Review: Anything to Have You – Paige Harbison

Review: Anything to Have You – Paige HarbisonAnything to Have You by Paige Harbison
Published by Harlequin
Published: 2014
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three-stars

Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.

Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.

Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.

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Confession time. I’m a sucker for these kinds of books. I know it is strange and I have no tolerance for cheating nor would I ever want to be in that kind of position. But for reading purposes I’m highly entertained reading books about it. I’m not sure why, but I am. I have read some very good ones and some very not so good ones. Sadly Anything to Have You became a just okay one, somewhere between the rest I’ve read.

Anything to Have You is a story of two best friends Natalie and Brooke. Natalie has always been the good girl. Not into parties, not into dating around, not into hanging out. She is perfectly happy being at home watching an old movie. And then there is Brooke, the wild child and the complete opposite of Natalie. Parties every weekend, not interested in school and flirts with every boy in site regardless of her boyfriend Aiden. One night Brooke convinces Natalie to go to a party where she blacks out and wakes up clothed, but in bed with Aiden. Not knowing what happened Natalie tries to forget the night and leave it in the past. But sometimes forgetting the past isn’t as easy when it keeps creeping into the future.

I know right off the bat what I didn’t like about this book. It wasn’t even a question what my problem was. It was the addition of Brooke’s POV that brought this book down so much for me. I really disliked the use of it and didn’t see the point. It didn’t help me like Brooke or feel bad for her. I actually found the use of it made the characters inconsistent. Brooke was two different people in her POV and in Natalie’s POV and that completely took away from the story instead of adding to it. I’m positive without her voice I would have liked this book a whole lot more then just okay. Because really minus a few small things I really enjoyed everything else. I liked Natalie and Aiden. I liked their story and their relationship. They had chemistry and I wanted more of their story. But the whole Brooke thing just took away from all that and in the end left things choppy.

Basically Anything to Have You is an addicting read that you won’t be able to put down, there was stuff to really like and stuff that ruined things some.  I liked it enough and I think others will to, but this is definitely one case where dual POVs just didn’t work.

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Review: Heartbeat – Elizabeth Scott

Review: Heartbeat – Elizabeth ScottHeartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
Published by Harlequin
Published: January 28th 2014
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four-stars

Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

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.

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I have gone back and forth on some Elizabeth Scott books in the past. The first two I read I really loved and the last one was just okay. It had been a while since I read a book by Scott and when I was trying to pick what to read over Thanksgiving a friend said you can’t go wrong with a Scott book. So I swallowed down how I felt about the last book I read by her and started Heartbeat. Actually, started and finished and cried my eyes out in a day would be more accurate. It was pretty fantastic.

Heartbeat is the story of Emma, a high school student that once had it all. She had the grades, she had the best friend, she had the great family. But now Emma’s grades are slipping, she is fighting with her stepfather, pushing her best friend away, and hanging out with the rich guy with the bad reputation. Emma wishes she could talk to her mom about all of this but the problem is that her mom is the cause if everything that is happening because her mother is dead. She is being kept alive by machines to keep the baby inside her healthy. Emma is so angry at the situation she has just fallen apart and doesn’t know what to do. And when bad boy Caleb enters the scene and there is connection between them Emma may just be in for more than she bargained for in the term of love.

I seriously wanted to just hug Emma from the beginning to the end of this book. My heart broke for this poor kid having to go through what she was going through while being filled with so much anger and sadness. She felt betrayed by her mother for leaving her Dan for making this life altering decision and by herself for having these feelings she was having. She legit broke my heart and as much as I loved her having her bestie Olivia by her side, I was thrilled when Caleb came into the picture. Unlike Olivia, who was supportive, Caleb was able to understand better. He was able to know more about what Emma was going through since he had been through a tragedy himself that led him down a path of destruction to himself and his reputation. To me their romance was perfectly timed and really well done and fit in well with the story. Caleb became her crutch but also just what Emma needed

The part of the book that got me the most was the premise. It actually got me thinking as I read and had me putting myself in both Emma’s shoes and those of her stepfather, Dan. It made me wonder what is the right thing to do in a horrendous situation like this one. What’s fair and what is selfish? Who is the right party and who is the wronged one? It’s both moral and ethical and a position no one ever wants to be in. I understood both sides which to me made the book all the more compelling and cry worthy. It told a story that was filled with emotion and feelings that felt real.

So yes, Heartbeat was a crazy tearjerker but a tearjerker that was worth the heartbreak in the end.

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Review: Crash Into You – Katie McGarry

Review: Crash Into You – Katie McGarryCrash Into You by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #3
Published by Harlequin Teen
Published: November 26th 2013
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three-stars

he girl with straight A's and the perfect life—that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy family…and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker—a guy she has no business even talking to. But after the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

The last thing Isaiah needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks. But when their shared love of street racing puts their lives in jeopardy, Isaiah and Rachel will have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

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.

Honestly, I’m not even sure where to start with this one. By far this was my least favorite of the “series”, but I didn’t hate it. Actually, I really enjoyed a good chunk of it (hence the 3 stars), but there was one part that I couldn’t get past and that was Rachel’s family. They were by far the most despicable family I have encountered in YA and I have come across some doozies. Seriously thank goodness for Rachel and Isaiah as they were the one part of the story that I really really loved.

Crash Into You is the story of Isaiah, a 17-year-old boy that has had a rough life. Living in foster care for 1 year Isaiah has learned to be tough and to count on no one but himself, Noah and previously Beth but even she isn’t there anymore. Trying to keep his secret of where he is living Isaiah decides to try a one-time street race with a guy from the neighborhood that is bad news.  Unfortunately what was supposed to be one night turns into something Isaiah never expected when he meets Rachel, a girl that is so completely out of his league and his opposite. As these two become more and more entwined Isaiah learns that he isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Rachel has some secrets of her own. Now they both have to figure out just how much they can trust one another and is their love worth it.

Seriously I loved Isaiah in this book. We met him in Pushing the Limit and got to know more of him in Dare to You, but he shined in Crash Into You. I don’t know if it was Rachel that brought it out of him now that Beth was no longer there to drag him down and break his heart, or if it was the fact that he was destined to be the main character. His background story was sold, he had that loveable bad boy thing going for him, and he is fiercely loyal. Basically, Isaiah was everything to this book. And truthfully Rachel was no slouch either. She brought something to the table. She was rich but she wasn’t spoiled and I liked that a lot. I also liked that she never once looked down on Isaiah or where he lived or his friends or his history. She saw what was in front of her. Basically, these two were magical on the pages. When they were alone or with Logan and Abby(wish the next book was about these two) the book was amazing.

What brought Crash Into You down was 100% Rachel’s family. I got more and more infuriated by her parents with every turn of the page. The whole family was really vile to me. They were selfish and self-centered and never once thought about Rachel as a person. She was there as a replacement, as the girl that made the mother happy so the rest of the family could live their lives, as the girl that got no say in what she wanted to do or how she felt. Her brothers were pathetic and her parents were the worst parents in the world. Straight up, I hated the whole family and have no desire to find out what happens to any of them. No thank you.

Basically, if I could have had a book that was filled with Rachel, Isaiah, Logan, and Abby with some cameos by Echo and Noah I would have had a winner. I loved seeing Isaiah and Rachel’s relationship deepen and their trust grows. I loved the friendships they formed and the growth of them as individuals. It was the family that brought it down, simple as that. I will probably skip the next book since it is Rachel’s brother, but I look forward to what McGarry has in store for us next.

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