Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens


Nov 23

Review * Everything But the Truth by Mandy Hubbard

Reviews 1 ★★★

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 * Everything But the Truth by Mandy HubbardEverything But the Truth by Mandy Hubbard
Series: If Only... #6
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on November 17
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Not in the Script, Wild Hearts
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Holly Mathews' mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in. But having super-rich retirees as her only neighbors isn't a total bust, because the gorgeous, notorious Malik Buchannan is the grandson of a resident. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly is there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn't correct him, and it probably doesn't matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer she lives in his privileged world, the deeper Holly falls for Malik, and the harder it is to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing him.

For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this romance shows that when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself!

What I Thought…

I absolutely adored Everything But the Truth. It was cute and funny, which is exactly what I needed at this moment. Holly was frustrating at times – lies and more lies get you nowhere, but the reason why it all started was so sweet and kind that it was hard to get really mad at her for doing it.

Malik had his own issues, which I wish would have been dealt with a bit more, but it was dealt with enough to keep me happy. I really enjoyed his grandfather, he wasn’t quite the curmudgeon I thought he was going to turn out to be.

I think the best thing about Everything But the Truth though was how Holly and Malik were an interracial couple, but that it wasn’t the core issue of the book, in fact it wasn’t an issue at all, it was just who they were. I really appreciated that the author didn’t turn it into a “people don’t want them together because they are interracial” story.

Holly’s best friend Alex isn’t the most likable person throughout the book, but I loved how her story was woven in through Holly’s, and what could have been a terrible secondary plot worked out beautifully. (Also, I’m tired of the terrible best friend in books, so I’m glad all was well.)

Kimberly


Jun 25

Review * The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Reviews 5 ★★★★

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 * The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer #1
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on July 7, 2015
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous Ivy Kendrick is Washington D.C.'s #1 “fixer,” known for making politicians' scandals go away for a price. No sooner does Tess enroll at Hardwicke Academy than she unwittingly follows in her sister's footsteps and becomes D.C.'s premier high school fixer, solving problems for elite teens.

Secrets pile up as each sister lives a double life. . . . until their worlds come crashing together and Tess finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy with one of her classmates and a client of Ivy's. Suddenly, there is much more on the line than good grades, money, or politics, and the price for this fix might be more than Tess is willing to pay.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for more in this exciting new series.

What I Thought…

• When I first heard about The Fixer someone had said (sorry I can’t remember who!) it was a Veronica Mars meets Scandal story and I knew immediately that I wanted to read it as I love both of those. Also, I love a good political thriller.

• While all the political thrillers I’ve read in the past have been adult the young adult version worked really well for me. There were times were I’m not sure a teenager could make that happen in the real world, but I feel that way in lots of books (young adult and adult alike) so it didn’t didn’t bother me here.

• There is a secret that I did not see coming at all. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was quite the surprise. It works though, and makes sense in the scheme of things.

• There wasn’t a character in The Fixer I didn’t like. The main character Tess was strong, a little bit vulnerable and wanted to do the right thing, always. Her sister Ivy is pretty badass in the political world (she’s the Olivia). Adam and Brodie, Ivy’s associates, and Vivvie, Henry and Asher, Tess’s new friends, blended into the story perfectly. They all complemented each other so well.

• The political mystery of the story had quite a few twists in it, a few I saw coming, but most I did not. It was pretty fast paced and definitely kept me on my toes!

• There is no romance in The Fixer, which was both nice and kind of sucked. If you know me I like to have just a smidge of romance in the books I read, but this one was so good I can’t really complain about it. Plus there might be some hope for future books.

Overall if you love political thrillers and young adult books The Fixer is for you!

Kimberly


Apr 30

Review * Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart

Reviews 1 ★★★

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 * Wild Hearts by Jessica BurkhartWild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart
Series: If Only...#4
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Not in the Script, Everything But the Truth
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Brie Carter's father's land development business has taken her family all over the world, but as soon as they arrive at their new home in Lost Spring, Wyoming, the town turns out to protest. They don't want a new hotel if the resident mustang population will be displaced or hurt as part of the deal. Then Brie meets Logan, a gorgeous local who has a special connection to the mustangs, and she is immediately drawn to him . . . and the horses. However, with Logan's father leading the protests and Brie's father refusing to budge, it's clear that their parents are heading towards an all-out war. Can Brie and Logan find a way to save the mustangs and be together? Or is their love doomed from the start?

What I Thought…

• Cowboys! Horses! Conflict! What’s not to love?

• I don’t read too many books set in the west with cowboys and this one has me thinking I should make more of a point to do so. I loved the setting of Lost Spring, Wyoming, and all it’s small town glory and togetherness.

• The center of the plot revolves around a group of wild horses being displaced as Brie’s dad works on building a new hotel that will bring in money for the town. It’s a catch-22 for the town of course because the money it will bring in is great, they love their wild horses.

• Brie and Logan are drawn together and are cute, though things happened super fast between them and it’s not as Romeo and Juliet as it seems. Their dads are fighting against each other, but are not completely unreasonable. The relationship drama is minimal.

• I love that Brie and Logan come up with a plan on how to save the horses and work on it to show their fathers that there is a solution. The plan had one downside that made me sad though. View Spoiler »

Overall I enjoyed Wild Hearts.

Kimberly


Mar 16

Review * The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

Reviews 0 ★★

Review * The Chapel Wars by Lindsey LeavittThe Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on May 6, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money—fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.

What I Thought…

• I wanted to like The Chapel Wars so much, but I was a bit disappointed.

• My favorite thing about The Chapel Wars was the relationship between Holly and Camille, her best friends girlfriend. Holly doesn’t have any female friends but as Holly’s life changes her and Camille strike up a friendship.

• I also liked that Holly was left in charge of her family’s Wedding Chapel after her grandpa passed away. This might be realistic in the real world (she’s still in high school after all) but it made the book unique and fun.

• Learning about the other side of Las Vegas was cool too. The non-touristy side of Las Vegas sounds awesome and if I ever go back I want to see that side.

• I did not care for Dax at all. He was just meh. I also didn’t like the insta-love between them.

• I also found The Chapel Wars to be a bit slow and boring at times, I just wanted to get on with the cute and fun stuff and there wasn’t as much of that as I was hoping.

Overall The Chapel Wars was a bit of a disappointment for me, but I still plan on reading Going Vintage when I can.

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


Sep 22

Review * Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

Reviews 0 ★★★★

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 * Not in the Script by Amy FinneganNot in the Script by Amy Finnegan
Series: If Only... #3
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on October 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Wild Hearts, Everything But the Truth
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.

What I Thought…

• Not in the Script is my kind of book. It’s cute with some humor and seriousness thrown in and the main characters are famous, an aspect I love reading about. Not in the Script is very character driven, not much else is going on besides the filming of the TV show.

• Emma is a fairly well known actress who has been hounded by the paparazzi. As we all know they manipulate things and definitely caught some bad moments for Emma. Emma also has a history of picking guys who are all wrong for her and her last boyfriend Troy was particularly obnoxious. Emma was easy to like. She worried constantly about other people, especially her best friend Rachel. She took acting seriously, but wasn’t a diva about it. She also grew into her personality as Not in the Script progressed and starting standing up for herself and saying what she really thought, while trying to approach it nicely as well.

• Loved Jake. He fell into his stardom as a model by accident and then managed to get a roll on the same TV show as Emma. He was absolutely adorable. He hated the attention and while he didn’t hate modeling and acting it was not what he wanted to do forever, but did it because of reasons that will make your heart melt just a little. He’s patient with Emma, but not a complete doormat. Emma and Jake are super cute together though, even when the argue.

• Brett is an actor on the show and he is exactly how you picture grown up child actors to behave. He’s a spoiled brat that’s gotten in to some trouble and is trying to clean up his image. He’s a good actor, both on, and off, the set. Emma’s had a huge crush on him for forever and he finds out about it and, well, things go on from there.

• Kimmi is another actor on the show and is quite the diva, especially at first. I didn’t think I would end up liking her, but I did. Her and Emma’s weird friendship worked well for both of them.

• At first I thought this was going to be one of those run of the mill “my best friend likes this guy but now that I’ve met him I like him and he likes me so we are going to be together and the best friend gets hurt” story, but it’s not. Rachel is not your typical best friend and any sad feelings I thought I would have for her waned as the story went on. Let’s just say that Rachel has a lot of issues to work out.

• Emma’s relationship with her family was a bit rocky at times, but that’s understandable when your mother is your manager. Despite the rockiness I loved that Emma had parents that they were around and active in her life (whether she wanted them to be or not). Jake’s mom is also around a lot and is pretty awesome herself. The relationship that Jake has with his mom is one that I would hope that every child would have with their parents.

Overall I really enjoyed Not in the Script. It’s a cute, light, end of summer read!

Kimberly


Mar 17

Review * The Vanishing Game Review by Kate Kae Myers

Reviews 11 ★★★★★

Review * The Vanishing Game Review by Kate Kae MyersThe Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on February 12, 2012
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 353
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Seventeen-year-old Jocelyn follows clues apparently from her dead twin, Jack, in and around Seale House, the terrifying foster home where they once lived. With help from childhood friend Noah she begins to uncover the truth about Jack's death and the company that employed him and Noah.Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light

What I Thought…

I don’t even know where to begin.  This book was amazing.  It was crazy, mysterious, thrilling, creepy and confusing, but in a good way.  I could not put down this book, I just had to figure it out.  While I did figure out some things, I definitely did not see that ending coming.

The Vanishing game is a thriller with a touch of paranormal in it.  The book was pretty creepy for me with all of the mysterious happenings, but I wouldn’t say it was scary.    The book has quite a few flashbacks in it, and while I don’t normally like this style, it works in this book.  It’s all important information, and given at the right time.

This book is filled with codes and puzzles, which is cool.  What I disliked about the codes was that, with the exception of one, they were not really designed for the reader to figure out, and the characters figured them out pretty quickly.  Though I will admit that I did take the time to figure out the logic puzzle (those are my favorite).

I liked Jocelyn and Noah, even more so as you learn about their childhoods.  They both had such awful childhoods, yet they managed to pull themselves out.  It was heartbreaking to read about how they were treated.  Hazel, the owner of Seale House was an awful, awful, woman.  You get to meet a few of the other kids who were at Seale House with Jocelyn, Jack and Noah, and see how they turned out.

One of the things I really liked in this book was how quickly you jump into the story.  Lately I’ve felt like every book I’ve read has had 100 pages of boring info before getting to the real story so it was nice to be just tossed in and sent on my way!

If you like mysteries and thrillers you should definitely check out this book – it was Amazing!

Kimberly