Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}

Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}Start Here by Trish Doller
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: August 13, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It’s safe to say I’m a Trish Doller fan girl. I don’t think she could write anything that I won’t love. My love started with Something Like Normal, her debut, and has only grown. So when I heard about Start Here I was so excited. There is something I love about a good friendship book and mixing one of my favorite authors with a favorite kind of story? YES PLEASE! And I am happy to say Trish hit it out of the park with this one.

Start Here is the story of Willa and Taylor, two girls left behind after their best friend Finley dies. The plan was always for the three of them to sail from Ohio to Key West, but when Finley dies before graduation the two remaining girls reluctantly decide to go using the 25 clues that Finley left for them. With time and a lot of distance to go, Willa and Taylor try to figure out if they have a friendship without Finley or was she the glue that held them all together.

What I personally loved about Start Here was the journey. Not the literal journey of the 2000 miles from Ohio to Key West, but the journey of Willa and Taylor. Both of these girls are just lost without the one person that made them feel like they were special like they had someone to belong to. With her death, they were both gutted and not sure how they fit in the world or with each other. Over their trip and with the help of Finley’s clues, they learn who they are, what they are made of, and how they work as a duo instead of a trio. That was what I loved the most. Watching these 2 girls figure things out and have meltdowns and fights and breakdowns was what made this book a 5 star read. It captured the essence of loss and moving forward and uncertain friendships to perfection.

Start Here is a book that you definitely need to add to your TBR. It is romance light, but friendship heavy and something everyone should read. I highly recommend going on this journey with these complicated characters.

Giveaway for one copy of Start Here by Trish Doller. US ONLY. Ends 11:59pm EST 8/19/19.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue Reading

Review: Vow of Thieves – Mary E. Pearson

Review: Vow of Thieves – Mary E. PearsonVow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Series: Dance of Thieves #2
Published by Henry Holt
Published: August 6, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor's Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reading a book that culminates 5 years of reading is always terrifying. A lot is riding on it. Expectations are high and so are emotions. That is why I was scared to read Vow of Thieves, but I was wrong to be. It was exactly what this story needed and my favorite book by Mary Pearson.

Vow of Thieves picks up where Dance of Thieves left off. Jase and Kazi are making their way back to Jase’s home, Tor’s Watch, but things have changed. The two of them are violently attacked and everything they thought they knew is different. Instead of settling in and making the plans the made happen, they find themselves in a situation where trust means everything and deciding who to trust could mean life or death. They have vowed to do whatever it takes to protect Tor’s Watch and the people they love and they will do just that, even if it means losing everything.

Jase and Kazi are the backbone of Vow of Thieves. They make the tough choices and do the hard things and I love that about them. Everyone loves that about them. But what I want to really talk about is how Pearson creates the heart and soul of the story with her secondary characters. The Ballengers, Wren, Synové, and the characters from the Remnant Chronicles that make appearances, those are the people that add life and love and even more color to the strength of Jase and Kazi and who bring them to life and show what they are made of. It is them they fight for or with and that is what makes Mary’s books so special to me. Everyone is going to remember the main characters but is a talent that makes readers remember the secondary ones and want to know more about their stories. I mean I’m still begging for a book about 2 people in The Remnant Chronicles and I will be begging for books about people in The Dance of Thieves duology.

So, how would I describe Vow of Thieves? Amazing, fantastic, epic, Mary Pearson’s best book to date; that’s how I would describe it.  Since 2014 I have been wrapped up in this world that Pearson created, starting with The Kiss of Deception, and she finished it off perfectly with the final part of Jase and Kazi’s story. Add this to your TBR. You won’t regret it.

Continue Reading

Debut Review: The Best Lies – Sarah Lyu

Debut Review: The Best Lies – Sarah LyuThe Best Lies by Sarah Lyu
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: July 2, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-stars

Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like.

She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soulmate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.

But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest—

And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.

Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.

Told in alternating timelines, Thelma and Louise meets Gone Girl in this twisted psychological thriller about the dark side of obsessive friendship.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

As soon as I heard about The Best Lies it was immediately added to my TBR. I’m a sucker for a book that is told from alternating timelines and a book with an added thriller/mystery aspect…sold! And boy did Sarah Lyu deliver. The Best Lies was everything I had hoped for and more that I didn’t expect.

The Best Lies starts off with the death of Remy’s boyfriend who was killed by her best friend Elise. Remy is completely torn up on what she should do, what happened, who she needs to protect, and why it happened to begin with. While being interviewed by the police she relives the year of friendship with Elise, meeting Jack, and everything that happened that lead up to that night. As the story unfolds so does the reality of what really happened to Remy’s boyfriend and why.

I can’t fully review this book because I am terrified I will give something away but what happened the night Jack died. What I can tell you is that I loved Jack a lot and my heart broke for Remy. She didn’t have any easy time of things and Jack was her bright stop for a while. It was also super interesting to see how Remy and Elise began and how their friendship was formed.

Basically based on the description for The Best Lies, I knew this debut novel by Sarah Lyu was going to have me on quite the journey. But I never expected the journey to be as intense as it was and man was this book intense. It kept me interested from the get-go and never stopped. definitely one I would recommend picking up. I look forward to seeing what else this debut author will bring to the table.

Continue Reading

Review: Call It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

Review: Call It What You Want – Brigid KemmererCall It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury YA
Published: June 25, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-stars

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship...

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’ve been a fan of Brigid Kemmerer since I opened Letters to the Lost and read it in one day. There is something about the way that Brigid writes, not only romance but the friendship aspect as well. She also writes the best boy characters! Anyway, when I heard about Call It What You Want I was beyond thrilled to get a new contemporary from her. And I can happily say it hit the spot for the most part and I was happy to be on the journey with these characters.

Call It What You Want is the story of Rob and Maegan, two high school students that are in for a tougher year than they ever expected. Maegan has always been known to be the good girl that does the right thing until she has a serious lapse in judgment and makes a terrible mistake, and now is avoided at school like the plague. Rob, on the other hand, didn’t do anything personally, but his father did. His father got caught embezzling from half the town and Rob is left dealing with the repercussions, on top of taking care of his dad after his failed suicide attempt. When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a project these two outcasts start to learn something about themselves and start on a new kind of journey together. But not everything is as it seems.

Once again I loved the boy Brigid created. Rob was hands-down my favorite thing in Call It What You Want. He was so broken and in such a bad place. He had his whole life upended and was navigating a path he never saw coming. He broke my heart with how alone he felt. And he was so angry. Angry enough to make some really bad decisions that he would justify even knowing he was doing the wrong thing. But underneath all of that, he was just a scared kid. Maegan, on the other hand, had a terrible lapse in judgment and made a mistake that cost a lot of people. She was under pressure and did something she shouldn’t and was paying the price. I hated how she just accepted that people should treat her the way they did because of what she did. It made me sad to see her just accept it. In the end, I liked how these two interacted together. I like how they learned and grew by being around one another when no one else really wanted to be there for them.

I enjoyed Call It What You Want a lot. It had some really good, strong parts. There were also some parts that I just wanted more of and I didn’t get it. I think because of that I didn’t have as strong of an emotional connection as I did to Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell. But with that said, it still packed a punch and made me grateful Brigid shares her talent as an author with us. Pick this one up for sure!

Continue Reading

Debut Review: Match Me If You Can – Tiana Smith

Debut Review: Match Me If You Can – Tiana SmithMatch Me If You Can by Tiana Smith
Published by Swoon Reads
Published: January 8, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-stars

Mia's best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn's matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn't count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince - the guy she knows is right for her - and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn't find out that Mia's been matchmaking behind her back.

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

For years I have been a fan of a rom-com book. Books by Kasie West and Miranda Kenneally are always high on my list. There is something so fun about a story that has humor to it and both Kasie and Miranda do it amazingly. When Match Me If You Can was brought into my orbit I admit I didn’t think it would fit with these two favorite authors of mine, and man was I wrong. Tiana Smith took her debut and slide right in next to Kasie and Miranda and I’m so pleased to have read it.

Match Me If You Can is the story of Mia, a girl that has a plan and is desperate to stick by it. There is no room for error or change. It just isn’t acceptable for her. So when she gets the idea to have her best friend Robyn, a top notch matchmaker at their high school, set her up with the guy of her dreams nothing will stop her. Not even Robyn telling her no. When Mia goes behind Robyn’s back and set herself up she sets off a series of events she never could have planned for and a guy she never could have imagined falling for. In the end Mia has to decide is the perfect plan better than the perfect match?

I truly got very strong Kasie West vibes from this one. It has that same feeling I got when I read P.S. I Like You. As the reader I could see Mia and Logan were perfect for each other but I had so much fun watching Mia figure that out. She would do everything in her power not to feel that spark because she thought she was on a different path, but it was there and there was no denying it. She made a complete mess of everything by fighting this spark and it is so fun watching her do it. And can we talk about Logan? Man was he so cute. There was something about his “bad boy” attitude that reminded me of one of my favorite book boys, Corey Livingston from What Happens Next. They both had that same swagger and same heart of pure gold.

In the end, Match Me If You Can is a really fun debut book that will have you laughing and cringing and laughing some more. Tiana Smith does a fantastic job of adding some of the heavier parts of high school in with the fun stuff and I highly recommend adding her book to your TBR. This is a “you don’t want to miss” type of read. Also I want to know if anyone else thought the principle sounded as hot as I did. 😛 Pick this one up!

Continue Reading
1 2 3 9