Genre: Young Adult

Week in Review (84)

Posted April 2, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 6 Comments

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying their morning coffee and that today doesn’t totally suck for everyone. Mondays after a holiday are always hard, right? Anyway, Chloe and Markus are back from Samoa and they leave back home to Utah tomorrow with Baby Caiden in tow. This is me right now…

We had a good week with Caiden though. All of us got to hang with him, he went to Disneyland a few times and we had a great send-off party yesterday with an Easter egg hunt and everything. He’s going to be missed but now I’m even more serious about going to visit him in a couple of months for an entire week. Haha. I hope Chloe has room for all of us that are coming…cause we are.

And on that note, I want to wish my beautiful niece Chloe a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Instead of posting a picture of her though, I’m going to post a picture of her beautiful son, Caiden.

This is my favorite picture of Caiden and Brenna took it last week Monday when they went to Knotts Berry Farm for Lukey’s birthday. Isn’t it the best picture, ever? He’s such a happy boy and man I’m going to miss him.

Baseball season is once again upon us and my Dodgers started off the season with a series against that dratted team from the Bay. Thank goodness we found our bats and were able to split the series because I did not want to start our season off 0-4 against the Giants. My Lakers are wrapping up another surprising season. They did a lot better this season than last so I’ll take that as a win but we’re not going to make the playoffs…again. That’s surprising since we’ve always been dominant and now? Not so much. Oh well…I’m seeing progress and that makes me happy.

But dude, did you guys watch the Woman’s Basketball championship game between Notre Dame and Mississippi State? Man, what a freaking game. It came down to the wire and the same girl that saved Notre Dame against UConn, saved them again in the championship game. Holy shit, it was amazing!

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading

Week in Review (84)If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales
Published by Macmillan, Farrar Straus and Giroux on May 1st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Add It: Goodreads

Before we go any further, I want you to understand this: I am not a good person.

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. But what happens when we’re seen and heard saying or doing the wrong things? What then?

When Winter Halperin—former spelling bee champion, aspiring writer, and daughter of a parenting expert—gets caught saying the wrong thing online, her life explodes. All across the world, people knows what she’s done, and none of them will forgive her.

With her friends gone, her future plans cut short, and her identity in shambles, Winter is just trying to pick up the pieces without hurting anyone else. She knows she messed up, but does that mean it’s okay for people to send her hate mail and death threats? Does she deserve to lose all that she’s lost? And is “I’m sorry” ever good enough?

First and foremost a novel about public shaming in the internet age, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is also an exploration of the power of words, the cumulative destructiveness of microaggressions, and the pressing need for empathy.

I took the weekend off from reading and chose to watch movies instead. I’m going to be starting this book today and I’m excited. I have enjoyed Leila Sales before and I hope that I enjoy her stuff still. Wish me luck!

What I Read

Suddenly Forbidden (Gray Springs University #1) by Ella Fields | 4 out of 5
Hot Response (Boston Fire #4) by Shannon Stacey | 4 out of 5
The Love Coupon (Stubborn Hearts #2) by Ainslie Paton | 4.25 out of 5

What I Reviewed

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews | 5 out of 5
White Hot by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews | 4.5 out of 5
On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young | 4 out of 5

Home Again (2017) | 4 out of 5
Black Panther (2018) | 5 out of 5
The Greatest Showman (2017) | 5 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (83)

What Movies I Watched

Doctor Strange (2016) | 4 out of 5
Captain America: Civil War (2016) | 4.25 out of 5

What TV Shows I Watched

The Resident: This week’s episode threw me for a loop. I immediately texted Brenna to find out if she watched it because I needed to discuss it with someone. We continue to find out more evil things about certain doctors in power at Chastain and that ending??? OMG. I’m still blown away that they actually did that and the previews for what’s to come? Wow. Nick???? What is Conrad going to do? What else is Privesh’s fiancee going to find? What’s going to happen with Mina? Sheesh, so much goodness to come.

Chicago PD: This week was also the week that I finally caught up on Chicago PD. I’m surprised that I like the new girl (that replaced Erin Lindsay) so much and I’m also surprised that the girl that I never thought I’d hate is…Burgess. Every episode, I’m always annoyed with her and it’s gotten to the point where I wish she’d join Lindsay in New York. Ugh. Still, the show itself is good and I’m mighty curious to see how the whole thing with Olinsky plays out because…damn. I guess I’ll have to keep watching.

What I Got

Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken
Dragon on Top by G.A. Aiken
About a Dragon by G.A. Aiken
What a Dragon Should Know by G.A. Aiken
Last Dragon Standing by G.A. Aiken
The Dragon who Loved Me by G.A. Aiken
How to Drive a Dragon Crazy by G.A. Aiken
Light My Fire by G.A. Aiken
Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken
Bring the Heat by G.A. Aiken

What I Got for Review

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?


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Buddy Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

Posted July 25, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: When It’s Real by Erin WattWhen It's Real by Erin Watt
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Teen on May 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 413
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

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?

Ames: Rowena and I were originally going to read Cora Carmack’s July new release, All Closed Off. But we had a little discussion about this book as it had already been delayed so we chose a back-up book, When It’s Real. Although it wasn’t released during July, it was a newish book that neither of us had read yet. I’m glad we decided on a back up book because All Closed Off was delayed again.

When It’s Real features the fake celebrity relationship trope. Vaughn is hired as the everyday girlfriend for young pop star Oakley Ford. Oakley needs a girlfriend for reasons. The only reason Vaughn goes along with this crazy scheme is to help her family out. They’re orphans after their parents died in an accident and they’ve been making ends meet but barely. Vaughn actually graduated from high school early so she could take some time off before heading to college. Oakley is only going along with the scheme to ingratiate himself with a producer he really wants to work with. He is not keen on this arrangement and at first he acts like a real ass with Vaughn. But Vaughn is not impressed with his fame or his attitude and Oakley comes around to acting like a human being. As they get to know each other, their fake relationship starts to feel real. But is it?

Okay Wena, what did you think of When It’s Real? I read this book right after I read another fake relationship book (with older adults) and let me tell you, this book was hands down the better read. I loved Vaughn and Oakley’s dynamic. I like that they didn’t like each other at first but then Vaughn slowly started to humanize Oakley. I really liked Vaughn. And to be honest, I pictured Harry Styles for Oakley. LOL That may not be where the authors were intending to go with his character, but that’s who I saw. And I may have listened to Sign of the Times a time or ten…million. haha

Rowena: What did I think? I adored this book and when I finished, I was bummed because I didn’t want the book to end. I thought Oakley and Vaughn were awesome characters and an adorable couple. I really liked how their relationship turned from hate to friendship then finally, to love.

I really like Jen Frederick and Elle Kennedy’s writing style. They write books together really well. I don’t think I’ve read a book that I haven’t been utterly obsessed with (whether I’ve been pissed off or in freaking love) and that wasn’t any different with this book. The flow of the story worked for me and the dialogue, man I loved the dialogue. You can always count on Frederick and Kennedy to pack on the drama and we got plenty of that here, lots and lots of drama that I could not get enough of.

Harry Styles is a great Oakley…well, without his accent but still, I could totally see it. I love Harry.

I’m really happy about our choice of buddy review book this month. It was so freaking good. It took the sting out of yet another delay for All Closed Off.

Ames: I didn’t want the book to end either! And it wasn’t just the main characters. I loved the secondary characters too, like Oak’s bodyguard buddy and Vaughn’s family. I like how Oak was with her younger brothers. And thought the secondary romance was very cute too.

My only complaint (and its a small one) is how the issue at the end of was dealt with, with the meddling into their relationship. Like it was kind of brushed aside (I’ll deal with you later!” kind of thing) but I wanted to see those people deal with the repercussions of what they did. It was so unprofessional, you know?

Rowena: Yeah. I really liked that the secondary characters held their own with my attention. There have been quite a few books where I couldn’t tell you much about the secondary characters but that wasn’t the case with Vaughn’s family and even Oakley’s. I liked seeing Oakley’s Mom trying to make things right with him and I liked seeing Oakley handle the situation with his Dad. I also liked seeing how he made a family for himself with his bodyguards.

Ugh, I wanted to punch Luke, the bassist so many times because he was such a terrible human being. I was glad when Oakley finally tossed his ass to the curb. The whole misunderstanding at the end should have had bigger consequences, considering who he was but it did make me wonder if that ever happened in real life. Do you think? Also, how did it end? Do we find out if they were punished, fired, or whatever?

Ames: Luke was the worst! And so was Oakley’s dad. I did like that his mom was redeemable.

And no, I don’t think we ever found out what happened! Do we know if there’s going to be a series or was this a stand-alone? I ask because maybe there would be some follow up in another book? I don’t know.

So I loved When It’s Real and really enjoyed it. So I’m giving this a 4.25 out of 5. I highly recommend this one.

Rowena: Yes!!! He totally was. It was nice that Oakley’s Mom actually wanted to fix their relationship and wasn’t as we thought she’d be after hearing about her from Oakley.

I don’t think there’s going to be another book or a series. I thought this was a standalone book.

This was a fun book that I really enjoyed and I’m so glad that we chose it. I adored Oakley and I loved Vaughn. I also loved that Vaughn was from El Segundo since that’s about 15 minutes from where I live and the day that I started this book, I was having dinner on Main Street in El Segundo so I had a little dorky moment while looking out the restaurant window, thinking about Oakley and Vaughn. Ha!

I give this book a 4.25 out of 5 as well. Such a great book!

four-stars


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Buddy Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Posted May 31, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 0 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
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Add It: 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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