Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Review: Sweet Reckoning (Sweet Evil #3)

Title:  Sweet Reckoning (Sweet Evil #3)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Release: April 2014

Summary:
It’s time. 

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

My Review:
I was so excited to read the conclusion of the Sweet Evil trilogy but I was nervous. Would it live up to my expectations? Would I be satisfied? Would it make me mad? Would I hide the book in the freezer? When I picked this book up to finally read it (and it had been on my TBR stack for a while) I was instantly captivated. Wendy Higgins delivered a third book like a third book should be.

What I loved: I loved that in Sweet Reckoning we can truly see how Anna has grown over the course of the three books. I was sitting on the edge of my seat rooting for her. She was able to be strong, brave, and fearless when she needed to most. She faced conflict head on without having any idea what would really happen. And as a reader, I had no idea what was going to happen...I like it that way!

I could write PAGES about Kai....but I won't. I want you to read for yourself, and then get back to me...we can discuss all you want.

Final Verdict: I couldn't be more pleased with the way this trilogy ended.


5 stars!

Review: Biggest Flirts (Superlatives #1)

Title: Biggest Flirts (Superlatives #1)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Published: May 2014

Summary:
Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger. 

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…


My Review:
I can't seem to rave enough about this book. First of all, there is high school band. I was in high school band, I was in college band. I get all of the high school band dynamics.


What I loved: I loved what a fast-paced, energetic story this was. Once I started reading, I really didn't stop. The whole "will they or won't they get together" story line is always one that I love. Echols manages to keep readers waiting until the very end to find out--but that didn't bother me so much. I felt like the story was a process....one that both Tia and Will (but especially Tia) had to go through before they could figure out what they really wanted. 

What left me wanting more: I don't think Will had his shirt off nearly enough....kidding...well, maybe... Seriously, I loved this story. I was hooked from the beginning and was sad when it ended. I hope Tia and Will make some appearances in the other books of this series.

Final Verdict: A fun book that you won't be able to put down!


5 Stars!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: Ready to Wear (Sew Zoey #1)

Title: Ready to Wear (Sew Zoey #1)
Author: Chloe Taylor
Publisher: Simon Spotlight
Released: June 4, 2013

Thanks YABC for sending this book my way!

Summary:
Over the summer, fashion-loving Zoey Webber gets the best news ever: Her middle school is getting rid of uniforms! There’s just one problem. Zoey has sketchbooks full of fashion designs, but nothing to wear! So with a little help from her best friends Kate and Priti, she learns to make her own clothes. She even begins to post her fashion design sketches online in a blog. That’s how the Sew Zoey blog begins, and soon it becomes much more.

Zoey’s quirky style makes her a bit of a misfit at middle school, but her Sew Zoey blog quickly gains a dedicated following. Real fashion designers start to read it! Yet even as her blog takes off, Zoey still has to deal with homework, crushes, and P.E. class. And when the principal asks her to design a dress for the school’s fashion-show fund-raiser, Zoey can’t wait to start sewing! But what will happen when her two worlds collide?


Review:
The first book of the Sew Zoey series is everything that I like in a middle grade book. This book will most certainly appeal to young fashion lovers. Zoey is a creative young lady that gets the idea from her two best friends to start a blog of all of her fashion sketches. The blog inspires Zoey to actually start creating some of her very own designs. The process of her learning how to sew was funny and cute. 

My one complaint about this book is about Zoey's blog. When Zoey writes a post, her voice sounds older than she is. The dialogue she has with her friends and classmates seems much more true to age. I also know technology is a huge part of everyone's lives but I would hesitate to let my own middle-schooler have a blog and interact with followers that I didn't know. I'll be interested to see how and if this discussion comes up in other books of the series. 

Ready to Wear isn't just a book for aspiring designers. It is a book that focuses on friendship, family and hard work. I'm hoping that the rest of the series is just as delightful and sweet as this first one is
.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: Better Off Friends

Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point

Thanks to Jen at Jenuine Cupcakes for sending this to me!
Summary:

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY . . . for teens, from romantic comedy star Elizabeth Eulberg. For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can't be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan's friends. They are platonic and happy that way. Eventually they realize they're best friends -- which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't keep getting in each other's way. Guys won't ask Macallan out because they think she's with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can't help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated? From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again -- and one kiss away from true love?

My Review:

I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Eulberg. Every time I sit down to read one of her books, I know I won't be disappointed. 

What I loved: So many things. I really enjoyed the flip flop between Macallan and Levi. Their voices were distinct but it felt so natural to read both of their perspectives. They meet in seventh grade and the book follows their relationship over the next five years. The evolution of their friendship was fun to read. They had a natural, witty banter between them and it was fun to get lost in their conversations.

I LOVED how Eulberg was able to convey how complex their feelings for each other are. Everyone knows that relationships are not two-dimensional and there are many sides and feelings involved in each one we have. Because of the alternating POV's I felt like I was really inside of their heads and really understood how deep their feelings were. It made the story believable and and engaging.

What left me wanting more: Nothing. I love, love, loved it!

Final Verdict: If you are looking for a fun, sweet romance look no further.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: Wedding Wings (Disney Fairies: The Never Girls Book 5)

Title: Wedding Wings
Author:  Kiki Thorpe
Publisher: Random House/Disney

Summary:

Gabby is going to be a flower girl in a wedding! But a Never Land fairy hidden in her basket causes big trouble on her big day. Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies star in a magical early chapter book series for girls ages 6 to 9—The Never Girls!

My Review:

I've loved all the books in the Never Girls series. However, none have made me laugh out loud like Wedding Wings. 

Once again, the clumsies and the fairies meet up for another adventure, this time at a wedding. When a fairy explores the set-up for the wedding reception, she causes all kinds of funny fairy trouble. The girls and the fairies have to work together to save the wedding and the results are a sweet, magical event. 

If you have a young reader who is making the transition to chapter books, I encourage you to give this series a chance. The Never Girls series has a lot to offer a young reader and I can't wait to see what happens next!


Thanks to YABC for the chance to read and review this!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Suddenly Royal

Title:  Suddenly Royal
Author: Nichole Chase

Released: November 2013

Summary:

Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working on a master's degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it's to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed . . . As crown prince of Lilaria, Alex D'Lynsal has had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures in the press have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She's stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone's front-page news. While Sam tries to navigate her new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

My Review:

Anyone that knows me and my reading tastes, knows that I LOVE books with this type of story line. I love a good "royal" themed novel. Suddenly Royal exceeded my expectations and ended up being a fun, endearing story.

What I liked: I really enjoyed Samantha's character. At first I wasn't sure I would be able to get behind her 100% but by the end I was rooting for her completely. Samantha goes through quite the emotional journey throughout this book and I think readers will appreciate her growth and self-discovery. I appreciated that this wasn't just a "random girl becomes a princess" story. There is a lot more to it. The relationships Samantha has are true and honest and we see more than just a fancy house and a title.

Of course, I couldn't talk about what I liked without mentioning Crown Prince Alex. I think he is what you picture when you think of a prince. Dare I say, he is a good mix of both Prince William and Prince Harry. I love the chemistry between Samantha and Alex. They have some great moments between the two of them.

What left me wanting more: Nothing. This book was the perfect blend of royalty and romance.

Final Verdict: This is a charming book. I definitely recommend it. However, there are some *steamy* moments. Definitely not for the younger readers.



Thanks YABC for the chance to read and review this!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review: Bright Before Sunrise

Title: Bright Before Sunrise
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher:  Walker Childrens

Thanks, Jen for sending me this one!  I loved it!

Summary:

When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him. For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

My Review:

I was initially intrigued by this book because of the fast-paced, one night can change everything hook. I was immediately drawn into this story line and could not read fast enough.

What I loved: Tiffany Schmidt takes readers on a one night, life-changing journey of Brighton and Jonah. The chapters alternate between them. Sometimes that can bog a story down and readers can get caught up in the alternating view points....but not in this case. The flip-flop between Brighton and Jonah highlights both of their insecurities and their very different ways of dealing with their issues. I loved reading how their thoughts and actions changed throughout the course of the night. 

This story happens in one night so don't expect an intense romance. Instead, enjoy Brighton and Jonah's journey of friendship, self-discovery, and a few smooches along the way. 

What left me wanting more: Nothing. I loved it all!

Final Verdict: You won't want to miss out on this one. Prepare to pick it up and read it in one night. 

**This review has also been posted on YABC**