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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kate1

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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kate1

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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kate1

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Egmont Publishing (Electric Monkey)

Publication Date: 7 January 2016

“The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. I had already heard lots of good things about it so I couldn’t resist checking it out for myself.

The first chapter painted a lovely picture of curiosity and intrigue from Samantha. Her innocent fascination with her new neighbours, The Garretts, made me smile because I could imagine her so vividly in my mind watching them and eavesdropping to get more information.

Samantha was a sweet character and when her home life took a strange turn she found solace in a most unexpected place. This is where things got really interesting for me. I couldn’t help but chuckle at her first experience of the Garrett home, she was like a fish out of water but totally went along with it – this made me love her even more! Later on she had to make some difficult choices and I really hoped she would do the right thing.

Bringing a hard edge to the storyline was Tim who had some pretty serious issues going on. This was written in a delightfully believable way and left me wanting to do something to help him. Somehow he ended up being one of my favourites which is why I was so excited to discover that the author has written The Boy Most Likely To, it features Tim as a main character!

This was an addictive read with a young feel to it. A breathtaking glimpse into the nerve-wracking dance of first love.

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kate1

Jera's Jamboree/Talk of the Town

Sophie & Carter – Chelsea Fine

Sophie and Carter

“Next-door neighbors Sophie Hartman and Carter Jax grow up witnessing the shameful secrets of each of their families and, amidst the heartache, form an unspoken bond of friendship.  But events during their senior year of high school will change both of them forever.  As their lives unravel, Sophie and Carter rely on one another for strength, encouragement and hope…and begin to realize their feelings for each other might just be deeper than friendship….”

I absolutely loved Chelsea Fine’s The Archers of Avalon trilogy (my reviews of these can be found here) and I was keen to read more from her so I couldn’t resist buying this eBook novella.

The authors familiar, fun writing style shone through straight away as I was introduced to Sophie and her inner thoughts which were mainly about Carter at that point.  When she ran into him at school I was captivated by their chemistry, I could almost feel their sparks jumping off the page at me!

I was hooked on the complicated yet simple dynamics of their friendship – their lives were entwined in so many ways but around other people they pretended that they didn’t know one another.  There was an air of sadness whenever they talked about their home lives and I couldn’t even begin to imagine what they had been through.  When it was revealed, my heart broke for them and my maternal instincts made me want to reach into the book and give them a hug.

Although this was a quick read it had a big impact, I felt extremely protective of these characters in a very short space of time and part of me wishes that it had been longer.  The story ended with a scene of hope and I got the feeling that there would be more to come, I would love to hear more from Sophie and Carter in the future.

This was a powerful yet sweet tale of love that I was completely unable to put down.

Purchase Sophie & Carter from Amazon.co.uk:

Paperback | Kindle Edition

To find out more about Chelsea Fine:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Love is a Number – Lee Monroe

Love is a number

“When her beloved boyfriend Huck dies, Eloise is wrecked. The ultimate golden couple, she will never find love as perfect ever again. But then Eloise begins to unravel her ‘perfect’ relationship and finds she has questions. And so, angry and sad, she texts Huck’s phone as if he can receive her messages from beyond the grave.

She never expected to get a reply …

Dan is travelling Spain in one last hurrah before uni and real life kick in. He’s ready for love, but not of the casual kind. He’s not met a girl that’s set his world alight. But he’s ready for her when she decides to make an appearance.

One night on his travels, Dan discovers an abandoned phone.
He pockets it, then forgets about it.

He never expected it to ring …

Firstly I’d like to thank Hachette Children’s Books for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.  I loved the Dark Heart series (review here) by the same author so I was very keen to start reading this one which is her latest book.

It seemed to take me a while to really get into the story, about halfway through it definitely got more interesting and it was at this point I became hooked, by the time I got to the last few pages I just didn’t want it to end – it was so adorable!

For me Eloise was an up and down character – there were times I really liked her and thought she was very sweet but there were also times (mainly at the beginning) when I simply couldn’t take to her.  I loved Daniel pretty much as soon as I met him – he was wonderfully honest and a little bit shy.  I couldn’t wait for the interaction between these two characters to start and when it did I found myself smiling at the cuteness of it all :).

Eloise’s grief after Huck had died was superbly described, her life had been completely turned upside down, learning about their time as a couple initially made me feel sad for her but I soon got the impression that all was not as perfect as it first seemed.  Eloise’s mother and so-called friends were all rather irritating, I definitely rolled my eyes a lot at the things they said and did.

Daniel was quite an amusing character, I hadn’t been expecting humour from this book so that was a welcome surprise. I particularly enjoyed the times when he was trying to be more of a bad boy than the clean-cut lad everyone thought/knew he was.  The author wrote about the tidal wave of teenage insecurities clearly and concisely, this is what makes it such a great read for teens!

I loved the texting parts of the book (always a favourite of mine), I was eagerly awaiting each message to see if my predictions were going to be right.

This was a sweet, romantic read that took a while to warm up but left me smiling!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Monroe was born in London, but spent a short time living by the sea with her family when she was a teenager. She moved back to the heart of the city as soon as she could, and now lives in Westminster. Lee was an obsessive reader as a child, and still is. She has worked in publishing and contributed to, and ghost-written books.

Love is a Number is published by Hodder Children’s Books on 4 July 2013 and can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.