The Names They Gave Us – Emery Lord

Blurb

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?


Stats

Page Length: 400
Publication Year: 2017
Genre:  young adult
Characters: Lucy, Henry


I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review

Thoughts

I think it’s important to point out that I’m not religious in any shape or form, I get why people believe but it’s not for me. So I went into this book pretty open minded.

Story/ Characters

This story at its core is about how someone’s faith in god is tested when the tough times happen. I found Lucy’s portrayal of this to be very well done and although I don’t believe in god I do understand what’s like to be let down by something you have had faith in your whole life.

This book to be very emotionally charged, Lucy’s utter despair at the thought of losing her mother to cancer is so heart-breaking. The subject of adoption is also a major theme is this book. There was one chapter that particularly got to me and that was a story about Posey and the Dreaming Tree.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Lucy and Henry, I thought it was written in a sweet way.

Each kiss a phrase exchange between us: There you are. There you are. I wasn’t even looking for him, so why do I feel found?

Unfortunately, as much as I liked most of this book I felt that the ending let it down big time. Nothing was really resolved, and I felt this made the story feel unfinished.

Favorite Quote:

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Conclusion:

Even though the ended did annoy me slightly I would recommend this book because for some reason after reading I felt incredibly grateful.

If you life your YA emotionally charged that you’ll enjoy this book.

My Rating:  3/5

The Names They Gave Us is out on the 16th May! Pre-order your copy here:

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Indie Bound

When It’s Real – Erin Watt

Blurb

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?


Stats

Page Length: 416
Publication Year: 2017
Genre:  Young Adult, Romance
Characters: Vaughn and Oakley


I received an ARC of this book from NetGally in exchange for an honest review.

Thoughts

My first thought when finishing this book was – wow this was so much better than Paper Princess/ That’s not to say that I didn’t like PP, I just wasn’t overly fussed about all the drama etc.

Story

I really enjoyed this story. It’s told in the first person from both Vaughn’s and Oakley’s perspectives.

Oakley is your typical spoilt pop star whose management is trying to change his image to make it look as though he is growing up. Enter Vaughn who is just a regular girl who’s parents died leaving her and her older sister to take on the responsibility of raising her twin brothers.  Oakley’s team decide that the best way to make it seem that he is growing up to fake a relationship with a normal girl.

What starts out as just a job suddenly becomes much more and the lines between what is real and what isn’t start to blur.

Characters

I think having the dual perspectives in this book was really helpful. Had this not been the case liking Oakley would have been nigh on impossible because in the beginning of the book he is a total jerk. But like all young men who have fame at a young, he is just deeply unhappy, lonely and spoilt and this really shows at his early meetings with Vaughn because he just can’t seem to wrap his head around why she wouldn’t want to hang around with him. I did like his back story as well. The way he was brought up and his relationship with his Dad was quite sad so it was nice to see him building bridges with his mother. I thought his character development was very good, he went from being an arrogant ass to more laid back and it was really great to see.

Vaughn – I really enjoyed the innocence of her character. In the beginning, she is still with her first boyfriend who she thinks she’s in love with (but really isn’t) which becomes more evident when they eventually break up. I loved that she took on everything that came with Oakley the good and the bad and that she just like him for him. Her back story really gave her character depth and explained why she had just settled with being with W (the ex BF) for long. I also loved her confidence with herself. She wore what she wanted and didn’t feel the need to change her look to be with Oakley, in fact, she insisted that her look stay the same.

Favorite Quote:

When Its Real.png

Conclusion:

I loved this book. I really did for me it’s the perfect example of why I love YA so much. If you enjoy stories when the rich famous guy falls for the normal everyday girl. Then this is for you.

My Rating:  5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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It Started with Goodbye – Christina June

Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.


STATS

Page Length:305
Publication Year: 2017
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Characters: Tatum, Ashlyn, Tilly, Abby


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

Story

This book is loosely based on Cinderella. It’s written from Tatum’s POV in the first person. It’s set over the course of one summer. The main theme of the books is growing up and taking responsibility for the choices you make. I really felt the author captured this well. In the beginning, Tate is smarting from being blamed for something she didn’t do. However, it was her decisions that lead her to be at the wrong time and place which is what she is being punished for. At this point, she doesn’t understand this and feels she is being unfairly treated.

But with a little insight from her step-grandmother (this stories Fairy God Mother) and some self-reflection Tate begins to understand that her perception and understanding of things and the people around her are not what she first thought.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It had a lot more depth to it than the synopsis lets on. I really enjoyed Tatum’s journey and personal growth. I really enjoyed all the little references to Cinderella practically Gus the CAT!

Characters

I really enjoyed Tate, she was just enough angsty that it wasn’t annoying. I like that she made good with her step-sister and step-mom in the end and that she was able to let go of her anger towards her best friend and forgive her for making a mistake. I think this showed a lot of maturity on her part as most 16-year-olds can be very unforgiving

Tilly was a real surprise, once she and Tate started talking it was a joy to read. I really liked her character and would have liked to have read more about her.

Ashlyn, at the beginning I felt was a tad childish for not talking to Tatum, but this was just out of embarrassment for her actions and for getting Tate into trouble.

Conclusion

I really liked this book it’s the first one I’ve read by Christina June. It was a really fresh take on the Cinderella story. I’ve just done a little bit of research and discovered a book from Tilly’s perspective which will be inspired by Little Red Riding Hood is being released next year – needless to say, I’ve added this to my TBR pile!

So in summary, If you like Meg Cabot’s writing then you’ll probably like this. Also if you enjoy fairy-tale retellings then you’ll like this one.

My Rating:  4/5  🌟🌟🌟🌟

It Started with Goodbye is out May 9th, 2017 you can pre-order your copy here

Holiday in the Hamptons – Sarah Morgan

Blurb: 

The perfect summer escape…?

Professional dog-walker Felicity Knight loves everything about New York…until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. She hasn’t seen Seth Carlyle in ten years, but one glimpse of him – too gorgeous, and still too good for her – and Fliss’s heart hurts like their whirlwind marriage ended yesterday. So when her grandmother in The Hamptons needs help for the summer, it seems the perfect way to escape her past…

Their relationship might only have lasted a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss – if she’s run away to The Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer! With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see that he’s never stopped loving her…


STATS

Page Length: 384
Publication Year: 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Characters: Fliss, Harriet, and Seth


I received an advance copy of this through NetGallley in exchange for my review.

Professional Reader

Story

I felt this story was very well written, however it was a bit slow going in the beginning. I really liked the storyline, it’s definitely a bit different to what I’ve read recently. I thought the attention to detail was really excellent, the descriptions of the beach and surroundings were really good. I had no trouble in picturing what I was reading.

I felt that Sarah Morgan really nailed what it was like to grow up in an emotionally abusive home. The damage this did to Fliss was very accurately portrayed, I think any adult who witnessed this and experienced this as a child (myself included) will relate to some if not all of what Fliss felt.

Characters 

Fliss is such a complex character, in the beginning, I did get a little frustrated with her, her opinion of herself but as I learned more about her upbringing how her father treated her it all came together and made sense.

Seth is your typical good guy who made mistakes in his past and is now working towards fixing them. I liked how patient and understanding he was about how Fliss was feeling for the most part.

Harriet, who is Fliss’s identical twin. To begin with its plays out as if she is the complete opposite of Fliss, and this is somewhat true but here is a passage towards the end where you see she has the same feisty and protective streak that Fliss, she just hides it well.

Conclusion

To conclude I did enjoy this book. I felt it was a little drawn out with in the beginning but overall it was a good read. My Rating 3/5.


This book is due for release on 15th June 2017, Pre-order here.