Waiting On Wednesday (#20): By Your Side by Kasie West

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Waiting on Wendesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases we can’t wait to read.

This week I am eagerly anticipating:

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By Your Side by Kasie West

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: January 31st, 2017

Summary:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Why am I waiting?

As you probably already know, Kasie West is my favorite ya contemporary writer, and I want to read everything she writes.
By Your Side already has amazing ratings from bloggers and book reviewers who were lucky enough to receive an early review copy.
I have no doubt this will be another stunning novel and I can’t wait to read it myself!

Tell me, what book are you eagerly anticipating this week?
Feel free to leave your links so I could visit you.

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Book Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

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Title: Catching Jordan
Series: Hundred Oaks (#1)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date: December 1st, 2011
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): ONE OF THE BOYS

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?

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Review:

My dear friend Jasmin and I decided it was about time for us to do another buddy read together and Catching Jordan was the book we chose was the perfect choice, because we always buddy read YA (or NA) contemporary.

Catching Jordan is the first book in Hundred Oaks series and it follows Jordan and her friends who play football (or like I prefer to call it, American rugby, because you know, us people from Europe prefer another sport called football).

Jordan is a Quarterback, the captain of her team and – a girl. Yes, guys, you read it right. She is one badass girl who plays rugby better then any guy in her team, she is the only female member of her team and she is one of the guys.
As a result, her best friends are all guys, they appreciate her, and watch her back in a way.
Even though at first it sounds pretty unbelievable that a girl could be so much better then guys at sports, especially if you consider the fact that the female body is naturally builted weaker then male, there are things explained in this book.
Jordan comes from family of sport champions. Her father is great Alan Woods, one of the best rugby players in America. Her brother also plays rugby professionally, and she is bigger then other girls. She is just a big girl.

Jordan has a dream to play rugby professionally and to go to study to Alabama where all the best rugby players go.
She wants to be looked at equally as men.

This book talks a lot about sexism and how hard it is for women to be appreciated equally as men even if they are as good or even better then them.

Jordan was an interesting character but I wasn’t fond of her.
Don’t get me wrong, being a tomboy myself, I had nothing against her manly behaviour (except in times when it went too far).
What I didn’t like about her was that she was supposed to represent feminists when in reality she wasn’t feminist, not at all! The reason I’m saying that is because she more then few times brang down cheerleaders just because they had an interest in make up. She put them all in the same box, labeled them as stupid and thought she was better then them just because they liked girly stuff.
I know one of them did her wrong in the past, but still, I think Jordan’s behaviour said more about her then about any of those cheerleaders.

This book is good, funny and easy to read in general.
I enjoyed reading about Jordan’s relationship with her friends. JJ was my favorite.

Henry is her best friend who has a habit to spend nights in her bed. Her parents are fully aware of that but they approve it. Let me ask you one thing: What kind of parenting is that??
They trust her. They know she has no interest in Harry. The only precaution they did is to say that Jordan and Harry can’t sleep head to head, but have to sleep head to legs. Yeah, like that’s gonna stop teenagers from doing anything!
Don’t forget we’re talking about minors, teenagers full of hormones.
Maybe I took it too harsh, but I just can’t get over that aspect of the story. I didn’t like it, not at all!

There’s also one more thing (third to be precise) thing I didn’t like: how Jordan hits like it’s a fun game. She hit Harry so hard that his jaw cracked, and she laughed about it, along with him.
If the similar thing happened with roles versed, if guy hit a girl, that would be women abuse, but when the girl hits a guy it supposed to be funny? I don’t think so!

I feel like I’m in minority here, but I actually liked Ty. I think he was right most of the times and everytime Jordan had problems with his behaviour, I was on his side.
Of course he had problems with his girlfriend sleeping in the same bed with another guy. Who wouldn’t?

As you can clearly see from m y review, I had more then few problems with the story but I am still glad I read it and, believe it or not, I actually had a good time reading it.
I would like to read next book in the series because it follows different characters and I am curious to see whether I’ll like that one better.

3

Book Review + Giveaway: Hope by Grier Cooper (Blog Tour)

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I am happy to be today’s stop at Hope Blog Tour.
I really enjoyed reading this novel and I want to say thanks to Dancing Poodle Press for providing me a digital copy of this book and to Giselle from Xpresso Tours for giving me this opportunity.

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Hope by Grier Cooper
(Indigo Ballet Series, #2)
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adulthope

Synopsis:
Indigo is living the life she’s always imagined at the famed New York School of Ballet. Or is she? Although she hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.

When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she finds out she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follo
w, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices.

After a fateful piece of paper reveals the truth, Indigo must ask herself the hardest question of all: can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?

Goodreads * Purchase Book 1 * Purchase Book 2

 

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My Review: 

In this, second book in the Indigo Dreams series, our main protagonist, a 17 years old Indingo, is not in Connecticut anymore.
She lives in New York where she goes to School of American Balet.

She has a lot going on. She’s trying to be the best dancer she could possible be. In order to reach her goal, she has to overcome some challenges that are standing on her way. Above that, she has to make piece with herself and learn how to deal with situations she finds herself in.
Like every teenager, she has a lot of going on in her personal life too.

This is the story of a young girl who’s trying to live up to her dream, but it is also a story of growing up, finding the streinght in yourself and coming of age.

Although this is the second book in the series, it could easily be read as a standalone.

The character cast is totally different from the one in the first book. The only character that is present in both books is Indigo. Others just got some mention and that is it.

I liked the first book in the series, but I liked this one even more.
Maybe I got used to the writing style, maybe I found the characters I met in this novel to be better, or maybe I just liked this period of Inigo’s life more.

This book does not deal with serious topics as it’s prequel, but it still tells the story about important things.

The writing style is pretty simple and I finished this book faster then I tought I would.

Now, when I read both books in the series, I can say that Indigo really grew on me.

Even though this book ended with the full circle closed, I would’n mind reading about Indigo again.
If the author decides to write another book in Indigo Dreams series, I’ll be glad to pick it up.

This book doesn’t have special quotes, it does not have moments you’d like to remember after you finish the story, it does not leave you breathless, but it does give you one thing: a comfortable feeling all the time you’re reading it.
Once again, I had a feeling I was watching a good teenage drama on TV and it felt like home.

4

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • e-book copy of “WISH”, book #1 of the Indigo Ballet Series and a $10 Amazon giftcard

ENTER HERE:

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About the Author:

Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami CityAuthorPhotoSm2014 Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

Her work has been praised as “poignant and honest” with “emotional hooks that penetrate deeply.” She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of Build a Ballerina Body and The Daily Book of Photography.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Book Review: My Single Friend by Jane Costello

my single friend

Title: My Single Friend
Author: Jane Costello
Publisher: Znanje (Croatian publisher)
Date: 2010
Pages: 376
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): At 28, Lucy is doing well for herself. She’s got a great job in PR, her boss loves her, and her best girlfriends Dominique and Erin think she’s great. More important than anyone’s opinion is that of her flatmate, and oldest friend in the world, Henry. For twenty years they’ve been inseparable: beauty and the geek. Henry thinks the world of Lucy. So why does she feel the need to lie outrageously on dates? From rock-climbing to Chekov: when it comes to prospective boyfriends, Lucy is compelled to embellish her C.V. with unlikely porkies that always backfire – with hilarious results. Henry can’t understand it. Lucy is so loveable: why can’t she just be herself? But when Lucy turns the spotlight on Henry, he wishes he’d never brought it up. With a penchant for jumpers and NHS-style specs, Lucy decides that Henry is in need of a makeover – big time. Enlisting the help of Dom and Erin, it’s not long before the girls have Henry out of the flat, and into the Topman changing rooms. A new haircut, contact lenses, a flirting master-class from Dom …poor Henry doesn’t know what’s hit him. But nothing can prepare them for the surprise results! Before long, Lucy realises that their lives will never be the same again.

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Review:

What a fun and quick read this book was!
Having read and loved more then few books by Jane Costello before, I kind of knew what to expect from this novel, and I am so glad to say I wasn’t disappointed.

This book was everything I wanted and everything I needed at time.

It follows a 28 years old Lucy who works in a PR agency and lives with her best friend Henry, whom she knows for 21 years.
Henry is a perfect example of freak and geak.
He has a massy, longish hair, wears weird clothes and acts even wierder when girls are around.

One night, after watching some tv show, Henry agrees for Lucy and two of her best friends, Erin and Dominique, to give Henry a new look. They will do their best to transform the mate into a best looking version of himself.

Boy, did they suceed!

After his makover, Henry looks so attractive that girs realise they were blind to his hotness.
The matter of fact is, Lucy finds out she maybe has some feelings for her best friend…

This book was written in first person, in Lucy’s POV.
She was an entertainig narrator: funny and smart, but still blind to some situations that were obvious to us as readers.

Henry was a guy every girl could wish for and if that kind of man exsists in real life, please someone introduce me to him. He is a dream guy.

Lucy’s friends were very likeable, and the situation at Lucy’s work, which was a side story in this novel, was intriguing to read about even though I kind of expected the revelation of the situation in the similar way as it was handled.

I think this book is perfect for curing reading slumps and to make you forget the world around you for a few hours you would need to devour it.

I would recommend it to every chick-lit reader and to lovers of Sophie Kinsella’s books.

4,5

Book Review: No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista

no love allowed

Title: No Love Allowed
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Swoon Reads
Date: April 19th, 2016
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher, for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!

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Review:

„Love destroys people to the point where they don’t even care who else they hurts in the process.“

It has been three days since I finished this book and still, it is all I’m thinking about.

Ask me why is that, what makes this novel so special that it captures my mind like there’s no important things in my life, and I problably wouldn’t know what to tell you.

But what I do know is that I don’t think that any review I write for this piece can do it justice.

The story is written in third person, following two perspectives: Caleb’s and DiDi’s.

Caleb comes from a wealthy family and all he wants is to have a gap year between going to college, so he could travel trough Europe with his cousin Nathan. In order to earn that, he has to spend the summer attending certain events with his family, and have a girl that will make him a company.

That’s where Didi comes in. She’s a girl raised by a single mother, not poor but definitely far from being rich. She agrees to pretend to be Caleb’s girlfriend for the summer, so she could experience the lifestyle she never had. Also, Caleb agreed to pose her for her painting, since she’s an artist.

They make an agreement: One mustn’t fall in love with the other.

What took me by surprise in this story is it’s characers and how the story kept me inrigued.
Nor Caleb or Didi were likeable. They were gray, had their flaws, but still, I cared about them and wanted to know everything about them: why they acted the way they did, what made them think the certain way and how they are going to deal with cards that life throws at them.

This is the story you read for it’s completeness. Even though main characters aren’t the ones you want to befriend, you still root for them and want the best for them.
Side characters are so interesting, I really got attached to Preston, Nathan and Natasha.
They have that impact on you as a reader:  you want to know more about them.
When I heard that the story about Preston and Nathan is planned to be published later this year, I welcomed the news with all my heart.

Although at first this novel gives an impression as a cute ya spring/summer read, with it’s goergous cover and warm colors, that is not the case.
Yes, it does have cute moments and swoon worthy situations, but it also deals with some serious topics like mental illness and suicide.
I think when it comes to those, the writer did her research well.

What I liked the most about this book is Didi’s passion for Van Gogh. You can feel it trough the whole novel.
The story starts with quote by Van Gogh, and when following Didi’s perspective you can notice that everyday things like clouded sky reminds her of his work. She also talks about him with passion, but still she doesn’t overdo it.
Her affection for Van Gogh’s work and him as an artist is almost touchable, like it has a personality on it’s own (just like Paris had in Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss).

This novel also has some beautiful, memorable scenes, like 4th July scene and the one at (almost) very end with paintings.

The story is not only full of vizuals, but music also plays a part in it. Not a big one, but you can still feel it.
I guess it had an impact on the author while she was creating her story.

The writing style is good and you can speed trough this book.
It is not poetic and has not many memorable quotes, but it is still really beautiful.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of Katie McGarry‘s books while reading.
The writing style is still very different from McGarry’s, but I think that her fans would enjoy this novel as well.

4,5

 

Note: You can read my interview with an author and win yourself a copy of No Love Allowed here.

Waiting on Wendesday (#8): P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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Waiting on Wendesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases we can’t wait to read.

This week I am eagerly anticipating:

p.s. i like you

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Publisher: Point

Publication Date: July 26th, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.

Why am I waiting?

If you know me for some time now, you know that I often like to say that Kasie West is my ya contemporary queen.
I read all of her contemporary books so far and loved every single one of them.
Her books always put me in great mood, I love to reread them and I can’t get enough of her writing.
She also creates awesome characters that I want to befriend with.

Overall, when it comes to this genre, I can’t imagine anyone doing it better then West.

I just can’t wait to see what she cooked for us in her new novel.
I just KNOW I’ll devour this story!

Author Website * Amazon UK * Amazon US * Goodreads * The Book Depository

Book Review + Giveaway: Holding Court by K.C. Held (Blog Tour)

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I am happy to be today’s stop at Holding Court Blog Tour.
I really enjoyed reading this novel and I want to say thanks to Entagled Teen for providing me a digital copy of this book and to MaryAnn from Chapter by Chapter for giving me this opportunity.

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 Holding Court Cover

 

Book Title: Holding Court

Author: K.C. Held

Release Date: March. 1, 2016

Genre: YA Mystery

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what’s in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times. Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool ove
r the ever-so-tasty–and completely unavailable–Grayson Chandler. Except that it’s not quite what she imagined.

 

For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there’s the dead body she finds that just kind of…well, disappears. Oh, and there’s the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls “Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome”–spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.

 

The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson’s attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson’s interest might not be as courtly as she
thought. In fact, it’s starting to look suspicious…

 

Amazon | B&N | iBooks |Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Page

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My Review:

Written in the first person, Holding Court follows a girl named Jules, who is „cursed“ with what she likes to call „Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome“.
If you’re confused just like I was and wonder what that could be, let me explain it to you: from time to time, Julie, uncontrollably, blurbs out what will happen to someone in the future, but she tells that pretty much in codes. Overall, the whole thing makes her a weirdo in other people’s eyes.

She’s not the only one with the gift. Her grandmother can see other people’s auras and her mother can tell authenticidy of an object with a single touch.

One summer, to make some money and save enough to buy herself a car, sixteen years old Jules gets a job in a place called Tudor Times.
Fun fact: Grayson, the guy she has a crush for years works there.
Funnier fact: her girlfriend Bree also works there.

Jules knew not everything will be roses and butterflies, but what she couldn’t even dream about was that, while exploring secret chambers of her workplace, she would find a dead body…

First thing I have to warn you about: there are some illogical happenings trough the story.
If you are a critical reader you’ll probably find it’s flaws and they could put you off when it comes to finishing this story.
However, I think it is only fair of me to tell you how, if you can play blind to those flaws, you will probably end up really enjoying yourself while reading.

Yes, the main character does swoon over the guy while she should be worried about the killer and about her own sake.
Yes, the story does have a love triengle (that is, let me make that clear, a really good love triangle).
Yes, the character does not act the smartest way possible at some scenes, but…

The writing style is so good, it makes you want to devaour the story in one sitting.
The more pages you read, the plot is more and more interesting, characters are more and more likeable, the mystery is more and more mysterious.

I also have to emphasize that I didn’t see who the killer was. Of course, I had my own suspicion, but I was wrong.

And now, let me tell you what I liked the most about this book: Love triangle.
At first, I tought about giving this book a lower rating, but what made me really appreciate this novel is the love triangle in it and the way it resolved in the end.
Maybe some would call it naive or unbelievable, but I like to call it refreshing.
I have never before read the story in which all love interests  wrap up the way they did here, and it never even crossed my mind that someday it would be great to read the story with that kind of result.
Just because of that,  K.C. Held deserves an extra applause.

Overall, this is an easy, quick read with a great atmosphere, perfect for spring or summer when you want to read something entertaining and cute.
The writing style is enjoyable, the story has something different to offer when it comes to love interest and the very last chapter is the best chapter in the whole book, which made me appreciate this piece.

I gladely recommend it!

3,75

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Giveaway (US Only)

Giveaway Information:  Contest ends March 18, 2016

 

  • One (1) winner will receive Holding Court swag pack containing a magnetic prophecy kit, signed bookplate, coloring postcard with stacked coloring pencil, and a bookmark.

HC Swag pack

 

ENTER HERE:
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About the author:kc-held

K.C. HELD was born and raised in California with stopovers in Honduras, Mexico, and France. Married to her high school sweetheart, and mom to two avid bookworms, she holds an MFA in costume design and is an accomplished seamstress with a background in opera, theater, film, and television. Although she once spent a summer working in a castle, there were no dead bodies involved.

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