Thursday, November 26, 2015

Right Where You Are by L.E. Bross

Title: Right Where You Are (Second Chances #1)
Author: L.E. Bross
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: November 16, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
Avery Melrose is used to having it all. So when her boyfriend cheats on her, she reacts like any spoiled rich girl—she freaks out and vandalizes his new truck, Carrie Underwood style. Now she’s stuck with 300 hours of community service doing road-side garbage duty.

Seth Hunter just got out of prison, and after a few hundred hours picking up litter on the side of the highway, he can finally put his mistakes behind him. If he can string together some kind of existence, maybe it’ll be enough to get his sister away from their stepfather, the man who sent Seth to prison in the first place.

A romance between these two is doomed from the start. Girls like Avery wants castles and white horses, and Seth is no prince charming.

But sometimes, being around Avery makes Seth think he could make something of himself. Maybe even be worthy of a girl like her. It’s just too bad real life gets in the way first, tearing these two apart before they have any chance of getting to Happily Ever After.

Surprise books, the ones you go in knowing pretty much nothing about the story and find yourself pleasantly surprised, are the best kind of books. That’s exactly what L.E. Bross’s Right Where You Are Was. It was a book I picked up at random and one I couldn’t seem to get enough of.

When she walked in on her boyfriend of four years in bed with another girl, Avery Melrose didn’t think, she just walked back out of the apartment and trashed his truck. Now, Avery has to spend 300 hours picking up trash on the side of the road. After spending a year in prison for beating up his stepfather, Seth Hunter is out and ready to start putting his life back together so he can get his sister away from their stepfather. The first step? Picking up trash on the side of the road. Seth and Avery shouldn’t be a good match. But spending time with Avery makes Seth feel like he could make something of himself. And around, Seth, Avery comes alive. But making it work is hard when everything seems to be puling them apart.

I love making book discoveries. I mean, I’m always excited about reading a book I’ve heard lots of great things about. But I get even more excited when I find a book I haven’t heard about and it ends up being a book I love. That’s what happened to me with L.E. Bross’s Right Where You Are. I hadn’t heard anything about this book until the day I randomly came across it on NetGalley. After reading the description I knew it sounded like something I would enjoy. And I was absolutely right. I got completely sucked into this story. I couldn’t stop reading, I just had to see how things would work out for Seth and Avery. Basically, Right Where You Are was just the kind of romance story I loved. There was banter, there was drama, there was heartbreak, and there was plenty of romance to make me happy. Right Where You Are was essentially a total Emilie book. And I loved it.

Neither Avery nor Seth were who they appeared to be and that’s what I loved the most about them. Though at first she comes across as your stereotypical spoiled rich girl, that’s so not who Avery was at all. The more I got to know her, the more I liked her and the more I came to understand that she had a huge heart and was just trying to help everyone she could. Appearances were just as deceiving where Seth was concerned. Despite going to prison for assault, Seth was far from being a bad buy. He was just someone trying to do whatever he could to help and protect his little sister. Loved whenever his lighter side would come out. Some of my favourite moments in the book are just him and Avery joking around. But I also loved that fiercely protective side of him. Honestly? I just loved Seth, period. And I can’t wait to see more of Ryan, who will be the main focus of the sequel.

L.E. Bross’s Right Where You Are was the best kind of surprise. This was a book that completely sucked me in and kept me turning the pages until there were no more to turn. And I can’t wait to read more.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Title: Just Visiting
Author: Dahlia Adler
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Source: ARC from author
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn’t go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won’t stand out for being Mexican.

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that he future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective…only to learn she’s set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants…only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they’ve sworn to leave. 

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don’t know about each other’s pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they’ll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

I have yet to meet a book by Dahlia Adler that I haven’t loved. And every time I hear she has a new one coming out, I get really excited. It’s just one of those things. When I heard about Just Visiting, it had all the makings of a book I would love. And I did, in fact, absolutely love Just Visiting.

Reagan and Victoria have a plan: they’re going to finish high school and get out of Charytan, Kansas together to go to college. All they have to do is get through this last year and figure out which college they will go to. Or at least that’s always been their plan. But as they start visiting colleges, Reagan and Victoria realize that the plan might not be what they want anymore. Reagan is still determined to leave the trailer park behind and she won’t let herself fall for a boy again. Except for that one boy she meets on a college visit. She knows it’s never going to work, but she can’t help it. Victoria has been looking forward to the day where she will be in a city where she won’t be the only Mexican. Going away to college seems to be the solution. But the more colleges she visits, the more she realizes that what she wants might be in the place where she already is. As Reagan and Victoria figure out what they want, they can’t help but fear that what they discover about themselves and each other could mean the end of their friendship.

As I’ve already said, I’ve yet to meet a book written by Dahlia Adler that I haven’t loved. She just has a way of writing stories that works for me, no matter what they’re about. When I first heard about Just Visiting, I was so excited. Not only was it a contemporary romance (which, you know, Emilie bait) but it was one that put a strong focus on friendship. And not just any friendship, but awesome girl friendship. So yeah, I was excited and I want it to read it. And once I started reading, Just Visiting didn’t disappoint me. I loved how well Dahlia Adler captured that feeling that comes with choosing what path you’re going to take after high school, those feelings that come with thinking you know what you want but realizing that what you actually want is something completely different and not knowing what to do about it, and the confusion that comes from trying to make what you want line up with what everyone else around you wants. That combined with the romance and friendship just made for a compelling story and it just worked for me. 

On paper, Reagan and Victoria didn’t really make sense as friends and I think that’s why I loved them so much. Because their friendship wasn’t so much about what they had in common so much as it was about them being there for each other and supporting the other. And I loved that their friendship wasn’t perfect. It made it feel that much more real. It doesn’t hurt that Reagan and Victoria were also pretty fantastic outside of their friendship with each other. Even when she didn’t necessarily make it easy, I loved Reagan from pretty early on and I wanted the best for her. When I finally found out everything that had happened to her, my heart completely broke for her and it just reinforced how much I wanted her to get some good and happiness. And I understood Victoria on so many levels, especially when it came to fitting together what she wanted with what she thought everyone expected her to do. I admired her passion and her loyalty and I wouldn’t have minded having a friend like her. But who I really want to mention is Dev. I mean, can we take a moment to discuss just how adorable and sweet he was? Because he absolutely was and a smile broke out on my face anytime he made an appearance. 

Dahlia Adler’s Just Visiting was everything I had hoped it would be. This story perfectly balanced friendship and romance and truly captured the challenges that come with choosing what to do after high school. And it should obviously go without saying that if you haven’t yet read one of Dahlia Adler’s books yet, you should get on that.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Abby and the Cute One by Erin Butler

Title: Abby and the Cute One (Backstage Pass #5)
Author: Erin Butler
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Release Date: November 16, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
He’s cute. He’s famous. And he could ruin everything…

Every member of Seconds to Juliet has a girlfriend—except for Nathan Strong. Now the band’s manager is leaning hard on “The Cute On” to play throne of the band’s heartthrob. With the band’s sales in decline, it’s up to Nathan to keep the fans’ fantasy alive.

The plan is to stay a fake relationship and a fake breakup, and then let the fans fight to be the one to mend Nathan’s broken heart. Just one problem. There’s another girl in the picture—one Nathan can’t stay away from. In private, Nathan’s stealing kisses with the band’s new opening act, Abby Curtis.

If they’re caught, no one wins. Abby will be fired, and the band might not recover the success they need to survive. But even with the pressure mounting, Nathan and Abby can’t stop themselves from stealing one more touch, one more kiss. And it’s only a matter of time before it all falls apart.

Entangled Crush’s Backstage Pass series is pretty much one of my favourite recent series. I mean, it’s a series about the members of a boy band and the girls they fall in love with. It basically has my name written all over it. I’ve loved every book in the series and it was no different with the final one, Erin Butler’s Abby and the Cute One.

Nathan Strong is the last member of Seconds to Juliet to still be single, so it’s on him to keep the dream alive for the fans. And he’s happy to do it if it means helping the band, even when it involves going on horrible fake dates set up by the band’s manager. But when Abby Curtis joins the tour as Seconds to Juliet’s new opening act, Nathan doesn’t really want to do the whole fake relationship anymore. Instead, he would much rather have a real one with Abby. But as much as he might want to, Nathan can’t be with Abby. Being with her would mean losing the band and Abby getting fired. But they can only stay apart for so long. They just have to find a way to be together and not get caught.

In the past year, I have become a huge Seconds to Juliet fan. I’ve been completely charmed by this fictional boy band and I just can’t get enough of their stories. Every one I read just makes me love them more. And as excited as I was about Erin Butler’s Abby and the Cute One, I also didn’t want this series to end. I’m a lover of boy bands to begin with so reading about one just made me happy. These stories were so fun, but they also had more going on than just boy band shenanigans and that’s what made me love them so much. Abby and the Cute One was no different. I’d always had a bit of a soft spot for Nathan from the beginning, so i was really excited to finally get to read his story. And the story didn’t disappoint me in the least. It was just the romance I had hoped for Nathan, and Abby was absolutely the perfect girl for him. Admittedly, I’m sad to see Nathan and all the guys (and girls) from Seconds to Juliet go, but I was happy with how everything turned out for all of them.

I knew pretty much from the moment I first met him in Aimee and the Heartthrob that Nathan was totally going to be my favourite member of Seconds to Juliet. After having now read Abby and the Cute One, I can officially say that Nathan is definitely my favourite. There was just something about him that worked for me, I don’t really know how to explain it. All that say, I just wanted the absolute best for Nathan and I wanted him to be happy. And once I got to know Abby, I wanted the same thing for her. And these two were just so freaking adorable together. I’m no gonna lie, I probably had a goofy smile on my face while I was reading about them. I just couldn’t help it. So it should go without saying that I was absolutely rooting for them. Pretty much from that first moment when they talked by the water after Nathan’s horrible fake date. Nathan and Abby just made me happy and I loved them. 

If you hadn’t guessed it, I totally loved Erin Butler’s Abby and the Cute One. In fact, it might just be my favourite book in the series. And considering I’ve loved every book, it’s saying something. If you haven’t yet met Seconds to Juliet, you really should pick up the first book in this series. 

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Title: November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

In the last couple of years, Colleen Hoover has easily become one of my favourite authors, one whose books I will automatically buy no matter what they are about. And those books alway manage to hit me right where it hurts in the best way possible. And it was no different with November 9.

Fallon never planned on falling in love at eighteen. Her plan was to move across the country and find herself before she fell in love with someone else. But on the day before she’s supposed to move, Fallon unexpectedly meets Ben and she considers changing her plans. But after spending her last day in L.A. together, they make a deal: for the next five years they’re going to spend November 9 together but continue living their own lives every other day of the year. And if after five years that attraction and those feelings are still there, then they will start their lives together. But not before that. But can you really know someone when you only spend one day with each year?

Until about a week ago, I thought I knew which of Colleen Hoover’s books was my favourite (Maybe Someday for those interested), but then I read November 9 and that changed. It’s one of those things. Every time I pick up a book by Colleen Hoover, I know it’s going to be emotional, I know it’s going to hurt at times, and I know tears are pretty likely to appear on my face. The extent to which all those things will happen just depends on the book and the story. So I had certain expectations when I started reading November 9 and I can now say that those expectations have more than been surpassed. This book is officially my new Colleen Hoover favourite. Once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop. And every time I thought I was done getting punched right where it hurts (in a good way, of course), the hits just kept on coming. I was a mess of tears and feelings by the time I finished and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Or how I was supposed to pick up another book to read after this one. No matter what I say, it’s just not going to come close to doing November 9 justice. Just know that you should have tissues (and lots of them) on hand when you decide to read November 9.

The interesting thing about November 9 is that because of the way the story is told, you never really get a full picture of who Fallon and Ben are. Admittedly by the end of the book, I had a pretty good grasp on who they were but it still took a while to get there. That’s what happens when you only see someone for one day each year. That’s how it was for me as the reader, and that’s what it was like for Fallon and Ben themselves. And it made their story that much more interesting to read. And when everything was revealed it was that much more powerful. Did I mentioned I cried a lot while reading? Well, In the last third of the book that was all Ben’s fault. Overall, though, Fallon and Ben, as much as they gave me a lot of feelings and were responsible for a lot of my tears, they were really fun people to read about. In the first few chapters I couldn’t help the huge smile on my face while I was reading because they were just so adorable and their banter was perfect. And the more I read about them, the more I loved them. And the more I loved them the more I was scared of what was going to happen to them. Because let’s be real here, this was a Colleen Hoover book and we all know what she does to her characters. Even when it all ends well, it hurts to get there.

Colleen Hoover’s November 9 was so much more than I had hoped it would be. This book made me smile, it made me cry, and it made me feel every other emotion in between. Even though this is now my favourite Colleen Hoover book and I don’t know how anything else can possibly compare, I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next.

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