Sunday, July 30, 2017

{Book Review} After by Anna Todd



After by Anna Todd
Published: October 21st, 2014 by Gallery Books
Series: After #1
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}
 
Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn't the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER ... Life will never be the same.

{Review}
This book has been EVERYWHERE and has been on my TBR for a very long time.  I finally decided there is no time like the present and picked this bad boy up.  I liked this book.  It was addictive and I found myself turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next.  There was SO much drama (some unnecessary) and angst, but that was what made it fun.  This is not a read that changed my life but it definitely took my mind off the now and gave me a very enjoyable break from reality. 

I would describe the writing style as simplistic.  There were not flowery passages or overly detailed sentences, it was pretty straight forward, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  It read fast and flowed easily.  My one problem was with the formatting.  I am sure it was printed this way because this is how it was written on Wattpad, but the chapter breaks were so weird.  It would just stop mid event and then pick up right in the next chapter, cutting it in an awkward way.  However, that did not deter my enjoyment and I found the story extremely addictive!

The characters in this book are probably going to be the problem that most readers have with this book (and the romance).  Tessa comes off as a big push-over and some of her up tightness seems a bit over dramatic at times.  I felt like some of her choices were hypocritical when it came to her boyfriend and her relationship with Hayden.  I most definitely did not agree with the choices she made concerning that, but figured she was young, selfish and naive so it fit her character pretty well.  I actually found myself drawn to Hayden’s character.  He was the typical a-hole, but he actually had a history and back story that intrigued me.  He lashed out a lot, was violent, had outbursts that resembled that of a toddler, but like I said before, I just found him fascinating.

I will say that I really enjoyed the characters of Hayden’s father and fiancĂ©e.  In fact, I would say that they were my favorite characters out of the book.  The other secondary side characters lacked depth and dimension.  I felt like it was a missed opportunity to create a more dynamic story by giving the other characters a background and expanding their relationships with the main characters.

The romance was interesting and I found myself addicted to finding out what would happen next.  I will say that this would NOT be considered a healthy relationship AT ALL!  Do not use this as an example of what you are looking for in a significant other.  But with that said, I could not get enough.  There was so much drama and angst.  I loved the push and pull between Hayden and Tessa.  I felt the chemistry between these two and loved seeing how they pushed each other limits, both in good and bad ways.

I will say, I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.  I did not see that coming AT ALL and I have to give my props to Anna Todd for that!  Of course, I will continue on with this series and I am excited to see what happens next.  I am a bit concerned that it might become boring if it is just more of the same from book one.  This book could have been cut down and I am frightened with the sizes of the next books (especially three!), but I can’t wait to let myself get sucked in to the drama.

{Rating}


Also check out the other books in the After series below!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

{So You Want To Be A Blogger?} Introduction



For awhile, I have wanted to do a blog series chronicling how to be a blogger...and I finally figured, there is no time like the present.  Now, I am no HTML wiz, nor am I an expert blogger, but I have been blogging for 4 years so I figure that I would share my advice so that readers who want to become a blogger or new bloggers might learn something from my successes and my failures when it comes to the blogging world.  This series is going to be titled "So You Want To Be A Blogger?"

I am not going to have these posts scheduled in any sort of way.  When I think of something that I would like to share, I will create a post.  It might end up being a few posts or it could end up being 15!  I am not putting any limits on this and I don't want to give needless advice by saying I will create these posts once a week.  I want it to feel organic and purposeful. 

I also want these to create conversation.  I have plenty to learn, as well as share.  It would be great if these posts could stimulate other bloggers or readers to give advice.  You do not have to be a blogger to provide advice!  Readers, authors, PR's can provide the BEST advice for bloggers.  

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook (links in the sidebar) because I have the feeling that most conversations about these posts will take place there since it is easier to communicate on social media. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

{Book Review} Ruckus by L.J. Shen



Ruckus by L.J. Shen
Published: May 23rd, 2017
Series: Sinners of Saint #2
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

Rosie

They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They're right.
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking.
He is my forbidden, shiny apple.
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth.
He is also my sister's ex-boyfriend.
One thing you should know before you judge me;
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first.
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance.
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late.

Dean

They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right.
She sets my mind on fire.
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart.
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like fucking Sirius.
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart.
This time, I dare it to try.
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus.
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight.
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory.

{Review}
Holy crap I did not think this series could get any better, but each book adds more and more to this story and these characters.  This book was definitely more heart-felt and intense than the previous ones.  It made me swoon, laugh, tear up and smile.  I loved every emotion that L.J. Shen pulled from within me and loved how interconnected all these characters and stories were.  The plots became more dynamic and intricate as each book is released.

L.J. Shen's writing is now some of my all-time favorite.  It is the perfect mixture of beautiful passages, heart-felt sentences and addictive words.  The flow is perfect, making it easy and fast to read.  This book kept me up late at night because I had a very hard time putting it down!  I loved getting to see how the other couples relationships were evolving since their books.  I will say that I was really drawn to the parts that focused on Vicious and Emilia, almost a bit more than what was happening between Dean and Rosie.  I really, REALLY would love a novella or an entire other book that focused on Vicious and Emilia again. Their relationship is just so dynamic and addictive!

I LOVE all the characters in this book!  Although Dean is not my favorite HotHole, Rosie is one of my favorite leading ladies within these books.  She is sassy, independent and does not allow the circumstances that are out of her control to determine her happiness.  I do really like Dean, but compared to the other HotHoles, he seems like the least complex of them.  He is still extremely lovable, charismatic and full of funny one-liners.  Of course I loved all of the other characters within this series and can't wait to see how each relationship and character will develop as these books continue to be released.

I really enjoyed the romance in this book.  The situation that Dean and Rosie were in while in high school could have come off as annoying and un-plausible, but L.J. Shen pulled it off and made me feel sympathy and heartache for what these characters had to go through.  I loved how Dean did not treat Rosie like she was about to break.  He allowed her to live and thrive which was exactly what she needed to be happy.  

I am ADDICTED to these books and am already planning when my next re-read will be.  I am anxiously awaiting for the next book to be release and am REALLY hoping we get more books about these characters.  I can't wait to read more from L.J. Shen and have already purchased some of her early books to devour when I need my next fix.  I HIGHLY recommend these books!

{Rating}


"And it was a crying shame that chemistry was an unexplainable string that pulled and bound two people together.  Because that was how I felt at that moment.  Chained.  The way he looked at me, like I was the center of the world, bothered me.  Flattered me.  Possessed me."

Also check out the other books in the Sinners of Saint series below!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

{Book Blitz} Trust by Kylie Scott








 

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.


After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.


While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.


An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.


Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.










kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/



Sunday, July 16, 2017

{Book Review} Trust by Kylie Scott



Trust by Kylie Scott
Published: July 18th, 2017
Series: Standalone
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers. While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

{Review}
I was a little hesitant when going into this book because YA contemporary romance is usually hit or miss for me, but I am SO glad that I gave this one a shot.  This book was full of depth, emotion, understanding and forgiveness.  It pulled at my heartstrings and made me fall in love with the characters.  I would say that this read leans more towards mature YA because of the themes and events that take place. 

This is my first book by Kylie Scott, but I have heard amazing things about her previous works and now I know why.  I loved that this book started off with a bang, gripping my attention from the first page and holding it throughout the entire story.  The scenarios that these characters had to endure were full of raw and gritty emotion.  It felt very real and honest without any unnecessary added drama.  I was very happy with how this story played out, but I loved it so much, I wish that there would have been more!

The themes in this book really hit home for me.  I have read many coming of age stories, but I really related to the main character, Edie, and the struggles she had to endure.  Insecurities about weight, bullying, accepting oneself, finding loyal friends, and navigating high school social circles are all issues that I think will resonate with readers.  However, Edie experiences a traumatic event that has left her with crippling guilt and fear that she must also overcome while navigating her high school years.  I was very happy that the story was told in her POV because she was the perfect YA female protagonist. 

I also LOVED John and how misunderstood his character was!  His struggle with not being judged by his past and wanting to try to change the direction of his future was very enduring.  He was very mature for his age and did not blame other people for their opinions of him.  He knew that it would take hard work to prove that he was changing and he was willing to put in the effort to show it.  I think this is the first time that I have ever said this, but I was glad that none of the chapters were in John’s POV.  Not because I would not have LOVED them, but I thought that keeping his feelings and motives mysterious added a special element to this story that kept me turning the pages!

I L-O-V-E-D the romance in this book!  It was slow burning, authentic and full of heart.  Edie and John’s relationship began as friendship and then evolved into something more.  The connection that these two characters shared was beautiful.  They were bonded over a traumatic event that no one else could understand and helped each other forgive and understand the experiences they had to endure. 

I really LOVED this book!  I enjoyed every aspect….the writing, plot, characters and romance were all perfect.  It pulled at my heartstrings and made me feel nostalgic about my high school years.  I am very excited to pick up more books by Kylie Scott and can’t wait to enjoy more of her reads!

{Rating}


“I knew what mattered now.  What was life and death.  Everything else was just bulls*it everyday details.”

Also check out the other books written by Kylie Scott below!
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