Review | You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

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Title | You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone
Author | Rachel Lynn Solomon
Genre | YA Contemporary
Pages | 304 pages
Publisher | Simon Pulse
Series | None
Release Date | January 2nd, 2018

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon. 

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

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You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone is a relevant, compelling tale of two twins who fail to get along, and their struggles with adolescent lives and the looming possibility of one being cut short. This original piece of work tells the tale of Adina and Tovah; twin sisters who haven’t been close for years. Their journey to self-discovery and sisterhood is moving as well as devastating – leaving me hooked and wanting more long after the story was finished.

The book chapters alternate between the two protagonists, Adina and Tovah, point of views, starting and ending with Adina. There is a fluid motion of pacing through the novel, with each part of the story being relevant to the destruction of one twin’s life and the slow-building up of another. It is interesting to see how the opposing beliefs of each girl motivates their behaviour and personality; helping to move the story along and prevent it from becoming tedious to read. With each page I turned in the story, I was hooked. I had to continue to the next part. All in all, I’d say the story took me around three hours to read; bearing in mind I am a fast reader. There was no need for me to discard the book for a rest at any point – it compelled me to read it.

Adina is quite a crazy character. At first, she comes across as shy and introverted – the stereotypical music player who walks around with her head in the clouds. Envied by her sister Tovah for the attention she receives from guys, it’s very clear from the get-go that Adina only has eyes for her music teacher – who only has the intention of sleeping with Adina. It’s quite sad to watch Adina become sucked into the wormhole she creates for herself, allowing everything to consume her. In the end, she has quite a destructive personality, and this is no way helps her with her relationship with Tovah. However, given the circumstances, her behaviour seems almost justified – almost.

Tovah, on the other hand, seems the more sensible out of the twins. She is your typical over-achiever, with her mind set on attending the best college she possibility can and her focus firmly set on her friends and extra-curricular activities. It’s kind of sad that her history with her sister is so bad, and that this has fractured their friendship. A large portion of the book, Tovah thinks that Adina ‘owes’ Tovah for something she did years ago. While this may seem justified to the character, I felt it was rather petty to dwell on it and to allow it tear the sisterhood apart.

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone addresses several serious issues that are becoming increasingly important in todays modern society. The first being health. It is no secret that the book is based around the incurable degenerate disease of Huntington’s. Their mother, Ima, suffers with it and it can be quite emotional to watch their mother deteriorate throughout the novel. You feel like you’re there with the twins, feeling every accident of missed word and it clenches your heart. I appreciate that this book is working wonders to raise the word about Huntington’s Disease. I, for one, have never heard of it before and would not have thought it to be so serious post-reading the story. Solomon has done a fabulous job in highlighting the destructive of the disease, and need to focus more energy into searching for a cure.

The second important issue discussed by the book is mental health. It becomes apparent that Adina is suffering through depression as the book unfolds – her behaviour becomes unpredictable, her thoughts are scattered and she reverts to some pretty crazy tactics in the final chapters of the book. While it isn’t made a massive thing of until the very end, it’sstill incredibly positive to see this in young adult literature. We should be educating the young that this is not a bad thing to go through – and that the stigma attached to depression is not just. I have depression and have had it for around two years now. I only found out two months ago. So to see this reinforcing in literature is the step forward that I have been waiting for.

Another issue touched upon is that of relationships. Adina’s sexuality is quite clearly flaunted in the book, with her loving her virginity at fourteen to a boy who was eighteen/nineteen. As a consequence, we see Adina attempt to use her sexuality as a weapon against men, who only ever seem to use her. It’s quite a dangerous game to play, and a rocky issue to address in a book – as there is actually little that tells Adina that sexuality is not a weapon. It is Tovah that is the voice of reason in that sense, but I would have liked there to have been a bit more of a control on the extent to which Adina tried to control her sexual energy.

Religion is also quite an important aspect of the book. It was surprising to me, to see a book that focussed around the Jewish religion – simply because I have never come across a young adult story that does so. It was mildly refreshing. Yet it was important, as we see one twin continue with her faith, and another lose it completely. It is interesting to see how this ends up between the girls, and the justification behind both their reasonings.

Other issues touched upon in the book is that of blackmail and stalking – although minor to the novel as a whole, they are still present. In no way do I condone the use of blackmail or stalking, and the actions of the individual only work to prove how desperate the situation becomes.

If I were to say that I didn’t enjoy this story, then I would be lying. It was hard not to. As a debut novel, I am very pleased with the writing of Rachel Lynn Solomon and hope to see her next work on the shelves. Scoring this book is quite easy – I am giving it a four out of five. While I have no critique for the author, I am not overwhelmed by the story. However, I am still pleased that I read this book.

4 stars

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Review | Copycat by Hannah Jayne

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Title | Copycat
Author | Hannah Jayne
Genre | YA Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Pages | 288 pages
Publisher | Sourcebooks FIRE
Release Date | July 3rd, 2018

Everyone is dying to read the latest book in the popular Gap Lake mystery series, and Addison is no exception. As the novels biggest fan, Addison is flattered when the infamously reclusive author, R.J. Rosen, contacts her, granting her inside information others would kill for. 

But when the most popular girl in Addison’s high school is murdered, Addison can’t help but think that life may be imitating fiction. And as other terrifying events from the book start happening around her, Addison has to figure out how to write her own ending -and survive the story.

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I have two words for anyone even considering this book – MUST READ! I’m a simple girl. I love mysteries. I love Hannah Jayne. And Copycat is possibly some of the best of Jayne’s work, if that is even possible. When this book became available, I just knew that I was going to love it. Anyone who wants a thrilling read will adore this story.

Addison is the book nerd that we all are. She’s obsessed with the murder mystery series of Gap Lake and will defend the books until the end of the Earth. It was interesting to see how she still continues the mysteries despite the strange similarities to the things happening around her. Perhaps what is more thrilling than Addison, is the true killers personality and their ability to hide behind their facade for so long. I loved how the murder was not who I expected – something that I find all too easy to predict in modern young adult fiction.

Not once did I find this book boring. From the minute I opened the book and finished it, I was wanting more. I still want more, even though the book is a standalone novel. The sheer thrill of the book and the excellently fluid writing style from Jayne will have this being a book I remember for a while. As I adore this genre, I always run the risk of falling into similar story plots where the ending just become too easy to foresee.

I love Hannah Jayne’s writing, and I am more than stoked to see what she produced next. For now, I think I’ll be revisiting some of her older classics in anticipation for the next one.

5 stars

Blog Tour | Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski

 

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Title | Everything Under the Sun
Author | Jessica Redsmerski
Genre | NA Science Fiction, Romance
Pages | 656 pages
Publisher | Amazon Digital Services
Series | None
Release Date | June 5th, 2018

Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about. 

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana. 

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them? 

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When it comes to describing Everything Under the Sun, words seem to evade me. This post-apocalyptic romantic hit has taken the YA blogging world by storm, sending out a plethora of high four and five star ratings across the blogosphere. And after reading the book for myself, it wasn’t hard to understand why. It’s bloody brilliant.

“You may be the only good thing left in this world, and I’ll be goddamned if I let your light fade.”

Thais and Atticus are polar opposites, but two halves of a whole. Their romance is mighty, powerful and epic – but ultimately, they are star-crossed lovers. He is a soldier and she is running. Atticus is not a safe man – he’s just not a very good person really. He’s bad, haunted, dangerous and yet you can’t help but want him to be with the gentle Thais. Thais is also definitely my favourite strong female heroine of 2018 – her brave and strength is admirable.

I looked into the eyes of the woman I know I would die for one day, and my heart, as it always was when I looked at her and only her, was bursting.

The book was a very long read, taking me a lot longer to finish than usual. Yet, unlike some of the other books I’ve encountered with a long and slow story plot, I didn’t get the urge to smash my Kindle while reading this. The slow pace is needed, it’s necessary because it is an epic love story. You simply do not want to put the damn book down. I love when books are like this, because that’s how you know you’ve made the right decision.

“You’re like an angel,” Atticus whispered, his gaze sweeping my face. “You’re my angel.” He dipped his head and kissed my lips.

It was fair to say that the idea of a post-apocolyptic romance had me on the rocks a little bit. I’m not a dystopian fiction person – and you’ll know that if you read my posts regularly. But this is that happy balance between unbearable and fantastic. It was a genre I did not expect to enjoy this summer – and dare I say it has opened my eyes to other books surrounding the genre. However, I’ll have to hold out for a sequel to this as the premise is something I have not yet come across in young adult fiction.

“I’ve chosen you every step of the way, in every breath, with every bit of my broken heart and broken soul, and I choose you now, and tomorrow, and every day after it!”

I’m incredibly excited for the next instalment after that terribly cruel cliffhanger. I think I’ll be watching my Goodreads and social media avidly to await anymore news. As for you guys, I’d encourage you to give this a try – it’s completely different to what I have read. Therefore, I dare you all to be adventurous and give this five-star romance a try this summer.

5 stars

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Meet Jessica

J.A. (Jessica) Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television and film by actor and model William Levy.

Website | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Review | Sing by Vivi Greene

54 - Sing by Vivi Greene

Title | Sing
Author | Vivi Greene
Genre | YA Contemporary Romance
Pages | 279 pages
Publisher | HarperCollins
Series | None
Release Date | May 31st, 2016

America’s most famous pop star flees the spotlight to recover from her latest break-up in Maine—only to fall for a local boy and be faced with an impossible choice at the end of the summer: her new guy, or her music.

Multiplatinum pop icon Lily Ross’s biggest hits and biggest heartbreaks (because they are one and the same):

1. AGONY. (That feeling when her ex ripped her heart out of her chest and she never saw it coming.)
2. GHOSTS. (Because even famous people are ghosted by guys sometimes. And it sucks just as much.)
3. ONCE BITTEN. (As in: twice shy. Also, she’s never dating an actor or a musician ever again.)

But this summer’s going to be different. After getting her heart shattered, Lily is taking herself out of the spotlight and heading to a small island in middle-of-nowhere Maine with her closest friends. She has three months until her fall tour starts-three months to focus on herself, her music, her new album. Anything but guys.

That is . . . until Lily meets sweet, down-to-earth local Noel Bradley, who is so different from anyone she’s ever dated. Suddenly, Lily’s “summer of me” takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself falling deeper and harder than ever before. But Noel isn’t interested in the limelight. She loves Noel-but she loves her fans, too. And come August, she may be forced to choose.

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Music, summer and a romance that will sweep you off your feet – Sing is the perfect summer read for this hot days in the sun.

A book which has been heavily emphasized for the past month or so is Sing by Vivi Greene. Curiosity struck back in May when I was offered the chance to read an exclusive six-chapter sniper of the book. Oh my little lovelies, I was impressed. Instantly I added the book to my Goodreads list and heavily anticipated the chance to read the novel fully. While I received that offer and gratefully accepted it, I had to push the actual reading onto the back burner for personal reasons – or at least, until today.

Lily, the main protagonist of the story is a superstar singer who constantly finds her heart being broken. Her description, current lifestyle and appearance on the cover of the book constantly makes me think of Taylor Swift and the agro that she has to deal with. As a proud Swiftie, I feel she is so easily judged due to media portrayal and ex’s opinions. That was something that made me click with this particular story. I’m not a sensation, a singer or pretty and famous. Heck, I’m not even a size 8 at the minute, but I couldn’t help but feel compelled to read Lily’s story. Sure it helps that I’m a sucker for romance, and a helpless romantic at heart but you know – that’s life.

The book doesn’t move too fast or too slow, maintaining what I can only describe as a perfect pace throughout. It was refreshing to find a book where the ending hadn’t been rushed, and the whole story plot for Sing had very obviously been planned out well. Of not, then you have some serious skills Ms Greene! Sing wasn’t a very complex book either. While it was quite long to read, not considering that I had it spaced out over several weeks, I found it easy to keep up with. Heck, I hadn’t read the book for a month and I was still able to identify the ups and downs to the point I had paused. Now it is a special book that can do that, especially when I had been reading other stories in between.

As for the cover, I feel like the minimalist movement of a girl with blonde hair and red lips suits the book perfectly. It screams popstar but at the same time doesn’t make you assume that she is spoilt or stuck up – a trait I was glad to see scrapped. Sing lived up to my expectations, so I gladly award it a 5 out of 5 snowflakes. Well done, Vivi Greene.

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Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Yana @ The Quidnunc says “Sing by Vivi Greene: was exactly what I expected, in a good way, I think…”

Kathy @ A Glass of Wine says “Sing offers a sweet look at a summer romance

Review | A Son of Carver by Haven Francis

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Title | A Son of Carver
Author | Haven Francis
Genre | YA Contemporary Romance
Pages | 546 pages
Publisher | CreateSpace Independant Publishing Inc
Series | Carver High, #2
Release Date | May 17th, 2016

Sometimes the best version of yourself is the one you can only see through someone else’s eyes. But what happens when those eyes belong to the one person you don’t want them to?

Thanks to her father’s affair and her parent’s resulting separation, Presley Knox has been ripped from her life in California and dropped into an abyss in the middle of Georgia. With her alternative looks and creative spirit, trying to find her place in a sea of jocks and cheerleaders is hard, but doing it while living with her cousin who belittles her every chance she gets is almost impossible. There is one person in Carver who embodies everything Presley hates about her new life and she can’t help but use him as the outlet for all of her frustrations.

Nash Carter’s bad boy image isn’t a façade; he drinks too much, sleeps around, makes his money street racing and has zero plans for his future beyond living a rowdy life with his likeminded dad and older brother. His good looks, cut body and popularity have always gotten him anything and anyone he’s ever wanted. That is until Presley Knox showed up at Carver High.

Nash knows to steer clear of Presley and her sharp tongue that’s always aimed at him. But that becomes impossible when they’re paired together for a semester-long photography assignment that promises to push them into the depths of each other’s personal lives. In order to survive the semester, Nash implements a new strategy: get the one girl who’s immune to his charm to change her mind about him.

With Nash’s unwavering pursuit to know everything about her, and with the nagging voice inside her head that’s insisting there’s more to him than she’s letting herself see, Presley struggles to keep her wall firmly in place. When it slowly begins to crumble, Nash wonders if he should have kept his distance after all because the girl that’s been hiding under Presley’s hard shell is breaking his heart wide open.

Nash has been a lot of things to a lot of girls, but Presley’s the only one he’s ever wanted to shelter and protect. But how is he going to do that when he knows she’s right to keep their friendship a secret in order to protect herself from him?

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Romantic, cute and a perfect romance summer hit, A Son of Carver is the standalone novel that every girl needs to possess.

I’m realizing just how deep our deceit runs.

From the minute I opened A Son of Carver, I rolled my eyes and instantly discarded it as the Entangled: Crush book that didn’t make it. I judged the book, and that makes me feel so incredibly foolish – especially considering how fabulous the book actually was. My biggest love for this book was the depth. The writer took her time to develop a history, a plot, the characters and their personality and literally everything else in the story. There has been so much effort put into the story which pays off incredibly well. As I was reading the story, I was able to recall details of pasts which were referred to. I like this – I like being able to stand with a novel and evaluate where it’s going and where its been, who’s been what and who has yet to appear.

“I’m here Nash. I’m not gonna go,” she reassures me. Which is great. But she’s talking about tonight and I can’t stop thinking about forever.

The characters, including the secondary and flimsy characters, all had an incredible likability to them – well, with the exception of one. I liked how each character had a specific role in making the novel amazing. Obviously my favourite characters were the two protagonists, Nash and Presley. Something I adored was the originality of the names. It reminds me of the naming in The Hunger Games, because the more unusual the name, the more the book will stand out. Nash is honestly such a sweetheart. I want to wrap him up in cotton wool and bubble wrap and squeeze his little cheeks. Like any young adult, bad boys have a profound effect on me. They’re sexy, they’re naughty and inside beats the heart of a nice guy.

Nash was definitely a character I loved, and probably one of the best male protagonists I have ever encountered. When the story is told from his perspective, it is both believable and honest. Presley is that bad ass chick with the insecurities that force her to hide herself away. It’s terrible being made to feel inferior your life, and dealing with the divorce if your parents is only going to amplify the issues. But Presley had an inner strength I admired and aspired to have. That makes her a winning character in my eyes.

“How the hell did I get you to fall in love with me?” I wonder out loud. “It’s like some sort of miracle.”

“Slow and steady. And then… all at once. I fell down a hole I didn’t even see coming.”

While the book was actually the second in a series, it can standalone. It is a brilliant move because I now want to go back and read the first one. A Son of Carver was a bloody brilliant novel, and one that I want to own a physical copy of. I’m definitely about to go and check Amazon. And you should too.

4 stars

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Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Emalie @ Book Gatherer says “Overall I liked reading A Son Of Carver.”

Blog Tour | The Controversial Princess by Jodi Ellen Malpas

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Title | The Controversial Princess
Author | Jodi Ellen Malpas
Genre | Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages | 400 pages
Publisher | Self-Published
Series | Smoke & Mirrors, #1
Release Date | May 22nd, 2018

Her father is The King of England. She is The Controversial Princess. 

Regarded as down to earth by the press and rebellious by The King, Princess Adeline refuses to bow to the royal expectations her title carries. She knows better than anyone that the united front of the royal family is nothing but smoke and mirrors – lies and secrets masked by power and privilege. She wants no part of it, and she will never surrender to The King’s demand to marry a man she does not love. But despite Adeline’s determination to retain her free will, she remains deeply unfulfilled, feeling caged and suffocated. 

That is until she meets Josh Jameson. Drawn in by his confidence, Adeline is soon captivated by the scandalously sexy American actor. His ability to penetrate her defences overwhelms her – his touch is pure fire, and his allure overpowering. Nothing has ever made her feel so alive in a world where she’s otherwise slowly drowning. However, while Josh may be Hollywood royalty, he’s not actual royalty, and Adeline knows The King and his advisors will do everything in their power to keep them apart. 

But Josh Jameson becomes the princess’s ultimate vice. And although she bows to no one, she bows to him.

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I am a massive fan on royal families, and living in England only makes me more excited for this book! Especially following the Royal Wedding last weekend, between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

I’m hoping to get my hands on a physical copy of this story tomorrow, when payday hits and I suddenly have money for like a day. But you guys who are fortunate enough can already go buy the book now! I’ve heard nothing but good reviews about this, so go give a check out and let me know in the comments whether you want to read this or not!

You can buy the book here:
Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

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Here is a fabulous excerpt from the book for all those still on the edge about buying it!

Leaning over, he kisses the tip of my nose. “Now, food’s on the way. We’ll have a carpet picnic, what do ya say?”

“I’ve never had a carpet picnic before.”

“Say what?” He looks horrified. “Never?”

My shoulders jump up on a little shrug. “It’s all fine dining, posh china, and solid silver cutlery at a table that’s so shiny you can see your face in it.”

“Then tonight we fix that.” He pulls me up and walks us through to the lounge. “Get all the cushions on the floor.” He pulls a throw off the back of a chair and wafts it into the air while I pull all the cushions from the couch. I watch as Josh gets on his hands and knees and starts pulling at the corners of the blanket, straightening it out and placing cushions.

I have a permanent smile on my face, fascinated by his deep concentration. “You are doing a tremendously good job,” I say, clearing my face of my smile when his motions falter and he looks up at me. One of his eyes narrows, and in a lightning move, he snatches my wrist and yanks me down to the floor. I cry in surprise, being rolled to my back until I’m once again pinned against something by his body. Not that I’m complaining. Would never dream of it. I blow a tickling hair from my nose and grin at him. 

“You’re making fun of me.” He dips and bites the end of my nose. 

“Not at all.” I chuckle, squirming beneath him while he makes a meal of my face. 

“Too good for a carpet picnic, are you? You want a throne?”

“Definitely not,” I blurt. “Unless your face will be my throne.”

Josh pulls back speedily on a little choke, his eyes bulging. I press my lips together as he stares at me in shock, like how could such a vulgar thing have fallen from the lips of a princess? “I think I just fell in love with you.”

It’s my turn to choke. “Blimey, you fall easily, don’t you?”

“Actually, I don’t fall at all.”

“No?”

He shakes his head. “Baby, I’ll be your throne any day of the week.”

“Honored.”

“It is me who’s honored. It’s not every day a real-life princess tells you she wants to sit on your face.”

Laughter erupts from deep within me, my eyes clenching shut, my head thrown back. My position and lack of control gives Josh the perfect opportunity to ravish my throat. And he does, growling dramatically, squirming above me…rubbing me. 

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(c) Kerry Ann Duffy Photography

About the wonderful Jodi:


Jodi Ellen Malpas wrote her debut series, The This Man Trilogy, in secret, worried about what people might think if they knew what her imagination was capable
of. She was shocked herself.

But she finally found the courage to unleash her creative streak and self-published THIS MAN – the first book of the This Man Trilogy – in October 2012.

She took a chance on the story with a hero who soon became one of modern day fictions most prolific alpha male characters. Jesse Ward – also affectionately known as The Lord of The Manor, sparked incredible reactions from women across the globe and catapulted Jodi into the world of women’s fiction.

Jodi went on to self-publish the second book in the trilogy, Beneath This Man in Jan 2013, just before Grand Central Publishing, part of the Hachette Book Group, picked up the popular trilogy and the unknown Jodi. The third book of the trilogy, This Man Confessed, took Jodi to the top of the bestsellers lists, earning her the proud title of #1 New York Times Bestselling Author. This Man has since been voted one of the top romance novels of all time.

With so much love, enthusiasm and a thirst for her words from her readers, Jodi suddenly wasn’t afraid of her imagination anymore. She went on to write The One Night Trilogy with the delectable and mysterious Miller Hart, and stole the hearts of her readers once again. Her first stand-alone novel, THE PROTECTOR,  released in September 2016 and has since been nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award. Jodi’s next stand-alone novel. THE FORBIDDEN, is set for release in August 2017.

All seven of her published novels have hit the New York Times best sellers list – as well as the Sunday Times list and various international best seller lists. Her work is now published in over 24 languages across the world.

Jodi was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer, a mojito addict, is famous for her obsession with Converse, and has a terrible weak spot for Alpha Males. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters has become her passion – a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.

You can now connect with Jodi on almost any platform!
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | Website

 

Review | Big Fat Liar by Cookie Moretti

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Title | Big Fat Liar
Author | Cookie Moretti
Genre | Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages | 352 pages
Publisher | CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Series | None
Release Date | June 17th, 2015

“That awkward moment when the man you love doesn’t know you’re a woman”

Callie Picket, the-fat-girl-next-door has a big fat secret. Well, a secret she’s been successfully hiding from her oh so sexy apartment neighbor Chris Walker. In their first meeting, he mistakes her for a fat guy and she does nothing to correct him.

Then Chris makes her start going to the gym to lose weight and as the pounds come off, Chris begins to see these changes…like Callie starts to look more girly, and since he’s a total playboy and lady lover, he starts getting attracted to her while thinking that she’s still a “he”. Basically, he thinks he’s going gay.

Will Callie ever tell him the truth as her lie begins to take its toll on both of them as she and very confused Chris becomes closer? Or will he be the first to finally see her for what she truly is? A Big Fat Liar.

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A love story that breaks the social rules of today’s modern society, Big Fat Liar is a tale of romance, misunderstandings and understanding that what is inside that counts. It’s also pretty funny to read.

When I first started reading the novella, I had to question whether this was a spin on a Shakespearean comedy or not. Seriously, I found the plot both hilarious and ingenious. The book was originally a read on Wattpad, the free reading platform which allows aspiring writers to gain feedback on their work. My curiosity was peeked and I found myself purchasing a copy from amazon. I do have a quarm with this, as the book has been split into three separate parts. At £1.99, you cannot complain, but having to find the second and third parts was a bit annoying, when all you wanted to do was carry on reading the story.

My heart goes out to Callie, because I understand her pain. I’m no size 8, and not a size 14 either. I understand who it feels to be the butt of the jokes, even though my family would never out me through such an ordeal. All Callie wants is love, and for that you cannot fault her. Isn’t that what we all want? She’s a little gem, and a trooper for dealing with the things she has to. Chris is the clueless man who wants to make his friend Cal (Callie) happy in himself (herself) again. Seriously, it sounds like a tale from Shakespeare right now! I adored how gentlemanly and noble Chris was, despite the fact that he played the field. Yet my favourite character is Abel (It’s Uh-belle, not A-belle. He was very specific!) He is a colourful character with energy and spunk. I honestly wish he could be my best friend, because we all need an Abel in our lives.

The story is definitely one that makes you route for Chris and Callie, even if they are oblivious to one another. Like honestly, you just want to smash their heads together and be like – hello! Also, the book doesn’t dawdle or drag on for too long. It has hilarious moments entwined which enrich the writing, and the ending is both unexpected but fantastic. Yet the cover doesn’t dot eh story justice and had I not already liked the book before it’s publishing, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second glance. Big Fat Liar is an all-around amazing story, and is incredibly underrated. Seriously check it out.

3 stars

Review | Shooter by Caroline Pignat

50 - Shooter by Caroline Pignat

Title | Shooter
Author | Caroline Pignat
Genre | YA Contemporary
Pages | 320 pages
Publisher | Razorbill
Series | None
Release Date | May 3rd, 2016

The Breakfast Club meets We Need to Talk About Kevin

A lockdown catches five grade 12 students by surprise and throws them together in the only unlocked room on that empty third floor wing: the boys’ washroom. They sit in silence, judging each other by what they see, by the stories they’ve heard over the years. Stuck here with them–could anything be worse?
There’s Alice: an introverted writer, trapped in the role of big sister to her older autistic brother, Noah.
Isabelle: the popular, high-achieving, student council president, whose greatest performance is her everyday life.
Hogan: an ex-football player with a troubled past and a hopeless future.
Xander: that socially awkward guy hiding behind the camera, whose candid pictures of school life, especially those of Isabelle, have brought him more trouble than answers.
Told in five unique voices through prose, poetry, text messages, journals, and homework assignments, each student reveals pieces of their true story as they wait for the drill to end. But this modern-day Breakfast Club takes a twist when Isabelle gets a text that changes everything: NOT A DRILL!! Shooter in the school!
Suddenly, the bathroom doesn’t seem so safe anymore. Especially when they learn that one of them knows more about the shooter than they realized…

branch and berry

I don’t think I can ease you into the review of this story. The novel doesn’t ease you in, and that’s how I like it. Shooter is a harrowing tale of an hour ordeal of lockdown in a school. Pretty nuts, huh. It shines a light on modern American society, and highlights the struggles with gun control and teenage life. I have to hold my hands up and admit that I found Shooter a relatively mild novel in terms of what could have been and what actually was.

The plot was what originally drew me as I found some intrigue in the genre. School shootings are horrific, and I find it interesting to see how authors are going to paint these events. As to date, there has only been one school shooting novel that has portrayed an interesting yet harrowing story line. And sadly, it wasn’t this novel. Do not be under any pretense that I didn’t enjoy this book. What wasn’t to enjoy? Execution if the plot was good, and it unraveled fairly quickly and evenly. Yet I felt that something was ultimately missing – but I cannot place my finger on it.

The best thing about Shooter is the portrayal of the characters. Normally I detest books which split or share the POV between more than two characters, but Caroline Pignat managed to capture the exact personality traits of all those the book is about. Isabelle, or Izzy, is pretty much your popular ‘It’ girl who is transitioning into a self-aware young adult. While still a brat in many ways, you do feel for the consequences that unravel during the lockdown. Alice is the nerd that hides inside every lost teenager. Having a responsibility over her autistic older brother Noah, Pignat cleverly captures the loneliness of her life and the whirlwind that revolves around her brother.

Noah, bless his little cotton socks, is the character who wants to watch The Lion King. And to be honest, I don’t blame him. Xander is the guy you see alone at lunch, head buried in a book or a camera. He’s adorably sweet and on the inside only wants someone to be his companion. Even if he is socially awkward, you find him sweeter than a muffin. And Hogan – please can I have a Hogan? Strong, damaged and literally every girls dream, Hogan is the tall, mysterious loner with a broken past and a damaged future. All the time you are shipping him with Alice and at the same time hating all the girls for being in the same room. Just me? OK, maybe just me.

Pacing of the novel was fair. It didn’t move at a speed too fast or too slow – it was just right for me to get a grip on all that happened. I know I read at a fast pace, but I finished the novel in a number of hours, placing it back on my virtual shelf with a little smile. My only little niggle that arose from the story was the ending. While I wouldn’t use the phrase ‘rushed’, I would argue that it felt . . . unfinished in some way. The resolution wasn’t one I was expecting, and I still have a few questions that I want answering. Whether this is the purpose, in order to set up a sequel, I am unsure. But the ending didn’t make me feel crazy about the book on a whole.

Yet I think we should give Caroline Pignat a massive clap. Her story does touch on serious, and maybe even trigger-enducing themes. If you find self-harming, violence and fear as triggering, then I advise you not to read this book. The themes are not overwhelming, but they at present. My opinion of the story is stuck at 3 out of 5 snowflakes, but I will still be purchasing a copy of the novel. Well done, Caroline Pignat. I’m impressed.

3 stars

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Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Islandgeekgirl @ Overflowing Bookshelves says “Pignat did a great job of keeping things interesting and keeping the plot moving.”

Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts says “Shooter is a compellingly unputdownable readfeaturing teenagers who can be found in all academic settings.”

Review | The Witch’s Kiss by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr

49 - Witch's Kiss by the Corr Sisters

Title | The Witch’s Kiss
Author | Katharine & Elizabeth Corr
Genre | YA Fantasy Romance
Pages | 424 pages
Publisher | HarperCollins UK
Series | The Witch’s Kiss, #1
Release Date | June 30th, 2016

Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed.

Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life?

Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?

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If I told you that I knew what I was stepping into when I read ‘The Witch’s Kiss‘, then I’d be lying. But what isn’t a lie, is the fact that this book is an amazing story and is probably one of the greatest fantasy books I have encountered in my lifetime.

And she gasped, not because his eyes were beautiful, but because they were hard and cold and full of cruelty.

Fantasy has never been my top pick in a genre of a book. Sure, growing up I adored the Harry Potter series, but my taste never really differed from this. Until now. The plot of ‘The Witch’s Kiss‘ is totally original and deserves some serious appraisal. I’ve never even heard of a book with a plot that is this amazing! Seen as how it was a fantasy book, I was largely dubious about reading. However, as soon as I started reading the novel, I found my interest spiked and my like increasing. Cleverly, the authors have used the idea of an old legend to reproduce an action packed story.

Merry smiled. Tonight, at least, she was going to be a completely normal teenager.

Merry was adorable. I adored her. It is that simple. She is the embodiment of modern teenage girls – only with the twist of her being a dab hand in witchcraft. She might make a lot of bad decisions on her youth, but don’t we all? The novel highlights her development as a person, which makes people fall in love with her even more. Her brother Leo is also adorable. Maybe its a family thing? I loved who the two authors had managed to capture the characters in a 3D aspect, giving them depth and meaning. Leo is everything a girl would want in a brother. Whole his first impression is a questionable one, his defensive nature around Merry and his sheer caring behaviour makes him a diamond in the rough.

‘Forgive me, Merry. If you can.’ Then he hurled the sword at Gwydion.

The book was slow in places, admittedly, but it didn’t deter my interest. The book does have a nice pace to it, and leaves no stone upturned. The end answers all questions but one, and the promise of a sequel only makes this book more enticing. I’ll be honest and admit that it’s going to take a lot of action in the next story to par with this one. The Witch’s Kiss is an amazing story that I would highly recommend. It took slightly longer to read than usual, but the time invested is more than worth it. 5 out 5 snowflakes.

5 stars

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Review | The Cabin by Natasha Preston

48 - The Cabin by Natasha Preston

Title | The Cabin
Author | Natasha Preston
Genre | YA Mystery, Thriller
Pages | 336 pages
Publisher | Sourcebooks FIRE
Series | None
Release Date | September 6th, 2016

There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar and Awake.

When Mackenzie treks to a secluded cabin in the woods with six friends, she expects a fun weekend of partying, drinking, and hookups. But when they wake to find two of their own dead and covered in blood, it’s clear there’s a killer among them.

As the police try to unravel the case, Mackenzie launches her own investigation. Before long secrets start to emerge, revealing a sinister web of sins among the original seven friends. The killer is still free. Every one of them is a suspect. And Mackenzie starts to realize that no one is innocent…

branch and berry

If ever there was a murder mystery book that I adored, it would be this one. Natasha Preston has always been a favourite YA author for me, ever since her days of ‘Silence’ and ‘The Cellar’ on global book writing website Wattpad. But her latest work, The Cabin is truly something wonderful.

I took a deep breath, resisting the urge to jam the plastic stick into his eye.

All the regulars that read this blog will understand that when it comes to murder mystery, my heart is in the genre for good. I adore the books because for a little while I get to play detective and that makes me happy. What I adored about The Cabin was the originality of the story. A murder mystery is a fairly basic and cliche concept. Preston has put her charm on the genre and twisted it into the wonderful story that it is. Fair to say that the killer is who I expected, and there are reasonable twists towards the end that will leave you grappling for an extra chapter or a sequel. This is the beauty of Natasha Preston’s writing.

“The secrets you hide from yourself are always the most dangerous,” he murmured in a low voice, almost as if he were speaking to himself.

If you look at the character of Mackenzie, you find yourself looking at the average teenage girl in Britain. Like every teen, she wants to get drunk and forget about all the wrongdoing her ex-friend Josh has done. For everyone who has ever been stabbed in the back by a friend, you can relate to her thoughts and feelings throughout the novel. Mackenzie doesn’t sugar coat things but she also manages to see the good in people. Her loyalty is admirable, even if she gives it to those who are least deserving. Blake is your Mr Tall, Mysterious and Handsome. Everything that a girl is wanting to read about, he lays his cards down on the table. And he makes it blatantly clear that Mackenzie is something he wants. Describing him with an emoji – it would have to be the heart-eyed emoji for sure.

Had Josh told him? No, he couldn’t have. There was no reason to. Telling Blake wouldn’t fit his agenda.

The Cabin has a fast and fluid writing speed, much like most of Preston’s writing. She has pursued her regular flow, which in turn has helped her pull off the novel phenomenally. The story is never boring, and unlike some novels, you don’t find yourself skipping ahead of pages. The detail is easy to digest and you can easily keep track of the characters and the plot. It isn’t the shortest read, but it is worth the time and effort because you will adore the story no matter what.

It was the next four words that made my blood run cold, “Mackenzie, it was me.”
I know.

Concluding this review, there is little else I can suggest than actually purchasing a copy of the book. It’s beautiful cover will complement your shelves and the story is not one that you want to be missing. Natasha Preston is provably one for the most underrated authors yet, but her work is worthy of any YA award. Therefore, The Cabin earns a hearty 5 out of 5 and a pre-order hit on my Amazon page.

5 starsboreder