When It’s Real by Erin Watt

When It’s Real by Erin Watt

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

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Rating: ★★★★★

“From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?”

Review:

This book was so, so awesome. There were so many qualities that made this book great. The characters, story, and chemistry made this book absolutely fantastic for me. There were times where I was super excited for what was happening next.

Vaughn Bennett stole my heart right from the beginning. Her character was adorable, smart, and strong. This book resonated with me in many ways, but I really noticed how much how I connected to her character. She is a girl who goes through a lot, but when it meant it the most, she pulled through and showed her strength. The other characters really developed through this book too. I really flip-flopped through this book with the characters, and I enjoyed that a lot!

The story is my favorite, favorite type. I love the whole rock-star celebrity falling for a normal girl narrative. I’ve read this type of story multiple times and I think that this book might just be one of my favorites ever. The way that Erin Watt wrote this had me all over the place with different emotions.

Overall, I loved this book. I’d recommend this book to anyone. It’s good for any age. It might be classified as young-adult, but this book should be read by adults too. It’s a fantastic, quick read.

 

 

 

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

Publication Date: October 1st, 2017

“When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.”

Review:

Thank you to Kindle First for allowing me to read this book before the publication date in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was not for me. I tried and tried to get into it, but I struggled a lot. I finished it and I feel like I didn’t really even read anything. I was pretty disappointed with all of the things that went on through this story.

First, I had a really hard time with the characters. The characters intrigued me in the beginning with the story and how things were progressing, but as I got further and further in, I couldn’t find a character that I liked or related to. There were so many point-of-views that I found myself confused and having to restart.

Next, I didn’t really find this book to be all that grasping or mysterious. By the end, I was a little confused and the last chapter just tried to bring everything together. The writing definitely wasn’t my favorite thing, but it did have it’s moments.

Lastly, I think this book would have worked better if there was a difference in either the choice of main character or the plot. I think that this book had a lot of different promising qualities. There just wasn’t enough mmph in the characters or plot for me to thoroughly enjoy this book.

Rating: ★★

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Publication Date: August 8th, 2017

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.”

Review:

This book had a lot of promising qualities, but it fell a little short for me. There were so many things going on in this book that went along with things in today’s society, but it didn’t feel like it went above and beyond.

The characters were good. I enjoyed the brother and sister aspect even though they were stepbrother and sister. I really liked how they were an African American family marrying into a white family and how the author talked about how things were shown and how people would stare. It was parts like this that seemed very real.

The main character is bisexual. I was very happy with this because it seems that people think that bisexuality doesn’t exist. There are people out there that are attracted to both men and women. I was glad that the author did bring up another social problem from today’s society.

When it came to the actual story of what was going on, I felt like I kept getting stuck. I kept having to stop because it wasn’t grasping my attention. I flew through this book because it couldn’t really holding me. The story seemed a little flat. There were no twists or turns and it seemed a little boring.

I really liked the ending. The ending is where I felt like it did grab my attention. The problems that were occurring felt very real and could easily happen to anyone in real life. It honestly made my chest tighten and tear up a little. I applaud the author on a great, great ending.

Overall, this book was good, but it wasn’t my favorite. There were things that this book could’ve used with all the different platforms it represented, but I felt like it wasn’t there.

Rating: ★★★

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West

Published: July 1st, 2014

“For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.”

Review:

This book was super quick, cute, and emotional. There were things that this book that were phenomenal, but overall, it was a four star rating for me!

The characters were great. I really loved the “only girl in a all boys household”. This is a classic “brother’s best friend” story and I love that kind of book. There were parts of the characters that I loved, but also, didn’t make me swoon completely. I think that there were more things that could have happened with their developments in the characters that would’ve made this book five stars.

The plot of this book was very emotional. The overall story of what happened and how she had been living with this secret that she didn’t even know about was heartbreaking. There were some parts of it that had me close to tears. However, there were times where I thought that the story was a little far-fetched and that they couldn’t really happy. I love a story that I could relate to, and this one was great, but it seemed a little too far for me.

I’ve read two of Kasie West’s books and I liked both of them. They are written very well and a person can fly through them in one day. Maybe even a few hours. Young adult lovers and romance lovers should really read Kasie West’s books. I think that the people who resonate with current romance troubles or current love lives would love these books!

Rating: ★★★★

The Problem With Forever by Jennifer E. Armentrout 

The Problem With Forever by Jennifer E. Armentrout 

Publication Date: May 17th, 2016

“For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.”

Review:

This was extremely emotional. I had this on an audiobook and I think it made me like it more than I would have in a regular book. I have to give props to the readers on the audiobook because they read with so much emotion that I honestly teared up many times. There were times where I went back and rewound it to listen to specific parts again because they were so wonderful.

The characters were written perfectly for the story. The story was so dark and heartbreaking that the characters fit amazingly. Mallory “Mouse” and Rider were so angsty and frustrating that I don’t think they could have been more perfect. Listening to their stories and thinking that they could relate to people in real life made it all the more saddening.

I just want to talk about “Mouse” herself. Her character was written so beautifully. I wanted to reach inside my radio and hug her. There was so much that her character not only went through, but realized throughout the book. It’s truly unbelievable how Jennifer Armentrout wrote her.

This book was especially an acknowledgement at “group homes”. You hear so much about group homes, whether kids got placed in great places, or they suffer where they are. This was a nod at the kids who don’t get placed in great homes. These kids suffer so much and it showed in the characters. Jennifer Armentrout did such a great job with the details and everything that came with this amazing book.

Rating: ★★★★★


The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

Publication Date: June 7th, 2016

It’s a summer for first love, last wishes, and letting go.

Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.

With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.”

Review:

This book broke my heart. Absolutely broke my heart. This was super hard to read for me because it brought back a lot of memories from when I lost a family member. If you recently lost a family member, this book might be triggering, or it might be very peaceful. It really is how you take it. I adored this book because it feels like it helped me heal some from the loss. If you a crier, have tissues ready.

Maddie is a girl who needs a reality check in life. She is living a life with her best friends that could send her in a spiral. She is supposed to be going to a party the night that her grandmother invites her entire family over. She thought it was going to be an engagement to her boyfriend, but she was very wrong. Going on a cruise where she is going to say goodbye to her grandmother forever? That’s not what Maddie planned for her summer.

This story did a wonderful job of showing the stages of grief. The heartbreak, denial, anger, sadness, depression, and hope really was prevalent throughout the entire book. Carrie Firestone made the reader feels like they are going through the same stages that the main character is feeling.   I am an emotional reader and there were a few times where I teared up, full on cried, and ended up smiling because she made it hopeful.

I was a little unsure about the romance part of this novel. However, going through and reading this from cover to cover, the romance was absolutely meant to be a part of this book. It made the story that much better. It wouldn’t be thought to have romance in a book where someone is dying, but it was very happy and really makes you think.

If there is a time where I go, I would love to be on this cruise. I wish it was a real thing. I would go and live my days happily and peacefully. This book gave me hope that there are people who live out their final days like that. Carrie Firestone really did a wonderful, wonderful job on this novel. This was probably one of my favorite books of this year.

Rating: ★★★★★

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm 

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm 

Publication Date: October 25th, 2016

“One girl’s comedic examination of her dating past, as told by friends, family, and boys who were involved! Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she’s been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. She runs the prom committee, how could she not show up with somebody? Post breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all the guys she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery decides to investigate. In history class she’s learning about this method of record keeping called “oral-history” and she has a report due. So Avery decides to go directly to the source. Avery tracks down all the guys she’s ever dated, and uses that information, along with thoughts from her friends, family, and teachers, to compile a total account of her dating history. Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she spent time with — just in time for prom night!”

Review: 

This book had a lot of potential and I liked the story. The synopsis sounded super cute and I was definitely intrigued. 

This book wasn’t totally for me unfortunately. I liked some parts and the characters, but there are definitely some things I would change.

The characters started out great and I liked them all. I really liked Avery’s attitude and how she was in general. However, throughout the book, there were just wayyy too many characters for me to understand and I really started to not like any of the characters. 

The only thing I really loved about this book was the ending. It was super cute and well thought out. I like everything about the ending. 

Overall, this book was good but confusing for me. There were too many characters and I had trouble understanding a lot. I’d recommend to readers that enjoy young adult and can keep up with multiple characters. 

Rating: ★★★