Backlog Review: Slammed – Colleen Hoover

Backlog Review: Slammed – Colleen HooverSlammed (Slammed, #1) by Colleen Hoover
Published by Simon & Schuster
on September 18th 2012
Format: eBook
Amazon, Goodreads

Layken's father died suddenly, leaving her to gather every ounce of strength to be a pillar for her family, in order to prevent their world from falling apart. Now her life is taking another unexpected turn...

Layken's mother gets a job which leads to an unwanted move across the country. However, a new home means new neighbours... and Layken's new neighbour is the very attractive Will Cooper.

Will has an intriguing passion for slam poetry, and a matching passion for life. The two feel an irresistible attraction but are rocked to the core when a shocking revelation brings their romance to a screeching halt. Layken and Will must find a way to fight the forces that threaten to tear them apart...or learn to live without each other.

Talk about a disappointment. I’m honestly bummed that Slammed turned out the way it did for me. When I first started it I was really into it. Loved the idea, was mildly shocked by some of the events that unfolded and really loved not only the dynamic between Layken and Will, but the family relationship between Layken, her mom and her little brother. But the further I read the more muddled I found the book becoming and the more my frustration went up. And by the end I was sadly happy I was done reading what was once so promising.

Slammed is about Layken, an 18 year old girl from Texas that is forced to move to Michigan with her mother and brother when her dad unexpectedly dies. Michigan is about the last place Lake wants to be, that is until she meets her neighbor from across the streets, Will Cooper.  Almost immediately sparks between the two begin to fly, but when something is brought to light that they never considered in their whirlwind of a romance, everything unravels as quickly as it started. Now forced to stay away from each other Layken not only has to deal with living in a new place after the loss of her father, but with all the other things that come with adulthood. And the fact that it sometimes isn’t so easy to live with either just your heart or your head leading you.

I guess what my problem was with Slammed was that it became a victim of what I like to call ‘everything and the kitchen sick syndrome’. At the start of the book, there was a really great foundation for a story about a girl finding her way in a new place after a tragedy struck. She was dealing with the unexpected and dealing with it the way any teenager would with her feelings and with some drama. That all worked for me. I liked how Layken was and I liked how Layken and Will’s relationship came about and split apart. But sadly the book didn’t stay on that track and the more is swayed away from that the harder it became for me to like it. As more and more things started to happen to up the drama, the more the story became almost a joke and that bummed me out really bad.

The frustrating thing about Slammed is that everything was right there to make this story strong and memorable and it just never ended up coming to fruition. It ended up being annoying and muddled for me in the end and that is a major downer. What started out strong really fizzled and splattered at the end creating a story that didn’t make me want to run out and read the next in the series. There was just too much involved making it seem over the top and not a solid story about life changes and growing up. I’ll be trying Colleen Hoover again, but I’m in no rush at the moment.

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Style Files – Flamingo Tank

About a month or two ago I was sent a link to a tank top and I can’t get the tank out of my head. I want it badly but I also can’t bring myself to pay $52 for a “trendy” item. I’ve been stalking it for months hoping it ends up on discount but so far no luck. When I was trying to come up with an idea for a blog post it hit me…style the tank I have been coveting. So here you go. Four ways I would love to wear the Junk Food Donald Roberston Flamingo Tank.

Flamingo 1
Flamingo 2
Flamingo 3

Flamingo 3 by andiabcs featuring a star tank top

Flamingo 4

I think I’m a fan of looks 1 and 2 the most.

What do you think? How would you wear this tank? And more importantly should I buy it?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Father’s Day Freebie

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (say that ten times fast) is a Father’s Day freebie. Basically we can do anything that is father related. As always the fab people at The Broke and the Bookish give you some topic suggestions and two of them struck my fancy. With that said, I am going to keep it simple and not give you ten. I am doing my own version today and you are getting Top Two Tuesday.

favorite dads in literature

In a Perfect World – Trish Doller
Probably has the best, hottest dad that I have ever read. Seriously I always am crushing on the adorable main boy in books but this was the first time my crush was on the dad. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Adam, but Casey was just super cool and hot and funny. Did I mention how attracted to him I am?

best father/daughter relationship

Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson
This book is completely heartbreaking because of the father/daughter relationship in the story. It tore my heart out but I loved it so much. Taylor and her dad have such a real story that I can’t help but love them.

Like I said, simple this time.

What do you think? Have you read either of these books? Do you have any suggestions for me?

*Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)

It’s finally 90 in Boston…well for today and tomorrow anyway. And with 90s in June there is only one thing on my mind…July. July is one of my favorite months of the year. It is usually the tome when the weather is great and the books released are pretty fantastic and mostly quiet. There usually aren’t a ton of hype books released in July and that’s part of the reason I love books that come out then. You can find some great gems.

Currently there are 16 books on my TBR that are released in July, but I’m focusing on 6. Two of them I have read and gave 5 stars and the other 4 are ones I’m super excited for:

On My Radar – July Releases (12)Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
on July 4th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Published by Delacorte Press
on July 11th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)Trust by Kylie Scott
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
on May 23rd 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

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.

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes
Published by HarperTeen
on July 11th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads


Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)Who's That Girl by Blair Thornburgh
Published by HarperTeen
on July 11th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

This laugh-out-loud debut is filled with hilarious awkward encounters, a supportive LGBTQ organization, and too many cheesy lyrics to count—all with the compulsive readability of Audrey, Wait! and Boy Meets Boy.

Junior Nattie McCullough has always been that under-the-radar straight girl who hangs out in the cafeteria with her gay-straight alliance friends. She’s never been the girl that gets the guy, let alone the girl that gets a hit song named after her. But when last summer’s crush, smoking-hot musician Sebastian Delacroix—who has recently hit the mainstream big-time—returns home to play a local show, that’s just what she gets. He and his band, the Young Lungs, have written a chart-topping single—“Natalie”—which instantly makes Nattie second guess everything she thought about their awkward non-kiss at that June pool party. That it was horrific. That it meant nothing. That Sebastian never gave her another thought.

To help keep her mind off of Sebastian and his maybe-about-her, maybe-not-about-her song, Nattie throws herself into planning the school’s LGBTQIA dance. That proves problematic, too, when Nattie begins to develop feelings for her good friend Zach. With the song getting major airplay and her once-normal life starting to resemble the cover of a gossip magazine, Nattie is determined to figure out once and for all if her brief moment with Sebastian was the stuff love songs are made of—or just a one-hit wonder.

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride
Published by Sky Pony Press
on July 4th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.

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If you are looking for other books on my radar you can check out my July shelf on Goodreads HERE.

What’s on your radar in July? Are you excited for any of these?

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Review: Lucky in Love – Kasie West

Review: Lucky in Love – Kasie WestLucky in Love by Kasie West
Published by Scholastic
on July 25th 2017
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Another Kasie West book? Sign me up please! That was my first reaction to hearing about Lucky in Love. I’m a Kasie West fan. There is no denying it. I have loved just about every book she has released (Pivot Point and PS I Like You are my two favorites). But the the hesitation set in. Her last book was not a favorite of mine so I was a little nervous going into Lucky in Love. I wasn’t sure if I would bet a PS I Like You gem or if I would be disappointed. I can happily say Lucky in Love was delightful and I was not let down at all.

The concept is simple when you think about it. Poor family that struggle for everything they have. They fight because money is a stressor. Girl randomly buys a lottery ticket, because she is basically forced into it, and wins. Everything changes and makes things seem better, but does money really solve all problems? But West brought her own style to the story that made anything other than simple. What Maddie went through after winning the lottery made it feel real and it was all believable. I understood why she thought money would fix everything and why she was spending it like a crazy person when she actually is a responsible person.  When you are given the opportunity to have no financial burden you are definitely going to make some bad choices. And man did Maddie ever. The only choice I think she made that was right was getting close to Seth.

I mean can we talk about Seth for a minute? Could a boy be any sweeter or adorable? He was the perfect counterpart to Maddie and all her current uncertainty. I feel like Seth, by Maddie not telling him about winning, was her grounding point. He was her reality that didn’t change and that was exactly what she needed. I loved everything about their friendship and relationship and the time they spent together. Seriously, did I mention how perfect he was??

All in all I really enjoyed Lucky in Love. There was a part at the end that wasn’t my favorite, but aside from that I found it to be a great, solid story.  I’m really happy I didn’t let me nerves get the better of me because I would have missed a really fun book. Also, I’m not sure I would ever tell anyone if I won the lottery. 😉

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