Author: Rowena & Bookish Ames

Buddy Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Posted May 31, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 10 Comments

Buddy Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn BennettAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse on April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Goodreads
four-stars

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

Ames: Rowena and I decided to read Alex, Approximately for our May buddy review.

Bailey Rydell has moved to California from DC to live with her father. She has an online friend who lives in the same small town but since she’s an Artful Dodger (she avoids confrontation and awkward situations), she wants to scope out her online friend before introducing herself. But first she has to figure out who he is since they’ve never shared pictures. Over the course of their online friendship, he has revealed clues about where he works, so Bailey’s summer project is discovering Alex, her friend. Things get complicated when she meets Porter at her new summer job. They do not get off to a good start. But what started off with animosity slowly changes as they get to know each other.

Ames: All right Wena! It’s time to break this baby down. I have to say, I really enjoyed the set up for Alex, Approximately. There was so much room for error with this type of plot but I thought the author pulled it off.

What do you think?

Rowena: Yesss! I was pretty nervous going into the story because there is a lot of room for error but I thought Bennett did a great job with Porter and Bailey’s story. I enjoyed them both individually and together.

So many times, I’m annoyed with the protagonist in contemporary YA’s because they make such stupid decisions at one point or another but I wasn’t ever annoyed with Bailey in this book. I thought Bennett explained and made sure that the readers knew and understood Bailey’s motivations and I really connected with her character.

This book was fun and Porter was great fun to get to know. I really liked the friend that Bailey made at work (what’s her name again?) and loved how she called Bailey on her shit the way good friends should.

What about you?

Ames: Grace, her new friend at work. And yes, I liked her too. Her friendship with Grace was refreshing because her character growth wasn’t based solely on a boy. It was about all her relationships. Like even her dad and her had to work on some stuff and I really liked how well rounded that made this story.

I agree about YA heroines having the potential to be annoying. I liked Bailey a lot and understood her motivations. I thought she was being a bit dense at the end but I still like how it all came together. My only gripe about Bailey was her making a big deal out of hiding her relationship with Porter from her dad and then her reveal made it such a non issue. But that’s just a minor gripe. And oh man I laughed over the hickeys! Remember she tells her dad she was wrestling with Grace in the grass? haha

Okay – Porter and Bailey. I LOVED how their relationship developed. I liked their antagonistic beginning and how as they got to know each other their feelings changed. *sigh* So good.

Rowena: What an easy name to remember and I didn’t remember. Gah. Yes, I adored Grace and loved that this book was about more than just a relationship between a boy and a girl. I loved that Bailey dealt with all sorts of different relationships over the course of this book and each relationship was fleshed out and not breezed over to move other things along. Every character in this book was well rounded and I really enjoyed them all, even her Dad. His relationship with the new girlfriend was another cute addition. I loved that each relationship played a part in helping Bailey grow into the girl she was in the end.

The hickeys cracked me up! Porter was a little monster but I loved it. Haha. I also loved when he beat the shit out of Davy because Davy was an all around asshole.

Overall, this was a great coming of age story with a charming romance on the side. I really enjoyed how the whole Alex thing was put to rest and even though they both drove me crazy with that, in the end, I still enjoyed the book as a whole. It was good stuff. Great pick this month, right?

My grade for this book would be a 4 out of 5. You?

Ames: Oh man, yes! The end, with the figuring out of things, kind of drove me batty. I felt like Bailey was being just a bit too obtuse. LOL But I was happy with how it was all resolved so I wasn’t too miffed about it.

Okay, I have never had a churro. So that’s going to go on my summer bucket list. I like how the food was part of the story too. Did you notice that?

Like you I am giving Alex, Approximately 4 out of 5. I’m so glad you suggested this book for our May review. 😛

four-stars


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Buddy Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted February 21, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 14 Comments

Buddy Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle KennedyGood Boy by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: WAGS #1
Published by Elle Kennedy on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 269
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.

Rowena: Month 2 of 2017 brings about our second buddy review of the year. Ames and I chose to read Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy for February and we’re here to discuss it.

Good Boy kicks off a new series from Bowen & Kennedy. A spin-off from their Him series. The first book features Jamie’s sister Jessica and Wes’ teammate, Blake. They spent an explosive night together and Blake wants to continue the party but Jess has shut that shit down. Blake is a stubborn hockey player and he’s not going to give up so Jess is in for a rude awakening. He knows that she wants him just as much as he wants her and he’s going to keep poking around until she admits it. Should be fun, right?

Right.

This book was such fun for me. What did you think about it, Ames?

Ames: I really enjoyed Good Boy! With the opening scenes, Jess being paranoid over the wedding going off without a hitch and being uptight about any changes to her plans, I thought she was going to be an annoying heroine. And these days, that’s my number one peeve. However, Jess was a pleasant surprise. I really liked the push and pull between her and Blake.

And Blake? OMG he had me laughing out loud more than once. But my favorite bit of dialog involved him referring to his junk as a docking station. If I was drinking something at that moment I know I would have ruined my ereader. haha

Rowena: You know what’s funny? Is that Blake’s personality was so big right from the very beginning and I took a step back from this book because of that…so it was Blake that I was scared I wasn’t going to like but man, I was so wrong because I freaking loved him. He was just my very favorite thing about this entire book. I loved him, his struggles, his personality, his body and seriously, him. It was all him. I loved his docking station, too. Hahaha.

I know what you mean about Jess, though. There were times when I wished that she would just get over herself. Get out of her head and just go with the flow but I never hated her or thought she was dumb. I thought she was a solid heroine. The way that she stood up for Blake in the end? I was really happy with her growth throughout the story. She may not have been my favorite in the beginning but holy cow does she come through in the end. So good.

Do you know who’s book is next?

Ames: Jess does come through in the end! Her and Blake were a great match, their personalities just gelled. I liked how she had some figuring out to do yet with her life. Blake as a pro hockey player is set for the next decade at least but her, she was still figuring out who she was and how she fit in with her big family. And I liked that she wanted to do her schooling on her own. She definitely grew as a character.

I could go on and on about Blake though. He really was the greatest thing about that book. And so stand up! Like the whole deal with his ex? OMG. Just wow. And her? I wanted to smack her…and not because of the lie but because of the dog. LOL

I have two complaints. The dog on the cover and the teen girl with cancer. I’m not saying anything about the dog in the book and the dog on the cover. Just no. And the girl? I honestly wanted to see more of her. I thought there was something unfinished about that little part of the story.

I think Erickson’s book is next.

Rowena: I’m not a big pet person but even I was pissed at the ex about the dog. How dare she play the victim for EVERYTHING. I was annoyed with Blake’s sister Brenna though. Her loyalties should have always been with Blake so I didn’t like that she basically was all, “How could you be so insensitive?” Like, get over it. Jeez.

Yeah, did the teenager come out okay? Did Jess have to deliver the beanie to the little brother or was she miraculously saved by meeting Blake Riley? Some closure where that’s concerned would have been good. I knew you would pick up on the dog thing. You always do.

You’re right, Erickson is up next. I’m going to assume he’s getting back with his ex if the book is titled Stay? What do you think?

Overall, this was an entertaining book that I adored. There were minor things here and there that I didn’t care for but overall, I liked it. Like, really liked it. It was fun and I’m eager for more. I’m curious though, the series is called WAGs…why is that? I didn’t get a very big WAGS feel to this book so I don’t get it. Ha!

My grade for this one would be a 4 out of 5. You?​​

Ames: I agree with your guess about Erickson’s story. I don’t know how I feel about that though. I’m not the biggest fan of second chance stories these days. I’ll still read it since this author duo is the bomb. haha

I’m the same way about this series title! But if the authors are focusing on other team members and their stories, it’ll probably make more sense with the other books.

Like you I really enjoyed Good Boy. Great characters and a good story. I loved seeing so much of Jamie and Wes too. I’m giving this one a 4.25 out of 5.

Have you read Good Boy yet? If so, what did you think? If not, do you have plans to read it?

four-stars


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Buddy Review: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre

Posted January 31, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 10 Comments

Buddy Review: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra TorreHollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre
Series: Hollywood Dirt #1
Published by Alessandra Torre on September 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 414
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Goodreads

Cole Masten. Abandoned by his superstar wife, Hollywood’s Perfect Husband is now Hollywood’s Sexiest Bachelor: partying hard and screwing even harder. Watch out Los Angeles, there's a new bad boy in town.

Summer Jenkins. That’s me, a small town girl stuck in Quincy, Georgia. I cook some mean chicken and dumplins, can bluff a grown man out of his savings in poker, and was voted Most Friendly my senior year.

We were from different worlds. Our lives shouldn’t have collided. But then Cole Masten read a book about my small town. And six months later, his jet landed on our dusty airstrip, and he brought Hollywood with him.
From the start, I knew he was trouble. For our town. And for me.

Sometimes, opposites just aren’t meant to attract.

Ames: Ok Wena. What did you think of my pick for our January buddy review, Hollywood Dirt? I really enjoyed it and in fact this was my second time reading it.

Rowena: I enjoyed it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since it was my first Alessandra Torre book but I was pleased with the book overall. Cole was a freaking douche in the beginning but I liked him and over the course of the book, I loved him more and more.

Summer was a crack up and just all around funny character. I thought she was great and loved how sassy she was. I loved that she didn’t let Cole get away with anything even though she lusted after him something fierce.

So much fun!

Ames: It was so much fun! This was also my first Alessandra Torre book.

I really liked the fish out of water element for Cole. He’s this big Hollywood star who has come to expect everything to be done for him and he’s going through this major personal upheaval in his life. He really met Summer at his lowest point. I like how she didn’t treat him any different just because he was a celebrity. And their chemistry was off the charts! I like that they danced around each other as long as they did. They really got to know each other first.

Also, there’s a pet rooster. I honestly love this book for the pet rooster. That was used to sleeping in the house. LOL

Okay, the reason I wanted to re-read this book and chose it for our buddy review was that I heard it was being made into a movie. The premise of this book is that Cole is in Summer’s small Georgia town to film a movie based on a book he read. So the movie will be based upon a book about a movie being made about a book. I love it! haha

Rowena: YES! I really liked that they didn’t sleep together and then immediately were in love. I thought the way that they circled each other, kept their distance before giving in to the inevitable was great. I really loved that once Cole was all in, there wasn’t any changing of minds or trying to keep their relationship a secret from the masses. Cole was in. He didn’t care about the paparazzi, about Nadia. It was all about Summer, the small town girl who made everyone throw up at her engagement party. Haha.

The scene where Cole goes to the pet shop and he’s asking questions about what he should get for Cocky, and the guy keeps looking at Cole like he’s dumb. “It’s a chicken!” Haha. I loved that Cole kept the rooster and kept him as a pet.

LOL, that’s awesome! Have they done the casting yet? I’m curious to see who will be playing Cole and Summer.

Overall, I really liked this book and all of the characters. I even liked that Summer went to her cheating ex to read over the contract that Cole sent her to sign before agreeing to be in the movie. Summer was freaking great! I adored Ben and Justin and even liked Summer’s Mom.

My grade for this book would be 4.25 out of 5. You?​

Ames: Summer’s shenanigans with regards to her ex and her rehearsal dinner were hilarious. Summer was really a rebel but she made it work with her Southern upbringing. She was such a strong character and that’s really what made this book work for me. She definitely kept Cole guessing and working really hard. I liked her mom too!

Okay, I am giving Hollywood Dirt 4.25 out of 5 as well.

And I’m not sure if the movie process is at the casting stage yet or if the script is still being written. But it’s exciting. I think this would be a fun movie. And having been to Georgia, I could really picture this small town made of millionaires.


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