Hurry Home by Roz Nay

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Rating: ★★★

From the bestselling author of Our Little Secret comes a suspenseful new thriller featuring two estranged sisters desperate to keep their deepest and darkest secret where it belongs–in the past.

Close to my heart you’ll be, sisters forever you and me...

Alexandra Van Ness has the perfect life. She lives in an idyllic resort town tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, shares a designer loft with her handsome boyfriend, Chase, and has her dream job working in child protection. Every day, Alex goes above and beyond to save children at risk. 

But when her long-lost sister, Ruth, unexpectedly shows up at her door, Alex’s perfect life is upended. Growing up, Ruth was always the troublemaker, pulling Alex into her messes, and this time will be no different. Still, Alex will help Ruth under one condition: we will never, ever, talk about the past. But when trouble befalls a local child, both women are forced to confront the secrets they’ve promised to keep buried.

Utterly engrossing and claustrophobic, Hurry Home is a tantalizing reflection of the chain-and-shackles relationship between sisters that asks: what lines wouldn’t you cross for your own?

Review:

Thank you to Roz Nay, Crooked Lane Books & NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I love sister stories. Whether its drama, long distance, good relationships, bad relationships, mysteries, any kind of story. I think it’s because I have a sister myself so that I’m able to relate a lot.

This sister story was not my favorite unfortunately. I believe it’s because this is classified as a thriller and I didn’t really get that from this book. This was more about the sister relationship and how you could just feel the drama between them.

I thought this story was interesting, but it didn’t really give me the surprise or mystery that I was looking for. The interest from this story comes from the fact that you are curious on why these two ladies have the relationship that they do.

The thing I liked about this novel was the slow burn aspect. You do find yourself sitting there wondering when something will happen or when the other shoe is going to drop. I was able to guess the ending, but I will say it was pretty interesting getting there.

Overall, it wasn’t my favorite book in the world, but it wasn’t the worst either. I think that if it was more of a thriller like it was classified, I would’ve enjoyed it more. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with this book, I just went in with a different expectation!

She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway

Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Publisher: Graydon House
Rating: ★★★★

You can’t put a filter on reality.

Bree Bozeman isn’t exactly pursuing the life of her dreams. Then again, she isn’t too sure what those dreams are. After dropping out of college, she’s living a pretty chill life in the surf community of Pacific Beach, San Diego…if “chill” means delivering food as a GrubGetter, and if it means “uneventful”.

But when Bree starts a new Instagram account — @breebythesea — one of her posts gets a signal boost from none other than wildly popular self-help guru Demi DiPalma, owner of a lifestyle brand empire. Suddenly, Bree just might be a rising star in the world of Instagram influencing. Is this the direction her life has been lacking? It’s not a career choice she’d ever seriously considered, but maybe it’s a sign from the universe. After all, Demi’s the real deal… right?

Everything is lining up for Bree: life goals, career, and even a blossoming romance with the chiseled guy next door, surf star Trey Cantu. But things are about to go sideways fast, and even the perfect filter’s not gonna fix it. Instagram might be free, but when your life looks flawless on camera, what’s the cost?

Review:

Thank you to Kristin Rockaway, Harlequin Books & NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I read this as a participant of the Harlequin Books 2020 Summer Reads Blog Tour.

I read Kristin Rockaway’s How to Hack a Heartbreak last summer and I absolutely adored it. Kristin Rockaway is becoming an auto-buy/request author for me! Her writing is spectacular in She’s Faking It! If you’re looking for a quick, fun summer read, definitely pick this one up.

Bree, a 25-year old college drop out, is completely over delivering food to people’s houses through a service called GrubGetter. After a run in with an old professor who made her feel insecure in her choices in life, Bree decides it’s time for a change. Bree decides that she is going to become an influencer on social media to make a living after reading a book about “faking it until she makes it”. She finds out that faking it is unfortunately not that easy.

This story is a testament to today’s society. It’s about how the world sees people on Instagram with the Photoshopped backgrounds and beautiful scenery. It shows that even though things online might be happy and cheery on their page, you have zero idea what their life is truly like behind the pictures. Kristin Rockaway did such a fantastic job writing this because I was able to relate to it so much with how technologically the world is running today.

Next, I loved the fact that this was a very feel-good story. It was motivational, watching this woman try to turn her life around after going through what she did with dropping out of school. It really is like that nowadays where there’s the question of what you’re going to do with your life if you don’t have a direction or degree. I love that Kristin Rockaway turned this into a “you can do whatever you want” story instead of making it seem like people can’t make it unless they have some sort of certification or degree. I especially loved the sisterly bond in this story. Sisters fight and sometimes have a hard time with relationships, but at the end of the day, there’s a protective feeling that I was able to share with Bree and Natasha. It was easy to see the love that they shared.

Finally, I loved the fact that this was a romance novel, but it didn’t take over the entire story. This was more of a feel-good/fiction/self-help story over being a romance. I am a romance fanatic, but I loved that it wasn’t overbearing and didn’t take away from the original message.

Overall, I will always pick up a Kristin Rockaway novel. Her stories are fantastic and her writing is impeccable. I’m always able to relate and her characters are always developed in the best kind of way. Definitely pick this one up this summer! Put it next on your TBR!


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Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr

Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Publisher: MIRA Books
Rating: ★★★★

Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…

Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.

When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.

Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.

Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.

Review:
Thank you to Robyn Carr, MIRA Books & NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I read this as a part of the Harlequin Blog Tour.

Robyn Carr really knows how to tug on your heart strings. I’m definitely someone who can get emotional easily, but Robyn Carr really got me with this one. This was a feel-good story about love, loss, and sisterhood.

First, Addie and Justine have a very interesting story. At 20 years apart, they never really had a sisterly relationship. Justine is a successful lawyer and her husband stays at home with their two daughters. Adele dropped out of college when she had a relationship go wrong and then she became a caretaker for her parents. This relationship was believable because there really are instances like that where there are significant age gaps between two siblings. The relationship that they had were more friendly than sisterly and I could really could see that happening in real life.

Now that Addie is done being a caretaker for her parents, she is in a panic of what to do with her life since that took up all of her time and she doesn’t have a degree. Justine’s life is falling apart around her as well and needs to decide on what she wants to do with her life. As they are going through similar life changes, the sisters really rely on each other. I loved the fact that this was a sister-friendly story. It was nice to see sisters relying on each other in such a hard time in their lives, especially because they are so far apart in their lives. Robyn Carr made both Addie, Justine and her daughters extremely relatable and I really liked that.

Robyn Carr did a great job identifying the issues in this novel and showing an ending to every single one of them. I didn’t have any questions at the end of who went where or how a situation ended up. This definitely was a feel-good novel about overcoming obstacles. There were many problems shown in this novel, but I didn’t think it was overdone or too much.

Finally, Robyn Carr wrote about something that isn’t mentioned enough. I won’t spoil it or give it away, but I was surprised to read about this situation. It was definitely unexpected, but a good surprise. This situation isn’t talked about enough and almost holds a “stigma” for it. I’m glad that this was written in here because it made this story that much more interesting!

The only reason why I didn’t give Sunrise on Half Moon Bay a five-star rating was the fact that there were somethings that seemed repetitive. There were somethings already explained or talked about, and they got repeated throughout the novel. I understand the concept of really driving it home, but this kind of took away from the story.

Overall, this was my first Robyn Carr novel, but definitely not my last. I fell in love with the way Robyn Carr writes, and how she makes everything in her stories come to life.

Moonlight in Vermont by Kacy Cross

Publication Date: February 18, 2019
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Rating: ★★★★

Some of the best things in life are worth the wait…

Fiona Rangely loves her fast-paced life as a high-end real estate broker in New York City. Or at least, she does until her boyfriend dumps her, claiming that he doesn’t get enough of her time.

She retreats to her family’s quaint Vermont Inn to evaluate her life…but her ex-boyfriend soon shows up with a brand new girlfriend. Fiona quickly devises a plan to win him back: pretend the handsome and laid-back head chef Derek is her new boyfriend!

Will her ex realize what he’s missing? And will Fiona herself start seeing life–and love—in a new light?

Review:

Fake relationships/marriages is one of my favorite tropes. I just adore the thought of two people starting a fake relationship to fool parents or to make exes jealous…and then  falling for each other themselves for real? Swoon! This story was crazy from start to finish. For Hallmark, I felt like this was extra dramatic! But I loved it!

The characters were everything I needed and more. Fiona’s character was the best. I loved her development and the realization that she didn’t even want her ex anymore was perfection. I think out of all of them, Kacy Cross wrote Fiona the best. She wrote Fiona like she had personally experienced something like this before and it made the story that much more real for me.

My favorite part of this novel was the sweetness of the romance. It wasn’t too strong but it wasn’t too much either. It was really a wonderful moment to see how the story of Fiona and Derek was going to play out. As the head chef, he knows he’s too busy and it’s almost like a forbidden love story at some parts.

The only reason why I didn’t give this book five-stars is because I wish it was a little longer! It was only 182 pages and I wish it would just keep going and going. I think ultimately it was wrapped up well and the story was great, but I would’ve liked a little more.

Overall, I’d recommend this book to anyone. This was a good story for any age. Moonlight in Vermonwas the perfect book to get me excited for the rest of Kacy Cross’ books!

Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth

Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Rating: ★★★

You Can’t Stop Watching Her.

Violet Young is a hugely popular journalist-turned-mummy-vlogger, with three young children, a successful husband and a million subscribers on YouTube who tune in daily to watch her everyday life unfold.

Until the day she’s no longer there.

But one day she disappears from the online world – her entire social media presence deleted overnight, with no explanation. Has she simply decided that baring her life to all online is no longer a good idea, or has something more sinister happened to her?

Review:

Thank you to Charlotte Duckworth, Crooked Lane Books & NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This book’s synopsis definitely grabbed my attention. Being in a society that is essentially run by social media, these types of books really show the dangers of what can happen in real life. However, a lot of these books are coming out, especially within the last few years. After reading them all, they all start to sound the same mystery wise. Someone disappears, they have a social media presence..yadda yadda.

I didn’t hate this book. I really didn’t. I thought learning about Violet and what happened to her and why she deleted her social media without a trace was pretty interesting. I just think that the background details just were kind of meh. I didn’t feel any specific way towards that, but I did enjoy the thrilling aspect of it. This honestly could’ve been classified more as a thriller than a mystery in my eyes.

My favorite part about this book was that two fans were trying to figure out the mystery of what happened to their favorite Youtuber. Usually, watching the news or reading a story about it, if something happens to someone with a social media presence, it’s a crazed fan that did something to them. Don’t get me wrong, these two were definitely obsessive over Violet, but it was nice to read something that wasn’t like the others in that aspect. I really liked the difference of story there.

The difference in point-of-views had me a little confused at times. Throwing Violet’s husband in there to separate things was very smart on Charlotte Duckworth’s part because I was able to distinguish the multiple feelings of this story.

Overall, this was interesting but it didn’t WOW me. The writing was alright, there were definitely some attention-grabbing parts, but I just didn’t have the best time with this novel. The conclusion was just alright, but if you’re looking for a fast-paced story to read while you’re staying inside, this is a good one that’ll take up a day!

 

20 Books to Read While You’re Quarantined

Obviously, we are all SHOOK with what’s going on around the world right now. I’ve found myself inside and staying there unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out! This is giving me the option to catch up on my current reads as well as review some of my recent reads! I decided to make a list of 20 books for you all to read during this self-quarantine time! Feel free to click the pictures to take you to the Goodreads pages! Stay safe everyone!

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Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Published: December 10, 2019

Colleen Hoover is always an easy choice when it comes to one of my favorite authors. She has a way with words and her latest novel, Regretting You, was nothing short of spectacular. You could read any of her books and be happy in your quarantine!

It’s currently available for free on Kindle Unlimited or you can buy it on Kindle for only $1.99! Find that: here. If you’re more of a book-in-hand person, this is still on Amazon Prime for only $7.48! Find that: here.

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The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
Publisher: Avon Books
Published: February 4, 2020

I received this book as an advanced reader copy. I got to read it before the publication date and I will say that I really, really enjoyed it. You can read my full review: here. Because it is relatively new, the price of the ebook is $12.99 and the paperback is $12.62 with Prime eligibility. You can find those: here.

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Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Publisher: Dutton Books
Published: July 2, 2019

I will never get over the mystery that was Lock Every Door. From start to finish, I just adored every twist and turn this novel had to offer me. This was my first Riley Sager novel, but I cannot wait to see where her novels end up. I have her other mystery Final Girls on my to-be-read, but just haven’t gotten to it yet. Soon enough! Lock Every Door is available on Kindle for $13 and in paperback for $17! Find that: here.

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How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: May 15, 2018

This was the first Katherine Center novel I read and I wanted more. Her writing was impeccable and I honestly can’t even explain this book without spoiling anything. There was romance, angst, drama, sorrow, very real mental health issues and more. Both the Kindle ebook and the paperback are $9.99 on Amazon right now. Find those: here.

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The Note by Teresa Mummert
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: March 11, 2013

Romance lovers. Military lovers. Mental health lovers. Everyone really. I want you to read this book. It’s a SELF-PUBLISHED novel about a military man that finds love after war. I have never been in war or even really surrounded by anyone that has been in war. I felt like I could personally resonate with the main characters and that’s really hard to do with readers who don’t have that relatable situation. The Note is available on Kindle for $4.99 and on paperback for $14.99! Find those: here.

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18 Hours To Us by Krista Noorman
Published: November 21, 2017

This YA book was really different and that was something I could appreciate. The writing was impeccable and that’s why it had such a high rating for me. Krista Noorman wrote this awesome story and made sure that all of her bases were covered, which was my favorite part about it. You can read this book for free on Kindle Unlimited or free on regular Kindle! You can also order the paperback off Amazon Prime for only $9.99! Find those: here.

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Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Publisher: Avery Books

Published: September 11, 2012

There’s a lot of scary moments going on around the world and it’s easy for someone with anxiety or depression to fall into a scary moment within themselves. As someone who has deals with that and read this book, Brené Brown has a way with her words to really get through to you. She really helps and not only does Brené have this as a self-help, but she shares her own personal experiences within life to really show you that you’re not alone. If you want to pick a self-help author, Brené Brown is IT. Daring Greatly is available on Kindle for $12.99 and paperback for $9.39 on Prime. Find that: here.

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All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: June 28, 2016

All the Missing Girls was Megan Miranda’s breakout novel. This story is was wild from start to finish. It was different than anything I really read before as it is told backwards. It had me on the edge of my seat and to this day is one of my favorite mysteries. You can find this book on Kindle for $11.99 and paperback for $10.34 on Prime! Find those: here.

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The Game Changer by Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Published: January 7, 2020

I recently read this one and I really, really enjoyed it. I have been trying to read all of the Hallmark Publishing novels as they’re usually a cute-sy romance type. This one, however, really caught my eye. It’s a romance for sure, but this is a mystery as well. If you’re someone who likes the romantic suspense genre, this is DEFINITELY for you. You can find this on Kindle for $7.89 or paperback for $10.89 on Amazon Prime! Find those options: here.

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Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: July 30, 2019

Love and Other Mistakes is classified as a Christian Romance novel. I am not really religious in the slightest bit, but Jessica Kate has the writing ability to sneak in little hints of religion here and there. I read her other book, A Girl’s Guide to the Outback, recently and I found myself really enjoying her writing style. She writes about heavy topics with romance and little bit of self-love! Find Love and Other Mistakes: here.

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The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Published: March 17, 2020

Newly published, I was lucky enough to receive The Sea Glass Cottage before its publication date. It was a really interesting story of family, drama and all that happens in between. RaeAnne Thayne writes as if these are her family members and you really get attached to them in this book. This was a quick read for me as I enjoyed it so much and I think you will too! To find it on Amazon, click here.

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Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Avon Books
Published: January 14, 2020

Calling all steamy romance lovers. Tessa Bailey has a way of writing that you will question every steamy romance novel you’ve ever read before. This trope, Tessa’s writing, everything about this book was amazing! She really pulls at your heart strings as well as showing you that old-school romance still is a thing! If you’re looking for a new romance author, Tessa Bailey is it! To find this book on Amazon, click here.

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The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Publisher: Graydon House
Published: December 30, 2019

I read this story not too long ago and it’s really unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The story of this one will have you questioning if these type of things go on in real life. This book grips you from the very beginning and the ending…PHEW. It will definitely keep you interested when you need your brain stimulated! Find it on Amazon here.

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Sunrise Cabin by Stacey Donovan
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Published: September 16, 2018

I had to pick another Hallmark book…didn’t I? I fell in love with Sunrise Cabin as soon as I started reading it. The story captured me as something I’ve never really read in a romance novel before. The angst and drama make this book, not even going to lie. The romance is such a big part of this book, but the drama and angst is an even bigger part. Who doesn’t love some good drama?! Find it on Amazon here.

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The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper
Publisher: Ebury Press
Published: March 7, 2019

The Day We Met is about two people that meet at a younger age and know they’re right for each other, but never make it back to each other after meeting all those years ago. They see each other throughout the years, knowing that they’re soulmates, but as their lives take them in two different directions, they both move along with their lives as well. It’s absolutely heartwrenching, romantic, and it’s so real that it can actually happen in life. Find that on Amazon here.

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American Fire by Monica Hesse
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
Published: July 11, 2017

Where are my true crime lovers? This non-fiction novel about an arsonist is from the perspective of Washington Post reporter, Monica Hesse. It is so amazing and so twisty-turny to see from her perspective that we have no idea what is even going on. This happened in Virginia in the early 2010s and I feel like it never even made national news (from what I remember). Reading this story was so interesting and I know you’ll love it too. Find it here.

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Published: May 9, 2017

I think that everyone should have to read this in their lifetime. Eleanor Oliphant to this day is one of my favorite characters in a book. She is quirky, social awkward, and just hard to understand sometimes. Gail Honeyman did a phenomenal job writing this book, and it is one of my favorites. i’d recommend it to anyone. Find this book on Amazon: here.

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The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: May 17, 2016

Mary Kay Andrews is my favorite author. Her writing style is impeccable and I love it in every book she writes. Normally, she’s just a romance writer with little to no steam, but a hell of a story. This one was a little different and it’s one of my favorite books. This is a romantic suspense and the story captures you from the beginning literally until the last page. I recommend this book to everyone! Find it here.

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No Exit by Taylor Adams
Publisher: Joffe Books
Published: June 25, 2017

You want to hear about an underrated mystery novel? This book was INSANE. Whenever I talk mysteries with someone, I always tell them about this book and most of the time, they’ve never even heard of it. I want that to change!! From the first few sentences until the final words, you are gripped into this crazy moment. This book is all about moments! Find it on Amazon here.

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This Train is Being Held by Ismée Amiel Williams
Publisher: Amulet Books

Published: February 11, 2020

Last but certainly not least, a book that touched my heart in more ways than one. This book was recently just published in February 2020, but I’m hoping that this book explodes and becomes one of the top YA books of the year. This story gripped my heart and squeezed it into oblivion. This story is so so real, and it really relates to today’s society. You can read my full review here. You can find this book on Amazon here.

 

The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes

Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: ★★

Willa Parker, 646th and least-popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life. Did she choose this life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and Willa has no intention of fitting in. But when she meets peculiar, glittering Remy Taft, the richest, most mysterious girl on campus, she starts to see a foothold in this foreign world—a place where she could maybe, possibly, sort of fit in. When Willa looks at Remy, she sees a girl who has everything. But for Remy, having everything comes at a price. And as she spirals out of control, Willa can feel Remy spinning right out of her grasp.

Review:

When I read the synopsis and first started this book, I thought it had a lot of promising qualities that really could have me interested. The cover is what really got me. Harper Teen really put out a beautiful cover on this one. As I got in to it, I really had issues with a lot of things going on and I frankly feel like this book failed to deliver. I will say I read this book all the way through to see where it was going to go. I did find that there was a story, but it was in the beginning and then about 60% in and then it fell off again. This one was a struggle.

The main thing I had an issue with about this novel was the writing. The writing was short and to the point, and while that’s not always bad, I felt like I was reading a book that had been transcribed from a reading or audio. There wasn’t much detail, I feel like I was thrown back and forth a little, and I had to restart pages because I was just plain confused. I don’t think that the trope was bad or even that the story was bad, but I think the way that it was explained was a little confusing to me.

On the other hand, I will say that Remy was the most exciting part of this book. I loved every part of her. I was very interested to see where her story was going to lead which is where the book finally started to pick up for me.

I gave this book two stars because Andrea Portes does have some underlying dark tones in her book. I really think she handled them with care. I am someone who really can’t do substance abuse or drug abuse in books, but she did well with this and really took care of her readers when it came to that.

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite YA. I did struggle a lot with the writing and wish it was a little more in-depth instead of short and choppy. I would definitely give Andrea Portes another chance and hopes that the writing is a little different in the next one.