Genre: Contemporary Romance


Feb 13

Review * #famous by Jilly Gagnon

Reviews 1 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * #famous by Jilly Gagnon#famous by Jilly Gagnon
Published by Katherine Tegan Books on February 14, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

What I Thought…

• I read this in one sitting. It was so hard to put down!

• Rachel sneaks a picture of her crush and it ends of going viral. I feel like something similarish happened in real life, but maybe not? It goes viral in a positive way for Kyle, but not so much for Rachel.

• Obviously social media plays a large roll in the book and unfortunately people can be cruel online, especially to people they don’t know. It was really hard to read some the flits that Rachel got from these random people. It broke my heart that she had to read these things and then deal with it. For the most part I liked how it was handled in the book.

• Kyle was adorable but a little clueless, but since I think in general teenage boys can be clueless it didn’t seem out of the normal. For a good part of the book he didn’t see the other side of what happened for Rachel, which was frustrating at times. But he definitely made up for it in the end.

• The whole viral thing gets so big that Kyle goes on the Laura talk show and ends up getting Rachel involved. I hated how this played out for Rachel. View Spoiler »

• Rachel and Kyle were super cute together as they tried to navigate what is going on in their life and deal with their attraction to each other.

• Kyle’s best friend Ollie was absolutely awesome. Rachel’s best friend was less awesome. She did something in the book that made me super angry for Rachel, but also a lot of the time Rachel seemed like a better friend to her than she was to Rachel.

• Mean Girl Alert! There were two specific mean girls in the book and one of them was super vicious the other lashed out over what was happening and how it affected her. Either way they were mean and terrible to Rachel. The one situation was better handled (she did NOT come out the winner) but I did like how both were handled.

• My one complaint is I felt like #famous just kind of stopped. I was a little taken aback that there wasn’t another page. With that said though I liked how everything worked out so no other complaints.

Overall #famous was a fast paced, enjoyable read with a super adorable couple in it.

Kimberly


Aug 15

Review * Game On by Michelle Smith

Reviews 3 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Game On by Michelle SmithGame On by Michelle Smith
Series: Lewis Creek #2
Published by Bloomsbury Spark on August 16, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.

Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.

In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.

What I Thought…

• Game on was one of my most anticipated books for awhile. I loved Play On and was so excited to see that there was going to be another book set in Lewis Creek. I flew through Game On and have no regrets of staying up late to finish it.

• I’m a huge fan of boy/girl next door books and this one is even better because they were friends when they were kids and just kind of grew apart. I love that they were able to fall back in to that friendship.

• At the beginning Bri is dating this asshole Matt. He is controlling and Bri is finally starting to see that she needs to get out, but has a hard time with it. While it was painful to read at times, it was realistic… it’s easy to get stuck in these relationships and have a hard time getting out. View Spoiler »

• Eric is quite the trouble maker. It annoyed me how much got covered up in the beginning, but we all know that in some places student athletes get things covered up, and I’ve heard of a lot worse. I really like that Eric finally started to understand that it was a bit of self fulfilling prophecy and that he needed to change.

• Bri has a rough family situation and my heart just broke for her. Her mom left when she was a kid and her dad is a truck driver so she is alone a lot. It’s a good thing that Eric has an awesome family and they are right next door.

• I think one of the best things about Game On was that there were adults, and adults that were not idiots and just there because the author decided to throw an adult in. They played a good roll in the story and I loved Eric’s parents. Honestly, I loved his whole family, they are the kind of family that you can’t help but love in all their craziness.

• There needed to be more kissing. Definitely not enough kissing.

• I also wish that the plot line with Bri’s ex Matt would have not overshadowed Bri and Eric’s developing relationship. I felt that it dragged on a bit and there were enough other things going on for Bri and Eric to deal with.

Overall I loved returning back to Lewis Creek and Game On is a perfect summer read!

Kimberly


Aug 05

Review * Most Likely to Succeed by Jennifer Echols

Reviews 1 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Most Likely to Succeed by Jennifer EcholsMost Likely to Succeed by Jennifer Echols
Series: Superlatives #3
Published by Simon Pulse on August 4, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Also in this series: The Biggest Flirts, Perfect Couple
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
As vice president of Student Council, Kaye knows the importance of keeping order. Not only in school, but in her personal life. Which is why she and her boyfriend, Aidan, already have their lives mapped out: attend Columbia University together, pursue banking careers, and eventually get married. Everything Kaye has accomplished in high school—student government, cheerleading, stellar grades—has been in preparation for that future.

To his entire class, Sawyer is an irreverent bad boy. His antics on the field as school mascot and his love of partying have earned him total slacker status. But while he and Kaye appear to be opposites on every level, fate—and their friends—keep conspiring to throw them together. Perhaps the seniors see the simmering attraction Kaye and Sawyer are unwilling to acknowledge to themselves…

As the year unfolds, Kaye begins to realize her ideal life is not what she thought. And Sawyer decides it’s finally time to let down the facade and show everyone who he really is. Is a relationship between them most likely to succeed—or will it be their favorite mistake?

What I Thought…

• The Superlatives series by Jennifer Echols has been a lot of fun, but this one is by far the best in the series.

• Sawyer likes to party and is a bit of a slacker, but he’s not the bad boy everyone thinks he is. If you read the first two books then you know he has had a crush on Kaye for quite some time, and it’s absolutely adorable.

• Kaye has a boyfriend in the beginning of the book and he is a total ass and I wanted to throw a party when they broke up. The more you learn about Aidan the more you want to smack him upside the head, he does some pretty shitty things.

• Kaye has a lot of pressure on her from her family (mostly her mom) to be successful and to do all the right things, etc. She struggles with this a lot, especially when they come at her about Sawyer.

• Kaye and Sawyer had a rough path to coming together, but Echols did a good job of making their arguments/issues realistic and not over the top crazy.

• One of my favorite parts of these books is the friendship between Tia, Harper and Kaye. Even when things were a bit awkward (Tia and Sawyer were a thing in the past) the girls still kept their friendship strong.

• Most Likely to Succeed has kind of an abrupt ending. Everything just seemed to come together fairly fast. I also had a small issue with timing as all three books happen in such close succession, but as it’s been some time since reading the other two books that could just be my memory.

Overall I really enjoyed The Most Likely to Succeed and recommend it for anyone looking for a cute romance to read this summer!

Kimberly


Apr 23

Review * Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne

Reviews 2 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Trouble From the Start by Rachel HawthorneTrouble from the Start by Rachel Hawthorne
Published by HarperTeen on April 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti, Trouble from the Start is a sweet and romantic read about a good girl who falls for a bad boy.

Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy who can't seem to outrun his reputation. Fletcher knows he shouldn't bother with college-bound, daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark. Are they willing to go against everything and let their hearts lead the way? Or are they just flirting with disaster?

A companion novel to Rachel Hawthorne's paperback original The Boyfriend Project, this title is perfect for fans of summer beach reads and sweet treats.

What I Thought…

• I really enjoyed Trouble From the Start. Avery is your typical good girl and Fletcher your more than meets the eye bad boy.

• Avery is ambitious and strives to do well in school and do the right thing. Even though this makes her sound like a goody two shoes, she’s not. She is overly afraid of disappointing her parents and not always very good at standing up for herself.

• Fletcher is seen as a bad boy by the school but isn’t as bad as he seems. He has a lot of home issues, which is how he comes to live in the apartment over the garage of Avery’s house. Despite all his issues he is very easy to like. I really like that he’s had some issues in school, he is already a year behind and still might not graduate this year. Hawthorne handles these issues fairly well and shows that there are people who are willing to help you graduate, even after you dug yourself a pretty big hole.

• I absolutely LOVED Avery’s parents. They around, they were involved (but not too involved) and they weren’t crazy. They were just your typical run of the mill parents, which is why I loved them so much.

• Avery and Fletcher were cute together, even when they were fighting it. I wish Fletcher had given up his “I’m not good enough for you” thoughts a bit sooner, but no big deal.

• The only thing that was off for me is at the very end Avery and Fletcher are of course together and all of a sudden there are I Love You’s everywhere. I teach at a high school and I know that they do tend to overuse/misuse I Love You, but it just didn’t fit for Avery or Fletcher.

• I’m very curious about Kendall and Jeremy. We don’t really get to know them too much in Trouble From the Start (other than the fact that they are all over each other) and I am waiting to see what happens with them in The Boyfriend Project.

Overall I really enjoyed Trouble From the Start. It’s a cute summery romance that won’t let you down.

Kimberly


Jan 30

Review * The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

Reviews 0

Review * The Boy Next Door by Katie Van ArkThe Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
Published by Swoon Reads on January 6, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
one-star
Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.

Gabe can't imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?

What I Thought…

• The Cutting Edge is one of my all time favorite movies. I love figure skating and romance so it sounds like the perfect win, unfortunately The Boy Next Door and I were not a perfect match.

• I really did love the figure skating aspect of The Boy Next Door.

• Maddy was alright except for the over the top swooning of Gabe, her skating partner. I didn’t understand her attraction to Gabe at all. He was a total jerk to pretty much everyone. I didn’t like him at all.

• I did not ship this romance. At all. The romance at the end was way too much, even for me. View Spoiler »

• The storyline with Maddy’s parents and what was happening with her dad was infinitely more interesting than the main storyline of the book. This is a problem.

Overall The Boy Next Door just wasn’t for me.

Kimberly


Jan 15

Review * Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Review * Open Road Summer by Emery LordOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on March 3, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O'Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. Her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah's 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of healing hearts and break-up ballads.

But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in this growing genre, Emery Lord's gorgeous debut hits all the right notes of contemporary romance.

Read more »

Kimberly


Jan 12

Review * Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols

Reviews 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Perfect Couple by Jennifer EcholsPerfect Couple by Jennifer Echols
Series: Superlatives #2
Published by Simon Pulse on January 13, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Also in this series: The Biggest Flirts, Most Likely to Succeed
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Can your heart be put to a popular vote?

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for capturing those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents' bitter divorce has left her wondering what a loving relationship would look like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody the “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been on her case to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack in female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He seems confused about why they were matched together, too. They’re total opposites—the last people in the world who would ever be compatible, let alone the “perfect couple.” Yet ever since the class paired the two of them, they've found themselves drawn together--first by curiosity, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they're very attracted to each other and both of them admit this, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating clearly. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But after they walk away, both of them feel so changed from making the effort that they can’t forget each other. What if that means this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?

Read more »

Kimberly


Dec 04

Review * Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

Reviews 0 ★★★★

Review * Biggest Flirts by Jennifer EcholsThe Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
Series: Superlatives #1
Published by Simon Pulse on May 20, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Perfect Couple, Most Likely to Succeed
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…

What I Thought…

• Biggest Flirts is my first Jennifer Echols book, but it will most certainly not be my last!

• Biggest Flirts fills all my requirements of a good contemporary romance. It’s cute and fun with a bit of seriousness thrown in.

• Tia and Will coudln’t be more different. Tia is the partyer who wants zero responsibility for anything. She’s pretty smart but hides it. She throws her drum solo on the first day of band camp just so she isn’t section leader. Tia is a really good friend though and wants what’s good for other people, more than she wants for her self.

• Will is totally different. Having just moved from Minnesota he’s the new guy, but he wants to be successful and to do things. He’s having a hard time adjusting to having to spend his senior year at a new school. He has a few issues too, but mostly the issues in Biggest Flirts are Tia’s.

• I loved all the secondary characters in Biggest Flirts and I’m excited to see them get their own story in future books. Sawyer was probably the most interesting, you can tell that he is hiding a lot behind his I don’t care attitude. Kaye and Harper were fun and really good with Tia. I can’t see what is in store for the three of them!

Overall Biggest Flirts is a cute contemporary romance and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series!

Kimberly


Oct 03

Review * Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Reviews 3 ★★

Review * Wild Cards by Simone ElkelesWild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Narrated by Amy Rubinate, Kirby Heyborne
Series: Wild Cards #1
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers on October 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Time: 8 Hours 53 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

What I Liked…

Derek

Without Derek I’m not sure I would have made it through Wild Cards. He was what every high school wants in a high school boy. He had some humor, some feelings and a whole lot of hotness. He was inappropriate at times, but if you know any teenage boys it doesn’t seem farfetched that he would behave that way.

Brandi

I was a little put off by by Ashtyn’s sister Brandi at first. She’s a little flighty and she abandoned Ashtyn and her father about 7 years prior. But the more I got to know her the more I liked her, especially because she was so determined to be a good step mom to Derek, only 8 years younger than her.

The Step Relationship

I have a soft spot for step brother & step sister falling in love books. Derek and Ashtyn aren’t step brother & step sister but rather step-nephew and step-aunt, but the concept is just the same, and it worked for me here.

Derek’s Grandma

Derek’s grandma is a bit of a snob and doesn’t have a great history with Derek’s no deceased mom, but I really liked her. She pushed people and encouranged people do things that they were unwilling to do before.

What I Didn’t Like…

Ashytn

Ashtyn rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. For being a female football player she wasn’t nearly as tough as I thought she would be. Everything about her relationship with her ex boyfriend Landon (??? Seriously, I can’t even remember if his name) irritated me. He was such a asshat and she was all “maybe I just need to give him space”. No, you do not need to give him space, he can’t even congratulate you on being captain. He should have been dumped way sooner.

Football

Guys, I LOVE football. And because I love it I know a lot about it. I’m not overly picky, and I can be forgiving, but there were a few football related things in Wild Cards that drove me nuts. Ashtyn is voted captain of her football team. This is great and all, but there is no way she would be voted the sole captain, not because she is a girl, but because she is a kicker. Plus there are usually multiple captains on a football team, where she could have been one of many, but not just the sole captain.

Ashytn’s Dad

He is the worst kind of parent, the one that doesn’t care. After Ashtyn’s mom left and they got divorced he’s been on autopilot. He doesn’t go to her games. Apparently he does no kind of cooking, ever. There is so much that could have been done with this part of the story, but nothing was. He was just kind of “there” and then some things happened at the end.

Sugar Pie

Worst. Nickname. Ever. And it’s all over the place.

The Narration

I think if I had been reading Wild Cards I probably wouldn’t have been as annoyed by Ashtyn as I was listening to it. The narrator for Ashtyn seemed to be extra whiny. The narrator for Derek was great, except when he said Sugar Pie, it had an excessive drawl to it that I didn’t care for.

Overall…

If you are looking for a football themed contemporary stick with Catching Jordan. That one is amazing!

Kimberly


Sep 19

Review * The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Reviews 1 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel HarrisThe Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
Series: The Fine Art of Pretending #1
Published by Spencer Hill Press on September 30, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

What I Thought…

• The Fine Art of Pretending is everything I love about romantic comedies. It’s cute and fun and a little bit frustrating!

• Aly launches “Operation Sex Appeal” and you just know that this is not going to go well. Her first bright idea is for her best friend, Brandon, to pretend to be her boyfriend, all in hopes of getting this other guy Justin, whom she thinks she wants. Things are rolling along and Justin is showing interest, only now she’s not so sure she wants him after all.

• I adored Aly. She’s a little messed up in the beginning (she’s changing herself just to get a guy) but she grows a lot and realizes that she’s just not that kind of girl, and she doesn’t need to be.

• Brandon is quite swoon worthy. He has some issues of his own and I loved being in his head while he battled for Aly’s affection without actually outwardly battling for it.

• I also liked Justin, which kind of surprised me. He was the guy that Aly felt she needed and given that I knew where it was going I was expecting Justin to be an asshat and he wasn’t. They weren’t a good match, but I like that Harris didn’t make the reason they weren’t good together because he wasn’t a good person.

•I liked Aly’s friends as well, though I wish they were more present in The Fine Art of Pretending.

• There were times where The Fine Art of Pretending was a a bit too high school drama, but it’s fairly easy to set that aside because Aly and Brandon are awesome like that.

Overall The Fine Art of Pretending is a cute and fun read and will put a smile on your face!

Kimberly