You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

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Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publication Date: 1 March 2016

Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation.

Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can- by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy,okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.

Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends- all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend; the heartbroken poet; the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome; and…Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal parts of herself that she buried with her brother.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. I love YA books and the description of this one seriously grabbed my attention. I just had to know more.

Jaycee talked about getting lost in such an honest, raw way that I could almost feel her emotions jumping off the page at me. It quickly became apparent that she wasn’t the only one with issues and I found myself really enjoying meeting each character and learning about their lives. Individually they were interesting but as a group they were compelling!

Telling parts of the story with illustrations added a memorable and different element to the book, it helped bring everything to life and in my opinion made it stand out from the crowd.

The storyline was kind of dark and eerie but also touching at the same time. Once I’d started reading I found it incredibly hard to stop (even at 2 in the morning) because I just had to know what the group of friends would do next.

Being a YA read there was the obligatory thread of love/romance running through it. The interesting thing about this one, for me, was the silence. I’ll let you make of that what you will!

This was an intense read at times but always utterly fascinating, I simply couldn’t put it down. Even when I did manage to pry myself away, I still found myself thinking about it.

You Were Here was a captivating journey of self-discovery and gets an easy 5 stars from me.

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Any Other Girl by Rebecca Phillips

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Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: 26 January 2016

“After a disastrous, reputation-destroying party at the end of junior year, Kat Henley has a new plan. When it comes to boys–especially other people’s boys:

Don’t touch.
Don’t smile.
Don’t charm.

In the past, drawing attention to herself helped distract people from what really makes Kat different–having two gay parents. But it’s also cost her friendships. Kat can’t afford to lose any more of those, especially not her cousin, Harper. They’re spending one last summer together at the lake, where they run into an intriguing newcomer named Emmett Reese. After years of trying to prove she’s just like everybody else, Kat has found someone who wants her because she’s not. A boy who could be everything she wants too–if Harper hadn’t liked him first. . .”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. It was the description that pulled me in and made me want to know more. I couldn’t wait to get started!

I was surprised to find that I disliked Kat to begin with. I did, however, love the fact that her homelife was so different from anything I’ve read before. As I got further into the storyline I felt as though I got to know and understand Kat better, therefore liking her more.

The author successfully created an atmosphere of tension and young lustfulness with her comfortable writing style. I found it so easy to become completely absorbed in the storyline – I lost all track of time as I flipped through the pages!

This was an absorbing read which mixed some complex life situations with the equally complex process of growing up. I couldn’t get enough so I’m giving Any Other Girl 5 stars.

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Falling by Julie Cohen

Publisher: Black Swan

Publication Date: 28 July 2016

“Can you imagine keeping a secret so devastating, you couldn’t even tell the people you love?

Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.

Lydia’s could bring her love – or the loss of everything that matters to her.

Grandmother, mother and daughter – three women whose lives are falling apart. But one summer’s day, a single dramatic moment will force their secrets into the open.

Can they save each other from falling?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this signed proof to read and share my opinion. The blurb was one of those that got my imagination running wild and left me needing to know more.

The first chapter thoroughly intrigued me, it raised so many questions about Honor and her situation. To begin with Jo and Lydia didn’t interest me quite as much but that soon changed and I found myself equally looking forward to reading from each character’s point of view.

Falling told the story (and secrets) of three generations, the atmosphere felt real and fresh, in particular Honor’s old-fashioned stubbornness, Jo’s struggles as a single mum and Lydia’s diary writing.

There were some pretty serious subjects tackled but the author did it in a natural, and sometimes humorous, way. Added to that was a dash of romance which lifted the storyline and, I think, made this book an all-rounder.

Falling was an enjoyable read but I didn’t feel the need to frantically keep reading until I’d finished it. I enjoyed picking it up every now and then at my own leisurely pace and absorbing every word fully. I gave it 4 stars.

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Summer Nights at The Moonlight Hotel

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 24 March 2016

“The Moonlight Hotel sits on the shore of England’s best-loved lake, Windermere, exuding vintage glamour.
 
Lauren loves the hotel, for hidden inside its faded walls is the key to her most precious memories. So, along with her best friends, Cate and Emily, she signs up to a new dance class in its gorgeous ballroom. They aren’t going for the men, they’re going for a laugh – although a little romance wouldn’t hurt . . .
 
But then a chain of events off the dance floor puts their friendship to the ultimate test, and makes Lauren question everything she holds dear.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and share my thoughts. It initially appealed to me because of where the storyline was set – I love the Lake District! Reading about places I’ve actually been gave me a sense of familiarity and enabled me to visualise everything so vividly.

It was easy to become caught up in Lauren’s life. There was a wonderful camaraderie between her group of friends that was endearing (and kind of made me want to join them). Her job as a primary school teacher was hugely entertaining, especially her attraction to fellow teacher, Edwin.

There was a blossoming relationship that I correctly predicted quite early on but the fact that I’d guessed where things were heading didn’t affect my enjoyment of the process one little bit. Every new revelation simply made me smile even wider!

The author’s style of writing was light and humorous which meant that it was really fun to read – I love a book that can make me giggle out loud. It wasn’t all fun and laughter though, there was a touching moment which took me by surprise and brought tears to my eyes. I suddenly found myself looking at things from a completely different perspective.

Another more serious branch of the storyline centered around revenge of a devastating kind. I felt that this was particularly relevant to today’s world of social media and I applaud the author for putting it in the spotlight!

This was an addictive read filled with characters who were easy to take to heart. I can’t give it anything but 5 stars.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Jane Costello was a newspaper journalist before she became an author, working on the Liverpool Echo, the Daily Mail and the Liverpool Daily Post, where she was Editor. Jane’s first novel, Bridesmaids, was an instant bestseller. Her second novel, The Nearly-Weds, won Romantic Comedy of the Year 2010. Jane lives in Liverpool with her husband and three young sons and she is currently working on her next novel.

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Not Okay Cupid by Heidi R. Kling

Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Publication Date: 11 January 2016

“Her wicked revenge, or his wicked heart…

Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex.

Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart.

With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge…or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. This was another book where the blurb caught my attention and made me want to know more.

Once I started reading, the first thing that stood out for me was the young feel to the storyline. The writing style matched this beautifully so that I could almost imagine I was right there alongside the characters.

The cheating scene was uncomfortable to read and left me with mixed feelings – pity for Hazel but also pride for the way she handled it. What followed was fast-paced and entertaining. Revenge gone right!

The banter/chemistry between Hazel and Felix was lots of fun to read. The two of them simply exuded sexual tension.

For me, the only thing I would change would be the overuse of certain words/phrases. I found myself rolling my eyes when the same saying was repeated over and over which is a shame because I loved the storyline.

Not Okay Cupid was a fun and sweet read. Highlighting the fact that sometimes life plans can change for the better! It gets 4 stars from me.

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Deal Breakers by Laura Lee

Publisher: LAN Fiction LLC

Publication Date: 1 September 2015

“How were they supposed to know that one night would change everything?

Devyn has life all mapped out. She just needs to accomplish one more thing before graduating college and becoming a full-fledged adult—lose her virginity. And who better to assist her than her best friend, Riley?

Riley is the self-proclaimed king of fling. His college years have been filled with meaningless hookups until the one night that ruined him for all other women. The one night he spends with his best friend, Devyn. Right before he screws it all up.

Balls to the wall, baby!

Now five years later, Riley is determined to atone for his mistakes and prove that he can be the man that Devyn deserves. Little does he know that Devyn’s been keeping a secret from him all these years. A big secret. Now he has to figure out how to win back the only girl he’s ever loved while navigating the pitfalls of her unexpected revelation.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. The blurb really jumped out at me and made me want to know more!

With a fast pace from the start and throughout, I was quickly and easily pulled along with the storyline. Devyn was very likeable and, in his own kind of way, so was Riley.

Scenes of unburdened college life were mixed with moments of vulnerability and I liked this sensitive side. The mixture of the two combined to make it unputdownable!

There was tension of all kinds and even a few comedy moments that I hadn’t been expecting. Add to that plenty of twists and turns to make this an all-round enjoyable read.

Deal Breakers epitomised sexy escapism in my eyes, it was a quick and easy read that was impossible to put down. I’m giving it 5 stars.

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The House of York by Terry Tyler

Publisher: Self Published

Publication Date: 19 October 2015

“Widowed single mum, Lisa Grey, and wealthy businessman, Elias York, are young and madly in love. A recipe for happiness? But Lisa is marrying into a complicated family. Her new sister-in-law doesn’t want to know her. Middle brother Gabriel’s marriage suffers under a cloud of infidelity and gambling debts, while the youngest, Richard, keeps his dark secrets well hidden—and his wife suffers in silence.

Lisa and her mother are bonded by their powerful intuition, but dare not voice their fears about York Towers—or certain members of the family…

Love and loss, abduction, incestuous desires and murderous intent form the basis of this compelling saga in which horrors float just beneath the surface, to bring forth a shocking outcome.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and share my thoughts. I have previously read and enjoyed some of Terry’s other books (reviews here) so I was looking forward to this one.

When I found out that this storyline was about a modern-day family but loosely based on events that took place during the War of the Roses, I was intrigued. I think it gave the book an extra twist of reality.

There were parts of Lisa’s life that I could really relate to and I feel this helped me connect to the storyline quicker than normal. In particular was her greatest ambition to be a wife and mother – it’s not often I hear others admit to that (although I’m happy to admit it to anyone who wants to know), even in books! This is something that stands out for me about Terry’s writing, it’s refreshingly honest and easy to read.

The complexities of York family life, and all their vices, were beautifully described and created vivid pictures in my mind. Each character brought something different to the storyline and held my interest completely.

There were some scenes of an uncomfortable nature but, in my opinion, the author handled them carefully and with skill.

A completely unexpected twist towards the end literally left me sat there with my mouth open and goosebumps on my skin.

This was a fascinating read with a fab set of characters who stayed on my mind even when I wasn’t reading! An easy 5 stars from me.

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