[Book Review] Brave Enough by Kati Gardner

Synopsis

Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory’s artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason’s life. But that’s about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it’s much worse than anyone imagines.

Davis Channing understands all too well what it’s like to give up control of your life. He’s survived cancer, but his drug addiction nearly killed him. Now he’s been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital. But just when he thinks he’s got it together, Davis’s ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life.

Cason and Davis are not friends. But, as their worlds collide, they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds?


Quick Stats

Publication Year: Aug 2018
Page Length:  280
Characters: Carson, Davis


Review

*I recieved an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Carson has big dreams of becoming a famous ballerina, her whole life is dance, but a secret injury turns out to be something much worse and shatters everything. Davis is a cancer survivor and a recovering addict who is battling to stay sober. The big question? Are Carson and Davis brave enough to overcome the tough battles they are facing…

I really enjoyed this story, it covers two emotive topics cancer and addiction. As a YA novel, I thought it was really well done. I particularly liked how even though Carson and Davis are linked, each of their stories is separate and what they have to overcome is different.

I liked how even though there is some attraction and a little romance between Carson and Davis, it’s written in a way that it doesn’t overshadow the main theme of the story, there’s no insta love falsity to it, it just flows nicely in the background. I have to say that given how heavy the subject of this book is I didn’t feel depressed or come away feeling sad whilst reading it, it’s hard to put it in words but I just felt so in awe of how brave these characters are.

I don’t normally mention author notes but I found the one at the end of this book incredibly touching and it made this book a bit more special:

“When I was a teenager and reading every book I could get my hands on, I was desperate for a girl that looked like me. For a girl who had cancer and lived. And it was really hard to come by. So, I wrote one.”

My Rating 4/5  🌟🌟🌟🌟

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About the Author

17012052Kati is a recovering actor who has spent the last few years keeping tiny humans alive. In high school she was determined to play a doctor on General Hospital and possibly add in a love story with Jonathan Jackson. She would spend hours toiling away on FanFiction for my AOL community and dreaming of the day she would accept a Daytime Emmy Award. In college she majored in Theater arts and spent lots of time hanging out in the box office.

Before any of that happened though, Kati had cancer. She was eight. She responded to chemotherapy and had an amputation of her entire left leg. She still advocates for childhood cancer research and accessibility for all individual with disabilities.

Kati is married, has two great girls, and a posse of furry friends. She doesn’t watch General Hospital anymore, but still thinks that Lucky Spencer is one of the most dynamic characters ever written.

 

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[Book Review] Our Unscripted Story – L.A. Fiore

Synopsis

Greyson Ratcliffe. I met him at sixteen, the hot new guy sitting on my jetty, an aspiring artist just passing through. He was my first kiss and my first love. I wanted forever with him. I didn’t even get a year.

Five years later, I’m a budding writer who scripts stories of love and struggle, the good and the bad and the ups and the downs. He’s a star on the rise; his wicked talent and crazy good looks have his face plastered on countless magazines. We move in two different worlds and still our paths cross again. We’re older and wiser and as crazy about each other as we had been as teenagers.

My medium is words and my imagination is limitless, but not even I could have written the incredible journey we traveled to our happily-ever-after. Life isn’t like fiction, and the greatest love stories don’t follow a script.


Quick Stats

Page Length: 348
Publication Year: 29th March 2018
Characters: Alexis and Greyson


Review

*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Alexis and Greyson meet as teenagers and fall head over heels in love, only to be ripped apart after a few months of being together. 5 years later their paths cross again and with it a chance to reconnect.

This story didn’t go the way I expected it to at all. I was thinking this was going to be a light-hearted romantic read about high school sweethearts who get a second chance at love, which it was to a degree but it was a nice surprise that there was so much more to the story.

This book is told in the alternate perspectives of Greyson and Alexis. Sometimes swapping back and forth multiple times during each chapter, which meant you always had some idea about what each person was thinking. Both characters were well developed and had interesting backgrounds which gave them lots of depth.

I really enjoyed the ups and down that Alexis and Greyson went through, it wasn’t all plain sailing for them but their determination to stay together no matter what was really admirable.

The only slightly negative was that for most of the story Greyson came across as the perfect guy but this resolved towards the end when some of his more negative traits came to light, so it wasn’t really that much of an issue.

Overall I really liked this story and I would recommend.

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My Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

[Book Review] Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Synopsis

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.


Quick Stats

Page Length: 340
Publication Date: April 5th 2018 by Ink Road
(first published September 26th 2017)
Characters: Kiko, Jamie


Review

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story totally blew me away. I have to say that I was mainly drawn to this book because of how gorgeous the cover is, so I didn’t have any preconceived notions about the story.

Kiko is half Japanese and lives with her 2 brothers and her Mother. Kiko has never felt like she fits in and her mother reinforces this by making her feel like she is not enough. Kiko dreams of going to Prism an art school in New York but when she doesn’t get accepted she embarks on a trip to California with a childhood friend to check out art schools on the West Coast.

This book really sick you in, I felt a certain kinship with Kiko, she is not a people person and finds social situations to be uncomfortably awkward. What this book is really about is accepting yourself and for Kiko this is the biggest challenge that she faces. Her mother constantly puts her down and in general her behavior towards Kiko is abhorrent, she totally disregards Kiko’s Japanese heritage and makes her feel that the only way you can be beautiful is if you are runway model perfect.

When Kiko leaves home for California and gets away from her mother she is finally able to find start seeing that beauty comes in many forms and starts to accept herself. She get’s’ to explore her Asian side and finds a place where she doesn’t feel like an outcast.

Readin this book brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion, it touches on subjects that lots of people go through and I feel like Kiko’s character is very relatable. Her journey of self-discovery and acceptance is bittersweet that has lots ups and downs but I loved every single page.

“I don’t have to be white to be beautiful, just like I don’t have to be Asian to be beautiful. Because beauty doesn’t come in one mold.”

This truly a great read, that I would recommend you read because if you don’t you’ll be missing out.

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My Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


About the Author

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Akemi Dawn Bowman is the author of Starfish (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster) and Summer Bird Blue (Fall 2018). She’s a proud Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast, who served in the US Navy for five years and has a BA in social sciences from UNLV. Originally from Las Vegas, she currently lives in England with her husband, two children, and their Pekingese mix. She is represented by Penny Moore of Empire Literary.

www.akemidawnbowman.com.


Starfish is out on the 5th April 2018 pre-order your copy HERE!

Add it onGoodReads.

 

[Book Review] Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt

Synopsis

These Royals will ruin you.

Ever since Hartley Wright met Easton Royal, her life hasn’t been the same. There are enemies behind every corner and dangers beyond each door. When tragedy strikes and steals her memories, she can’t trust anyone, not even the blue-eyed boy who promises her that everything will be all right.

Because while Hartley’s memory is full of gaps, her instincts tell her Easton is dangerous. She doesn’t know if he’s the snake in the garden or her chance at salvation. The chaos he brings wherever he goes is too much to handle, the intense feelings he evokes are too confusing to unravel.

Easton wants her to remember. Hartley thinks it’s better to forget.

She might be right.

Tragedy. Treachery. Trust. Hartley has to face the facts—in this world, you can’t escape the Royals.

Either you live by their rules or you die by them.


Quick Stats

Page Length: 305
Publication Date: 2018
Characters: Eastern, Hartley


Review

This is the much anticipated follow up to Fallen Heir.  The major cliffhanger at the end of Fallen Heir air made the wait for this feel like forever. I was so excited to read this story.

The book picks right almost right after where the last one left off. While at the hospital waiting for news about Seb after the crash, Hartley is involved in another accident and as a result of this loses the last few years of her memory. She has no idea who to trust and doesn’t even remember why Eastern is giving her the time of day.

The first half of the is the book is intense, between not know if Seb is going to pull through and Hartley having not much of a clue about what is going on but its the second half of the story that really gets interesting. I don’t want to give too much away but its everything you would come to expect from a Royals book – I loved it!

Finally the ending – it was perfectly beautiful and a great way to finish the series off although I am hoping they will write a book from the Twins Pov because I’ve always thought they were the most interesting of the lot.

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My Rating 4/5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

[Book Review] The Prophecy by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis

History is on repeat…

Seth never thought he’d have a future. But now he’s on the brink of having it all with Josie: A tomorrow. A family. A forever. And all that’s standing between him and that forever is the Titans. If he helps Josie entomb them — without killing them, a nearly impossible task for him — everything he could ever want will be in reach. But he soon realizes that as a god, every little choice he makes can reshape the world for the better… or worse. And in meddling with the Titans, Seth may have just set into motion catastrophic consequences that will force the Olympians to enter the mortal realm and reshape the delicate balance of power that keeps the world from total collapse.

A price must be paid…

Entombing the Titans is Josie’s top priority. After all, it was what she was born to do. But the plans her father put into play to help her are no longer an option, and the odds she and Seth face in forging their own path are grim. The escalating violence between halfs and pures only increases the danger closing in on them and their friends. Josie knows their chances of succeeding in their task are slim at best — and if they fail, they might lose everything. But she also knows she’s not fighting just for herself — she’s fighting for the man she loves, for their future, for the world. Together with the Army of Awesome, Josie and Seth will face the unthinkable. And to win this war, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

For the end is here and the Prophecy will be fulfilled….


Quick Stats

Page Length: 
Publication Year: March 8th 2018
Characters: Josie Bethel, Seth Diodoros


Review

I still can’t believe this but I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!!

Seth almost has it all, but the Titans are still on the lose entombing them and finding the last demigod is everyone’s top priority. With time and options running out Seth must make a sacrifice that no one sees’s coming.

Ok, I was not prepared at all for the rollercoaster of emotions that this story made me feel. I’ve been waiting almost a year to read this book and it had everything and more that  I wanted.

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Seth and Josie are so perfect for one another, I loved how protective and loving Seth was of her and their unborn child, he has grown so much over the course of this series and it this book really rounded his character off in such a beautiful way. Seth really has come full circle and reading his journey has been such a ride! I liked how Josie never gave up on Seth, her belief in him never wavered and she reinforced his self-worth every time he doubted himself. They are total #RelationshipGoals!

The story itself has everything you would come to expect from the genius that is Jennifer L. Armentrout, humor, drama, smoking hot sexiness and sooo many feels! JLA has crafted the perfect ending to this amazing series.

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My Rating: 5/5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟


The Prophecy is out on the 20th March 2018, pre order you copy here:

[Book Review] That Sexy Stranger – Nadia Lee

Synopsis

The Romans had carpe diem; I have carpe David.

You know what’s frustrating about the love of my life? He thinks he’s in love with someone else…and has been dating her for five years! I know, right?

Then they suddenly break up. And he and I are on the same business trip. My chance to convince him we’re meant to be!

Except when I go to his suite in my sexiest lingerie and with my sexiest toys, David’s gone. Instead, there’s some guy who thinks I’m the evening’s professional entertainment.

As if!

Walking out of the room should’ve been the end of it…

…until that man, Luke, shows up again, ostensibly to return something I left behind. (A sex toy…a very very dirty one…)

…and refuses to go away because we apparently have “chemistry.” And okay, he’s admittedly hot, but there’s more to a relationship than chemistry, right…?

What have I done to deserve this?


Quick Stats

Page Length: 320
Publication Year: 2018
Characters: Sammie and Luke.


Review

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When David breaks up with his long-term girlfriend, it’s the moment Sammie has been waiting for. Sammie decides to surprise David on a business trip by waiting in his hotel room in just lingerie – only its, not David that turns up, its a random guy who thinks Sammie is that evening’s entertainment. Cue Sammie fleeing the scene and hoping like hell to not run into Luke again, except Luke has other ideas.

I really enjoyed That Man Next Door so I was really excited to read this book I was not disappointed. I thought the story was really good. I found myself laughing a lot throughout, there were so many funny moments, particularly the parts involving sex toys in the workplace!

I liked both Sammie and Luke. I thought Sammie was relatable in that like so many of us sometimes do, she has been going after something that she thought she wanted but when she was really honest with herself she realized that she wanted something entirely different. Luke was really lovely I just wish this book had been duel POV’s because I would really have liked to read things from his perspective and see what was going on is his mind.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

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My Rating 4/5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟


That Sexy Stranger is released on 30th January pre-order here: 

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[Book Review] The Beau & The Belle by R.S. Grey

Synopsis

Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.

I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.

That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.

A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.

Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.

Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.

My old friend, Mr. Fortier.

But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.

When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.

Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.


Quick Stats

Publication Year: 2018
Characters: Lauren and Beau.


Review

Lauren meets Beau as a teenager when he rents the small apartment attached to her parent’s property. Beau is older and nothing like the boys that Lauren usually spends time with and although their interactions are limited, Lauren can’t  help but be drawn to him, that’s until an unexpected event separates them.  Fast forward 10 years and they are reunited, only this time the rules have changed…

Firstly, huge thanks to R.S. Grey for providing me with an advanced copy of this book.

I absolutely adored this book! I literally got to the end of the this and was like nooooo! I need more story!

I really liked how the story was set out. The first few chapters take place in the past, so I got a nice little history of exactly how the two main characters met. I got to see Lauren go through that awkward teenage phase and how Beau had to put up boundaries and remain in control because of the age difference. Which really gave great depth to their feelings when the story switches back to the present day. I could really feel the longing that they had for another. I thought their chemistry was great and I loved that New Orleans was the setting for the story, its a place I’ve always wanted to visit and  RSG gave such great descriptions of everything that I felt like I was there.

I liked Lauren both as an adult and a teenager. I think that we can all relate to the awkwardness of teen Lauren – going after things we think we want, wanting to fit in, having lots of feelings and being terrified about what to do with the,. Adult Lauren is much more in control but still scared particularly when it comes to her feelings for Beau.

I loved Beau! His restraint when he first met Lauren made him very likable, although he did he did have feelings for her when they were younger he didn’t act on them because she was so young, and you don’t really realize the extent of them until they are together as adults and that’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to spoil it  – However I will say that I need read more of Beau Fortier.

To conclude this was a such an enjoyable read. R.S. Grey’s books just keep getting better and better! I really hope we get a sequel because I loved this story and the characters so much!!

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My Rating 5/5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟


About R.S. Grey

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R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com

Website | Twitter | Facebook | R.S. Grey’s Little Reds Facebook GroupNewsletter | Instagram 


Add THE BEAU & THE BELLE to your Goodreads list here!

[Book Review] Ryan’s Bed – Tijan

Synopsis

I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.

I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed—her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…

I didn’t.
I didn’t jump out.
I didn’t get embarrassed.
I relaxed.
And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.

I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.

The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.
He became my sanctuary.

Because—four hours earlier—my twin sister killed herself.


Quick Stats

Page Lenght: 250
Publication Date: 2018
Characters: Mackenzie, Ryan, and Willow


Review

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I usually start my reviews with a summary of the story, but for this one, I just need to tell you how it made me feel:

Stunned! I got to the last page and I couldn’t believe it. I just for like 5 minutes in an emotional stupor.

Mackenzie first sleeps in Ryan’s bed just hours after finding her twin sister Willow dead. Willow took her own life and now Mackenzie has to find a way to go on without her sister all the while carrying a secret only she know.s

This story is beautifully sad. Many times during reading this I had blink back tears and swallow the huge lump in my throat. I was not prepared. Mackenzie’s grief was heartbreaking and she goes through a number of coping strategies to deal with her sister’s grief, the most prominent being trying to not feel and ignore her grief.

I really liked her relationship with Ryan, it didn’t start out in the best way but they he couldn’t have been more perfect for, he got exactly what she was going through and was non-judgemental throughout the whole book.

This is a particularly difficult subject matter and I think Tijan did a brilliant job of approaching it, capturing that suicide doesn’t end with the person who takes their life, but lives on in the people they leave behind.

The last line will stay with me for a long time.

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My Rating: 5/5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  🌟

[Book Review] The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Synopsis

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


Quick Stats

Page Length: 384
Publication Year: 2018
Characters: Jude, Cardan, Lock, Vivi, and Taryn


Review

Wooza! This book was so good.

At the age of 7, Jude’s parents have murdered in front of her and then she and her sisters were then stolen away to High Court of Faerie. Years later Jude just wants to be one of them. To do this she wants a place in court but to do this must defy her nemesis, Carden.

I loved this story. Jude is a such a different character to what I normally come across, she has been brought up by the person who murdered her parents. This has had a profound effect on Jude, she has been in survival mode for the last 10 years doing anything she can to fit in and be part of Faerie. Despite being terrified 90%  of the time Jude is brave and strong and I really admired her courage.

Carden and his friends torment Jude on a daily basis, he is the definition of a jerk but some reason I found myself liking him. I can’t really explain why because he is a dick for the majority of the book.

The story itself is a whirlwind of twist and turns and betrayals at every corner. It kept me guessing until the very end. This is the first book by Holly Black that I have read but after this, it certainly won’t be the last.  Overall this was a really awesome story and if you love books about the fae then this is a must-read.

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My Rating 4/5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

[Book Review] Lullaby (The Sand Maiden Book 1) L.R.W. Lee

Synopsis

You’ve heard of the Sand Man. Meet his counterpart, the Sand Maiden.

Alissandra thrills to help her human charges make sense of thoughts that need refinement, problems that need solutions, worries that beg for action, and things they should or shouldn’t have said, as she weaves their dreams. She’s been doing it her entire immortal existence. But when the most powerful king in Dream realm sets his sights on her current charge, Prince Kovis Altairn, to exploit him in his quest to conquer Wake realm, Ali has no choice but to flee and pray the sovereign doesn’t hunt her down.

Prince Kovis Altairn, crown prince and the most powerful sorcerer in the Altairn Empire, knows nothing about Dream realm, let alone his sand maiden. So when Ali is discovered naked in his bedroom, how will she convince him of her intentions, as well as the danger?


Quick Stats

Page Length: 421
Publication Year: 2018
Characters: Ali, Kovis


Review

I received an advanced copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.

Ali Escapes from Dream Realm and her cruel father after she finds out he is going after her human charge in the hope to take over Wake Relm. Ali is thrust into in Wake Realm meets Kovis her starbeam, with his help she is hoping to stop her father’s plan.

I have put off writing this review for so long. I started this book initially back in the beginning of December. I got about 3 quarters of the way through and then stopped. I read a couple of other books before going back to it. I found it very difficult to get through.

There are a number of reasons why but the main issues are, I felt zero connection to the main character, Ali is underdeveloped in such a way that it was difficult to even like her. She comes across as having the emotional maturity of a 6-year-old. Her lack of self-confidence was frustrating because she stayed that way through the entire book, she barely grew as a person despite everything she accomplished.

The story touched on sexual assault but again this was not fully explored so it ended up giving the story a real ick factor in the way some of the characters behaved towards one another. Kovis is the main love interest and he is just so bland and dull, the term of endearment he uses for Ali felt condescending and made me cringe every time I read it.

Overall I was really disappointed by this book. I thought the concept was really good the execution was poor. I won’t be continuing with this series.

My Rating: 2/5 🌟