Review: Fireworks – Katie Cotugno

Review: Fireworks – Katie CotugnoFireworks by Katie Cotugno
Published by Balzer + Bray
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

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

Sometimes you pick up a book and you just don’t know how it is going to go for you. You’ve read books by the author and enjoyed one and was conflicted on the other. You like the premise but know it has the potential to go in a different direction than you expect. Because of these things you are almost scared to pick up the book. This was me with Fireworks. I was worried how I would feel about it. I was scared I wouldn’t love it. I was scared I would be disappointed or conflicted. Instead I got one of my favorite books of the year. Simply put…it was freaking fantastic.

There was so much I loved about Fireworks. The setting, the characters, the romance, the friendship, the plot, the writing. I loved it all and I loved it all because it meshed flawlessly together. As soon as I started reading and realized these girls would technically be my age now, I was sucked in. Then I got the the ‘boy band’ part and I was transported to the 90s. Then I got to the romance and I swooned. And finally I got to the heartache of strained friendships and I bawled. The book was magical in its beautiful woven parts and made me a fan for life.

I really can’t even find the words to tell you how genuinely in love I am with Fireworks. It was a book that just got me. I felt a connection to it and I just can’t explain why. It wasn’t what I expected yet it was what I wanted and more. Another must read in 2017.

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Blog Tour: Future Threat by Elizabeth Briggs + giveaway

Blog Tour: Future Threat by Elizabeth Briggs + giveawayFuture Threat by Elizabeth Briggs
Series: Future Shock #2
Published by Aw Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

Six months ago Aether Corporation sent Elena, Adam, and three other recruits on a trip to the future where they brought back secret information--but not everyone made it back to the present alive. Now Elena's dealing with her survivor's guilt and trying to make her relationship with Adam work. All she knows for sure is that she's done with time travel and Aether Corporation.

But Aether's not done with her--or Adam, or fellow survivor Chris. The travelers on Aether's latest mission to the future have gone missing, and Elena and her friends are drafted into the rescue effort. They arrive in a future that's amazingly advanced, thanks to Aether Corporation's reverse-engineered technology. The mission has deadly consequences, though, and they return to the future to try to alter the course of events.

But the future is different yet again. Now every trip through time reveals new complications, and more lives lost--or never born. Elena and Adam must risk everything--including their relationship--to save their friends.
The second book in the New York Times bestselling Future Shock trilogy.

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

If you know me you know my love for all things time travel and parallel life. I’m a sucker for stories where you get to see the future or what life could have been my making a change. To me these two things really go hand in hand. If someone travels into the future they are now creating a parallel life where this happens and that will change things. It is an endless loop of mind games and questions. And the newest book in the Future Shock trilogy, Future Threat, does just that.

Future Threat takes place 6 months after the end of Future Shock. Elena, Adam and Chris are trying to get back to their normal lives after everything that happened to them and what the Aether Corporation have done to them. But getting back to normal is easier said than done. Each of them struggle with what happened and with the memories they can’t forget, especially Elena. Prepared to never think about Aether or time travel again the 3 of them are once again approached by the company needing their help. Reluctantly the 3 of them travel 30 years into the future to help bring back another team of time travelers. While they are there things don’t go as planned and soon they all find themselves fighting to find a way to fix a future that they could lose forever.

I will say that I found Future Threat predictable. Not in a bad way. I mean I knew how it was all going to go down almost immediately, but I still was on the end of my seat trying to figure out if I was actually wrong or not. I was 100% entertained and interested the whole time. Part of that interest was because of all the parallel worlds that were formed because of changes. I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about them and how each choice these teens made in the future would essentially effect not only the past but the future from that past, if that makes sense. I was fascinated by how things changed so easily from visit to visit and was curious what it would all mean to the main couple, Adam and Elena.

Oh Adam and Elena. Elena killed me in this book. She refused to get out of her own way and I wanted to shake her. Actually I wanted to shake Adam too because it was so obvious what she was doing and he ignored it. They definitely frustrated me. But I also really liked there story and how even when they were being weird with each other they still had each other’s back. That is really important to who they are as characters and I was happy that was still the case. I also really liked how they responded differently to things they saw in their futures and wanted to work to make it all happened.

In the end I really liked this installment of the story. I liked where the characters went and how they changed and learned. And I loved the time travel aspect. The end was a little too cliff hangery for my liking, but just all the more reason to look forward to book 3. Final thought…thumbs up.

*to see the other blogs on the tour click the tour banner.

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive finished copies of FUTURE THREAT & FUTURE SHOCK, US ONLY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel Cleeton

I started the Wild Aces series on a whim. For some reason I don’t read a ton of military. Honestly I’m not sure why because I love the idea/ concept of them and I have generally loved the ones I have read. Maybe I don’t read a lot of them because they don’t stand out to me? I’m really not sure.  But when I came across the description for Fly With Me and the library happened to have a copy I figured it was meant to be so I started the series and once again I wasn’t disappointed. Did I love all 3 books equally? No. But I really did enjoy all three of them as a whole story putting all the pieces together.

 

Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonFly with Me by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon, Goodreads

From the author of the Capital Confessions Novels comes the first in the steamy Wild Aces Romance series.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

I am a sucker for a Vegas weekend/one night stand story. I don’t know why, but I love them (especially if there is a drunken marriage, not this book, but in general). So Fly With Me was destined to rate high with me and it did. There was just something about Noah and Jordan’s story and their chemistry. You felt it right away and it never went away. I think about I loved about them the most was how adult they were about everything. They really talked things through and didn’t just fly off the handle. More romance books could use that. But really I loved their story and I loved how it all unfolded in the end.

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Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonInto the Blue by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancée.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?

I wasn’t as in love with Into the Blue as I was with Fly With Me. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was fun and a good read, but I wasn’t as in love with Eric and Becca’s story. I loved Eric and his story. I loved how he was affected so much by something that happened in Fly With Me. It was Becca that I struggled with. There was something about her that just didn’t make me love her. I did love them together because I do love a good second chance, rekindled relationship story, but something was just a tad off. Still more than just liked it, but I think I just wanted more.

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Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonOn Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley Books
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory.

But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…

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

On Broken Wings was the book I wanted to read most in the Wild Aces series. As soon as I met Easy in Fly With Me and saw the chemistry he had with Dani I wanted to see their story. I knew it wouldn’t be simple based on circumstances, but I really wanted to see what was there for them. On Broken Wings did exactly that and more. I was pretty much an emotional wreck the whole book and I have never been happier. Just thinking about Dani and Easy and their relationship makes me smile and breaks my heart. It was everything I wanted their story to be and so much more. Truthfully I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give anything away, but this was by far my favorite of the series.

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Mini Reviews #4

Mini Reviews #4Wrecked by Maria Padian
Published by Algonquin Young Readers
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.

Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.

Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.

When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible--especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.

Wrecked offers a kaleidoscopic account of a sexual assault on a college campus. It will leave you thinking about how memory, identity, and who sits in judgment shape what we all decide to believe about the truth.

Wrecked was a weird reading experience for me. To be honest I hated the characters. There truthfully wasn’t one character that I actually liked. I don’t think I was supposed to like any of them so that was a bit of a struggle. But I loved the story and how true it felt. And it is a story that a lot of people need to read because like it or not these things happen more and more in college and I think we need to pay more attention to that as a society.

I guess the first thing I can say about Wrecked was I didn’t envy Haley’s position. It’s hard to put into words really. I 100% felt for Jenny, even if I didn’t like her all the time, I can’t imagine what she was going through and how hard it was for her. I also felt bad for Haley. What she was asked to do for Jenny would have been hard if it had been your best friend for years and years and years. But Haley and Jenny had only known each other a few months and here she was with this responsibility. It honestly made me think what I would have done in that position. It was a terrible place for both characters when it comes down to it and I didn’t want to be either one of them.

I guess when it comes down to it Wrecked is just an important book. It’s a book that realistically looks at a he said/she said argument in terms of sexual assault. It’s a book that shows you how sides are drawn and how people are put in the middle. A book that shows you how the victim is made into a criminal. Like the characters or not, it’s a book that should be read.

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Mini Reviews #4For This Life Only by Stacey Kade
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.

Three minutes.

Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.

And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Everyone keeps telling him that Eli’s in a better place, but Jace isn’t so sure. Because in those three minutes, there was nothing.

Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life.

She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help.

But she’s also the first person to truly see him.

Having just read Stacey Kade’s book, 738 Days, not that long ago, I was excited with the prospect of reading another by her. The concept of For This Life Only sounded great. It totally seemed to be a book that was my kind of book. Sadly when I finished it I didn’t have the same feelings I felt when I read 738 Days. To be truthful I was really conflicted (still am) on how I felt about it.

I guess in all honesty it kind of threw me a little as I was reading. I didn’t expect For This Life Only to have such a strong religious theme to it and it did. Don’t get me wrong, I will happily read books that are religious themed (Pure by Terra Elan McVoy and Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker are two of my favorites) but I want to know it is going to be religious when I go in. I had no idea this book was going to be and it threw me a little.

I really liked the idea behind the book, still do, but in the end I felt like a lot wasn’t answered and the religious aspect was huge but really didn’t even add to the story. I guess I don’t know what felt off for me, but something did and when all is said and done I was sad. If you do decide to read For This Life Only know there are religious parts. Maybe knowing that going in will make a difference. I wish I did.

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Mini Reviews #4Game On by Michelle Smith
Series: Lewis Creek #1
Published by Bloomsbury Spark
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.

Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.

In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.

Game On is definitely my favorite of the two books in the Lewis Creek stories. Eric and Bri’s story was the perfect “girl next door” type of story. Seriously I just loved both of these characters so much. And they played off each other perfectly. They had a natural chemistry and you just couldn’t help falling for them. They were both in a place where they needed to grow and change and I think finding their lost friendship was a way for them to do that.

I guess what I liked the most was how Michelle Smith told the story of Eric and Bri. They didn’t go from not being friends to being friends in the blink of an eye. It was a process and it slowly happened, naturally happened. And when it did they remembered all the things that had made them besties in the first place and built off of that. That was what I enjoyed the most and what made Game On a book I would recommend.

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Review: Disruption – Jessica Shirvington

Review: Disruption – Jessica ShirvingtonDisruption by Jessica Shirvington
Published by HarperCollins
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

The heart-stopping first chapter in bestselling author Jessica Shirvington's Disruption series.

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?

What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation's M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer - heir to the M-Corp empire - has become key to Maggie's plan.

But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin's involvement destroy everything she's fought for?

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.

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

I had read a Jessica Shirvington book, Between the Lines/One Past Midnight, about 2 years ago on the suggestion of a friend that knows I love a good parallel life book. I really enjoyed it so I was excited when I saw her name as the author Disruption. I was even more excited when I saw what the book was about and then even more excited when a friend told me that I would love it because I loved Suzanne Young’s The Program series. Consider me hooked. And hooked on the book I was. Disruption was like The Program meets Free to Fall (Lauren Miller) meets Unleashed (Sophie Jordan) meets the love machine episode of Saved by the Bell and it was fantastic.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I loved about this book. It could be the characters (Maggie and Quentin and Gus!!!), it could be the romance, it could be the plot, or it could be all 3 things.   The truth is, this book is addictive and I think it is because of all those things. I was on the end of my seat wondering what would happen to Maggie and Quentin. And even when I had an inkling on what I thought would happen I still wanted to read more just to know if I was right. It all unfolded so perfectly that I didn’t even care that some was a little predictable.

I guess in the long run I loved that this book reminded me of some many of my other favorite stories. It had so many moving pieces and the characters were so interesting I was sucked in from the start. In the end I was left dying for book 2 because I need to know what is going to happen after everything that went down in the final 30 or so pages. Disruption was a total surprise for me and I loved every minute of it.

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