but the main thing I didn't like was something Colette found out she had said to someone several years earlier.  What she said was awful, and the person she said it to was only about thirteen or fourteen years old, and she certainly didn't deserve to hear what Colette's mom said to her.  Colette's mom does experience some character growth throughout the book, though, which was good.  Colette's dad was someone who I liked much more, though he isn't perfect either.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend's life-threatening illness.

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

My Review:

This is an amazing story of friendship and what happens when one of the friends gets cancer.  It is definitely a sad book, but I also loved it so much.  The emotions in it were written so well.


The friendship in this book is so powerful and heartbreaking.  When Zoe finds out that her best friend, Olivia, has cancer, I could tell how much it really had an effect on her as well.  To see Olivia suffer through that wasn't something that was at all easy for her.  As difficult as it was for Zoe to see Olivia suffer, I loved how much she was there for her.  She was by her side at the hospital.  In the end, this friendship was a heartbreaking but sweet one.

The romance was nice, and much more background than a central focus.  Because, when Zoe's best friend has cancer, her first thoughts are not going to revolve around a boy.  Calvin is a sweet guy, and I liked his relationship with Zoe.  The only thing I didn't really like about their relationship was how quick Zoe's opinion about him changed.  At the beginning of the book, she was thinking about how much of a jerk he was, and then, soon after that, she was developing a crush on him.  Also, I didn't like how she was so secretive with Olivia about her relationship with him.  I can see how she didn't want to hurt Olivia since she used to like Calvin, but keeping secrets was hurting her more, and I don't think she was that likely to get super upset about Zoe dating him since she had a lot bigger problems.

I also enjoyed the dance class parts of the book. Zoe and Olivia were both kicked out of their dance studio at the beginning of the book for not being good enough.  It really showcased the competitiveness of the world of ballet.  What was interesting was that, after being kicked out, Olivia started teaching ballet to kids at a community center, while Zoe stopped dancing altogether.  When Olivia got sick and asked Zoe to teach the ballet class for her, Zoe made some realizations about her ballet, and how she hadn't been having fun with it for a while.  It had been a lot of pressure, but when she taught these kids she was able to have fun doing something she loved again.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.