Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  April 15, 2014
Date Read: July 19, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

3.5 Stars

I read books in all kinds of situations and I read lots of different kinds of books.  This book was read from beginning to end while sitting in the car for a long car ride.  I only mention that fact because it is a very different reading environment for me.  I am not sure if I would have put it down to do something else around the house because it simply was not an option.  That being said I have done my best to rate this book as I would any other book.

I enjoyed this sweet teen read.  Some portions of the book were more interesting than others and in many ways I found the basic plot to be unrealistic but I like the book anyway.  This is the first book that I have read by Jennifer E. Smith.

Lucy and Owen meet in a New York City apartment building's elevator.  Unfortunately, they meet during a huge blackout affecting the entire area.  After being rescued from the elevator, they stay together throughout the night.  Lucy is the youngest daughter of a wealthy couple who enjoy traveling and she is home alone on the night of the blackout.  Owen is the only child of the apartment's superintendent.  Their evening together makes a lasting impression on both Lucy and Owen.

Lucy soon moves with her parents to Scotland while Owen travels west with his father who is looking for work.  Each adjust to their new life while staying connected via postcards and email.  This really is the story of Lucy and the story of Owen told in alternating narratives.  Their stories are really separate with the exception of a few places where their paths intersect.

The book was easy to read.  I found the alternating viewpoints worked in this book but I found that I enjoyed Owen's voice more than Lucy's for much of the book.  It could be that Owen's story was simply more interesting to me since he had much more to overcome.  I do think that it is a bit unrealistic that both Owen and Lucy would still be thinking about each other so much after that one night.  I have been a teenager and I am the mother of two teenage daughters.  I am constantly around teenagers and as far as I can tell most teenagers move on to the next thing very quickly.  That is just my opinion.  I do understand that Lucy and Owen did not have a network of friends to move on with since they both move during the book.

I did like this book.  I would feel completely comfortable with my youngest daughter who is 13 reading this book so I do feel it is appropriate for younger teens.  I plan to read other works by Jennifer E. Smith in the future.

Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine

Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine
Forever Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date:  June 17, 2014
Date Read:  July 26, 2014
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Forever Grand Central Publishing and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

4 Stars 

This is the book that I picked to read sitting on the beach during my summer vacation and I was not disappointed.  I enjoyed this fun, romantic read.  I have had a chance to read two books by Chelsea Fine and have really liked both of them.  I am becoming quite the Chelsea Fine fan.  

Kayla is in town to attend her estranged father's funeral.  It has been years since she has seen or spoke to her father.  Daren Ackwood looked up to the same man and saw him as a father figure.  The pair knew each other years ago so they both make a lot of quick assumptions without any merit.  

Kayla's father has included the pair in his will but there is a catch and they soon find themselves handcuffed to each other.  As they work to solve the scavenger hunt, both Daren and Kayla learn that they have misjudged each other.  They both learn a lot of things about each other and about themselves.  

I found this book to be extremely well written with a solid plot.  I found the characters to be very likeable although I have a hard time feeling sorry for Kayla because of her good looks.  The constant "nobody takes me seriously because I am beautiful" theme is really the only part of the book that I did not like.  The chemistry between Daren and Kayla was authentic.  I had a really good time with the fact that they were literally attached to each other throughout a large portion of the book.  Let's face it....the handcuffs made the book much more fun.

This is the second book in the Finding Fate series.  While some of the characters and places are in both books, each book in the series can be read as a stand alone without any confusion.  I would definitely recommend this book to others.  I plan to continue to read this series and watch out for other books by Chelsea Fine.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our Broken Sky by Sarah Harian

Our Broken Sky by Sarah Harian
Penguin Group
Publication Date:  August 19, 2014
Date Read:  July 27, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

4 Stars

*Please note that this review may contain spoilers for the first book in the series.*
This novella is part of the Chaos Theory series.  I think that readers who read and enjoyed the first book in the series, The Wicked We Have Done, will also enjoy this novella which is told from Valerie's point of view.  

Valerie was one of the more intriguing characters in the first book of the series so I was very interested to see things from her perspective.  While this novella is rather short, it packs quite a bit of story into its pages.  We learn about Valerie before anything happened.  We see her with her twin sister Veda and find out exactly what happened to send Valerie to the Compass Room.

The story then jumps to the Compass Room and we see things from Valerie's perspective.  Much of the section within the Compass Room focuses on Valerie and Jace's relationship and the time that they are alone together.

The story jumps once again to the period of time after the Compass Room and we see how Valerie is coping with everything that has happened.  

I think that this novella jumps from section to section without much of a link.  I enjoyed seeing Valerie's perspective because I already knew the story from the first book.  I do not recommend reading this before book 1 because I think that it would be hard to follow and it would give away quite a bit of the plot of the first book.

While I don't thing that this novella gave a whole lot of new information, I would recommend it to readers who enjoyed the first book. 

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date:  August 19, 2014
Date Read:  July 18, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Grand Central Publishing and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

5 Stars!

I have been a fan of Sandra Brown's work for quite some time.  I even stood in line to have her sign my book a few years ago.  I have read many of her recent novels but still need to catch up with a few of her recent work as well as much of her older works.  When I saw a this book on Net Galley, I requested it right away and was so excited to be approved.

As I was reading this book, I wondered why I don't read Sandra Brown more often.  I was completely sucked into this book and simply could not put it down.  That is exactly what I am looking for when I pick up a book.  I am looking for that story that will knock my socks off and make the rest of the world go away for a few hours.  This book was really that good.

Emory wakes up to find herself in a strange cabin with a man she has never met.  She has suffered a blow to the head and while the man cares for her he will not allow her to call for help.  This man will not share even the most basic information with her, such as his name.  

Emory came to the mountains to train for an upcoming marathon.  Her husband does not report her missing until several days have passed causing the police to suspect that he may have been involved in her disappearance.  Meanwhile, Emory is beginning to trust the man in the cabin to some extent.  When he asks her for help in caring for a young girl, Emory, a physician, quickly agrees.  

This book was extremely well written.  I found the characters to be believable....for the most part.  Of course with any work of fiction, some characters will have exaggerated traits which is to be expected.  There were characters that I loved and others that I really disliked which is what makes for an excellent story.  There were plenty of plot twists and I found myself guessing right up until the end.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book full of twists and turns.  I plan to keep reading Sandra Brown and catch of on a few of her older titles. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

One Kick by Chelsea Cain
Simon & Schuster
Publication Date:  August 19, 2014
Date Read:  May 3, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

4 Stars!

When I saw the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book, I was more than a little excited.  I have read all of the books in the Gretchen Lowell series (some more than once actually) so I knew that I enjoy Chelsea Cain's writing.  This book did not disappoint!  Chelsea Cain is a master at writing characters that are deeply troubled.  She puts that skill to use in this book.

One note of warning for some readers:  This book is focused on crimes against children including, child pornography.  Any readers who wish to avoid these subjects will want to avoid this book.   

Kick was abducted by a stranger when she was 6 years old.  She learned to survive in that environment until she was rescued 6 years later.  As an adult, she finds herself dealing with the emotional scars directly connected to that time.  Anytime an Amber alert is issued, she searches hoping to save that child from what she has been through.

Bishop approaches Kick and asks for her help in finding two children that have recently been kidnapped.  Kick's knowledge may be the key to finding these children.  Bishop and Kick work together in some very dangerous situations trying to find the victim in time.

This book was filled with troubled characters dealing with issues from their past.  All of these characters came together to tell a story that was hard to put down.  I would definitely recommend this book to others.  I look forward to reading future books in the series.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

True Love by Jude Deveraux

True Love by Jude Deveraux
Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date:  July 9, 2013
Date Read:  July 6, 2014

4 Stars

I was able to get my hands on a review copy for the second book in this trilogy.  While I was excited to get a review copy, I now had a dilemma regarding the first book in the series.  Should I jump right into book #2 or should I go back and read book #1?  Since I like order, I decided that I needed to read the first book before I could go onto the second in the trilogy.  While I think the first two books in the trilogy can be read as stand alone novels, I am glad that I decided to read the books in order.

Alix is going to Nantucket to spend a year in a house in Nantucket as allowed in the previous owner, Adelaide Kingsley.  Alix is getting over a break up with her boyfriend and brings her best friend, Izzy, with her on the trip.  Alix has just finished college and plans to use her time on Nantucket to create her portfolio.  Izzy does not stay long but does decide to have her wedding at the house Alix will be living in for the next year.  Alix remembers spending once summer at the house on Nantucket when she was a very small child but soon learns her mother has spent a lot of time there over the years. 

Soon after arriving on Nantucket, Alix sees Jared Montgomery one of the top architects around.  She soon learns, that Jared is a Kingsley and will get the house after Alix's year.  The pair get off to a rough start but soon learn that they have more in common than architecture.

This book was well written and I found the characters to be very likable.  I do find it a bit of a stretch to think that both of Alix's parents could have had such strong ties to Nantucket and Jared's family without her knowledge - why would that be kept a secret?  I do like how Jude Deveraux tends to weave a bit of paranormal into her stories - who doesn't want a quirky ghost living in their house?

I have been a fan of Jude Deveraux for many years and plan to continue with this trilogy.  I also plan to look for her future works and maybe catch up on a few of older works.  I would recommend this books to fans of romance.

For All Time by Jude Deveraux

For All Time by Jude Deveraux
Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date:  July 1, 2014
Date Read:  July 13, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group for the purpose of providing an honest review.

4 Stars

I feel that I must start this review by saying that this is not the first Jude Deveraux book that I have read in my life and I would count myself as one of her fans.  I have enjoyed every book by this author that I have had the chance to read and have yet to be let down.  I have read her more recent works and have yet to read her earlier work although I have heard that some of her earlier books are by far her best.   I felt that this book lived up to the expectations that I have when reading a book by Jude Deveraux.  

This book is the second book in the Nantucket Brides Trilogy.  While I think it would be most enjoyable to read the trilogy in its intended order, I do think that this book could be read as a stand alone.  

Graydon and Toby meet at Jared and Alix's wedding.  Graydon has an identical twin brother, Rory, and Toby is able to tell the men apart.  Graydon's family believes that whoever can tell the twins apart will be their true love.  Not only is Graydon polite, charming, and drop dead gorgeous, he happens to be the heir to the Lancanion throne.  Yep - Graydon is a Prince.  Graydon arranges to spend some time in Nantucket to get closer to Toby.

While Toby is attracted to Graydon, she tries to keep control of her emotions because she knows that there is no way that the pair can ever be together.  Graydon has a soon to be fiance that has been chosen for him.  The pair grow closer as they work together to plan a close family friend's wedding.

I did have a moment while reading this book that it seemed completely unoriginal.  I mean this book had identical twins switching places, a prince who wants to be with his true love,  and the commoner who does not feel like she can ever have the prince.  Things did pick up and I felt that book seemed more original the further I read.  I love how Jude Deveraux slips a little paranormal aspect into most of her books - at least the ones that I have had a chance to read.  This book was no exception.  Nothing like a little time travel to keep things interesting.

All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable romance.  I am sure that I will be reading the final book in the trilogy as soon as it becomes available.  
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