[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  🌟🌟🌟🌟

BE Q2.png


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.

 

Advertisements

[Blog Tour] Book Review: The Rules of Rebellion by Amity Hope

Synopsis

1. Skinny dip (her idea)
2. Stargaze (his idea)
3. Prank someone (her idea)
4. Go on a date (his idea)

Leo Zimmerman has had a crush on his curvy friend Kylie Jenkins since forever, so when he discovers the girl with a flair for candy making has a newfound plan to rebel against her overbearing parents, he’s determined to be the one to help her carry it out. Who better than himself to show her the ropes of letting loose?

Sure, taking her to her first high school party, helping her sneak out of the house, or watching a sunset together isn’t exactly a hardship, but much harder is masking his feelings the more time they spend together. And when he suggests adding “a first date” to Kylie’s plan and she accepts…suddenly all his dreams seem to be coming true.

But Leo’s got a secret that could change everything between them, and it’s only a matter of time before it comes to the surface.


Cover

TRoR_500

 


Excerpt from The Rules of Rebellion:

Her dimples popped into place, her smile so bright it about knocked me senseless. She bounced a bit on her tiptoes, and for one hopeful second, I thought she’d maybe hug me. Unfortunately, she reined in her enthusiasm.

“That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me,” she said. “I’ve got to run. My sister is probably pacing in front of my car by now. See you later.”

She scurried off, and I was disappointed the conversation had ended so quickly. I didn’t mind watching her walk away, though. I loved how the girl filled out a pair of jeans. She had more bounce in her step than most of the cheerleaders. Kylie was just plain…perky. She always seemed to be happy and smiling. I’d suspected Kylie was one of those rare people who was always fun to be around. Spending time with her these past few months had proven I wasn’t wrong.

She finally rounded the corner, slipping from my view. As I twisted back around, something crinkled beneath my foot. On the floor, directly where we’d been talking, was a pink slip of paper. It looked suspiciously similar to the one that had been sticking out of Kylie’s notebook earlier today.

I swiped it off the floor as I cast another glance down the hallway. It was too late to call after her. I’d have to give it back to her later. I reflexively glanced at the page, assuming it was a recipe, but wanting to be sure it wasn’t something important. Something she might need immediately.

Senior Checklist.

I glanced down the hallway again, confirming that she was out of sight and that she hadn’t realized she dropped the paper and was coming back. The hallway was clearing out, most of us anxious to get out of here at the end of the day.

With no sign of Kylie, I leaned against my locker and glanced at the sheet in my hand again. I was expecting to see items like Choose date and time for graduation party. Or Tour college campus.

I did not expect to see the items that were actually listed.

Senior Checklist

  1. Skinny dip (sort of)
  2. Sneak out (but don’t get caught)
  3. Prank someone (nothing destructive)
  4. Go to a party (no drinking)
  5. Kiss a boy (finally!)
  6. Watch a sunset (so romantic)

If I’d had any idea her list was going to be so private, I wouldn’t have read it. But once I’d seen it, I couldn’t exactly un-see it.

So I read it again.


Quick stats

Page Length: 320
Publication Year: 2018
Characters: Kylie and Lee


Review

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

This is the first YA book I’ve read in ages and I have to say from the off that I really enjoyed it. The story centers around Leo and Kylie who have been friends for awhile. Leo has been harboring a crush on Kylie for years and finally sees a chance to get close to her when he discovers a list of things Kylie wants to do before the end of senior year.

I liked both our main characters, and I connected to Kylie really easily, she reminded me a lot of what I was like as a teenager, very bookish and not one to break the rules. I thought Leo was endearing, the secret that he is keeping from Kylie is a biggie and I completely understand his hesitation to tell her.

The story itself is very well written and it flowed really nicely. The pacing of the Kylie and Leo becoming more than just friends was done just right. I thought both of their characters well developed and wholesome. I would like to read books from Kylie’s sister’s perspectives as I think their stories would be really interesting to read.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it’s definitely a must read if you enjoy friends to lovers type stories.

My Rating 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟


About Amity Hope

Amity lives in beautiful northern Minnesota with her two sons, two cats and their Rottweiler.

She has a degree in elementary education and worked in that field for ten years before deciding to self-publish.

Her first self-published novel, Twisted, was listed by Amazon as a Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Book of 2012. It hit Amazon’s Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Romance Best Sellers List in several countries. Truths and Dares held the #1 position on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Romance eBooks in the UK.

If she’s not writing or spending time with her boys, she’s most likely reading.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads 

 


$25 Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb554951243/ 

EntCrush-01478-webbanner-ad1-STATIC(851x315)

 

I Never – Laura Hopper

*NB: Before I get into this review I just wanted to let you know that this will be my new simplified reviewing format.*

Synopsis

“Janey King’s priorities used to be clear: track, school, friends, and family. But when seventeen-year-old Janey learns that her seemingly happy parents are getting divorced, her world starts to shift. Back at school, Luke Hallstrom, an adorable senior, pursues Janey, and she realizes that she has two new priorities to consider: love and sex.

Inspired by Judy Blume’s classic ForeverI Never features a perfect, delicious, almost-to-good-to-be-true high school relationship . . . and it doesn’t shy away from the details. Destined to be passed from teen to teen, this is a young adult debut that will get readers talking”


More Details

Genre:  Young Adult
Page Length: 288
Characters:  Janey, Luke
Publication Year: 7th November 2017
Format: E-ARC


Review

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

So I was really intrigued when I read the synopsis of this book I thought it looked like it would be a good read, however, I did end up being disappointed. This was largely due to Janey. Her emotional intelligence was for the most part non-existent. It wasn’t until the very end that she acknowledged that her parents had feelings and needs which I thought for someone who is 17 was a bit stunted.

Spoilers coming up! 

Continue reading “I Never – Laura Hopper”

As You Wish – Chelsea Sedoti

Blurb

As You Wish

What if you could ask for anything- and get it? 

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.


Stats

Page Length: 432
Publication Year:
2nd January 2018
Genre:  Young Adult/Fantasy
Characters: Eldon


Thoughts

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

Story/ Characters

This story took me by surprise, there is a lot more to it than wishing. This is a story about growing up. It was a little slow going in the beginning and I wasn’t certain where the story was going to go, but then halfway through it got good.

This story is told in the first person, entirely from Eldon’s perspective. The writing was really clear and easy to follow. The descriptions of the scenery and what it was like living in a desert town were really well done. It was really easy to build a picture in my mind about Eldon’s surroundings.

I really liked Eldon’s character, his conflicting feelings about deciding on his wish was an interesting read, but what made him human for me was his grief. This I felt was the underlying theme of this story and is what motivates him throughout the story.

I really enjoyed the wishing stories that were scattered throughout, these were little stories of what other people in the town wished for which I thought was fascinating.

The only negative I can think of is that I did work out what Eldon’s wish was going to be before he did but this didn’t really hinder my enjoyment.

Favorite Quote:

“Anyone who says grief fades over time is a fucking liar. It never goes away. It just gets better at hiding. You never know when it’s going to spring out of the shadows and sucker punch you in the gut”

Conclusion:

This was an entertaining read, I really enjoyed it. It was a bit different to what I’ve been reading recently and would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys YA.

My Rating: 3/5 🌟 🌟 🌟purpleaddit1lp

 

 


About the Author

13990575

Chelsea Sedoti fell in love with writing at a young age after discovering that making up stories was more fun than doing her school work (her teachers didn’t always appreciate this.) In an effort to avoid getting a “real” job, Chelsea explored careers as a balloon twister, filmmaker, and paranormal investigator. Eventually, she realized that her true passion is writing about flawed teenagers who are also afraid of growing up. When she’s not at the computer, Chelsea spends her time exploring abandoned buildings, eating junk food at roadside diners, and trying to befriend every animal in the world. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she avoids casinos, but loves roaming the Mojave Desert.


Pre – order your copy here

Editing Emma – Chloe Seager

Blurb

When sixteen-year-old Emma Nash is ‘ghosted’ by the love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any normal teenage girl would do…
Emma spends the summer lurking in her bedroom, avoiding all human contact (and the shower), surrounded by the collection of chewit wrappers she saved from packs Leon gave her, back when he actually acknowledged her existence…

But seeing Leon suddenly ‘In a relationship’ on Facebook with the perfect Anna, spurs Emma into action and she embarks on a mission to make positive changes to her life (or ‘edits,’ if you will) and vows to use the internet for more than obsessively stalking Leon’s activities! Instead, she will use it for good and noble causes like finding someone who will actually be nice to her, and recording her findings for the rest of the world to see (i.e. BFF Steph and her mum) on her new Editing Emma blog.

But Emma soon discovers her ‘habit’ is harder to break than she first thought – turns out she’s not the only one ‘editing’ herself online (thank you Tinder for finding her mum’s profile, age 35, really?) and that life through an Instagram filter isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. But it could be worse, she could have outed her best friend, accidentally chatted up a 12 year old boy and revealed to the world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s time or virginity… oh no wait, that’s exactly what happened…


Stats

Page Length: 368
Publication Year: 
August 2017
Genre: 
Young Adult
Characters:  Emma, Leon


Thoughts

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

Story/ Characters

The gist of this story is that Emma gets ghosted by her boyfriend and because of this decides to find another boy by using the internet.

I did not enjoy this book, which was disappointing as the blurb really appealed to me. There was wayyy to much angst for my liking! I think this book would be very relatable if I were a 16-year-old girl but an adult it just annoyed the hell out of me.

Emma’s maturity levels were very low and her character progression was like non – existent, it wasn’t until the last few chapters that this “appeared” and even then is so small that it may as well have not been included.

Emma’s Character was I hate to say, was boring. I didn’t connect with her at all, but again this can be attributed to the fact I’m not a 16 year old and I could see from the start of the book that what Emma was trying to achieve would never happen.

I have read books with younger characters that had better self-respect from themselves so the fact that Emma repeatedly let Leon treat her like shit baffled me to no end.

Conclusion:

I read this book in just over a day, purely just to get it finished. This is defiantly one of those YA books where you either have to be a teenager to actually enjoy it or you have to really enjoy teenage angst/drama

My Rating:  1/5 🌟


About the Author

Chloe-Seager-Author-Pic

Chloe Seager grew up in East London with her mum and much-loved cat, Katie. She studied English Literature and Drama at the University of East Anglia, where she sadly realised she couldn’t act, but did rediscover her love of children’s books.

Children’s Literature was one of her favourite modules, and it made her wonder why grown-ups ever stopped reading them. She now works with YA and kids’ books full-time. Chloe lives back in East London with her boyfriend and pet fish. Her debut novel Editing Emma is one of the first titles to be acquired for new imprint HQ YA and will publish on August 10th  2017.

Pre – order your copy here 

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index – Julie Israel

Blurb

It’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can’t let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected places, and as she connects with those whose secrets she upturns in the effort, she may just find the means to make peace with her own.

This is a smart, funny, poignant book guaranteed to make you laugh and cry – and maybe even take notes.


Stats

Page Length: 320
Publication Year:
2017
Genre: 
Young Adult
Characters:  Juniper, Brand, Kody, Nate and Angela


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

Story/Characters

First and foremost this story is about grief. It’s about how Juniper has to go on following the death of her sister Camilla. I really enjoyed how this story played out. I initially thought this might be quite heavy but by the end of the book, I felt uplifted.

Junipers journey was difficult I felt her character to be very realistic. I liked that we not only got see how it was affecting her but also how her parents were dealing with it. I also appreciated that this wasn’t a rushed process. The Story takes place over the course of about 10 months to a year. Which means we got to see just how far Juniper come:

“They say grief comes in stages: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. And lastly, if you follow that model, Acceptance. This has not been my experience at all. Yes, there have been episodes, even periods of each, but the “stages” don’t present themselves in any order. They are not chronological like the days of the week; they cannot be quantified and arranged like teaspoons from smallest to largest. For me it’s been more like cards, a trick game Camie used to play when we were little: Smoke or Fire. In it, the “dealer” holds up a deck at an unsuspecting player and tells them to call out the suit of each card they display, “smoke” for black and “fire” for red—except, on the first “fire,” the dealer launches the deck at them. Grief is like that: One minute you think you know the rules and it’s one card, one emotion at a time; the next, the deck explodes all around you. Boom.”

I really liked this quote because it’s so true, grief is different for everyone and it was good to see this portrayed and important too, especially because this is a young adult book. And I also thought it was good that Junipers experience didn’t follow any sort of pattern, her grief wasn’t linear. Some days were good and some not so good. I felt this gave her character a lot of depth and realism.

I liked how she used to index cards to mark the positives and negatives of her day and in a way they are her coping mechanism.

I really enjoyed her relationship with Brand, I thought his back story was sad too. In-fact all of the characters in this story had very real life problems. Kody was the fat girl who lost weight but was still bullied, Angela is the bookish quiet one that loves her books but is keeps to herself and Nate… I thought his placement in the story was very cleverly done and that’s all I’m saying about him because I don’t want to give too much away.

Favorite Quote:

“We roll on our backs toward the star-filled sky, I do not see the diamonds, the glittering shards that have shone there for billions of years, but the blue-black canopy between them. I see it and think of my watercolors, of carving Bristol from linoleum, of Polaris—with a twang, of Camie’s hand in them all, of the thousand ways she’ll never see her touch unfold—and somehow recognize it is this very darkness, the cutouts, the envelope of holes that makes the stars so sharp and beautiful. All that absence isn’t negative space. It’s the gum that holds the universe together.”

Conclusion:

I enjoyed this story a lot more than I thought I would. This is Julie Israel’s first book and for a debut novel, I thought it was excellent. If you enjoy YA than then this should be on your tbr list!

My Rating:  4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟