Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts | ARC Book Review (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

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Playing the PlayerPlaying the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts

4 stars =Really Good

Publication Date: September 14th 2015
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Young-Adult
Series Status: N/A—Stand Alone
Page Count: 295
Source & Format: Publisher via Netgalley, ebook
Purchase: kindle | nook | ibooks | kobo

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Good Girl Vs. The Player
Round one begins…

Trina Clemons needed the money. Why else would she – the most organized, prepared student in school – spend the summer as a nanny and partner with the biggest slacker ever? Now she’s ready to tackle nannyhood with her big binder of research and schedules. Just don’t ask her about the secret job of “fixing” the bad habits of a certain high school player…

Slade Edmunds prefers easy hook-ups, and Trina is definitely not his type. She’s all structure and rules, while Slade wants to just have fun. Fortunately, Trina has no idea about the bet Slade made with his best friend that he can totally get her to unwind by the end of summer…

Then the weirdest thing happens. There’s chemistry. A lot of it.
But nothing gets between a boy and a girl like a big, fat secret…

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Hello! Today I have a review on Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts, as part of a blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours (You can check out the rest of the schedule here). Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy!

The first thing I’m going to say about this book is that simply put, I really enjoyed it! It’s a very fun read that will satisfy romance and contemporary lovers out there with the wonderful chemistry between the characters, and the well-done cliches, which, you have to admit, doesn’t always happen and can be pretty fun to read about! You can’t even deny it. 😉 I haven’t ever read anything else by Lisa Brown Roberts, but after this I definitely will!

Quick Summary

In Playing the Player we follow the story of Trina and Slade, both complete opposites. While Trina is about control and discipline, Slade is a easy-going player who treats life as a party. When they’re paired together to work as partners, neither of them know about the secrets the other is keeping. And it soon seems to be, that although both Trina and Slade are way out of their league, they both have lots of chemistry. But is it for the good? Or will it just blow up in their faces?

Plot

I will not deny it; this plot is pretty cliché, with the whole “Good girl falls for the bad-boy player” scheme and all. I’m sure most of you have seen that trope, since it’s almost everywhere. But one of things I loved about this book was the fact that the author took this trope and gave it a twist that fully worked for the story and really made it interesting to read about. Trina didn’t just help Slade, Slade helped Trina to grow as a person and loosen up. And I loved seeing that happen. The plot may have been cliched, but really, that only adds to an overall great story, since it was still enjoyable to read and artfully done.

Another thing I loved about the plot was the overall feel-good vibe to it. The story was perfectly executed to suit its audience with the right of amount of cuteness that made it the perfect summer read. Though the plot was pretty predictable, I still loved every minute of it!

Characters

Another thing I loved about this novel was the fact it was character-driven. I loved the characters, even with the little things I did have some problems with.

Take Trina, for example. I mostly loved her character, especially seeing her character develop throughout the novel. At the start, she’s very rigid about things, as well as vulnerable behind her armor, but by the end she’s much stronger and more relaxed. The chemistry between her and Slade is great, and I really liked watching her fall for Slade—slowly.

“I didn’t know what we were doing or what any of this meant. But I intended to follow it all the way through, because for the first time in forever, I felt fully alive.”

She’s also different than most characters I’ve read about, and I praise the author for creating a character like her. Not only did that make Trina stand out, it also made me more interested in her. I mean, it’s not often that I come across a character who handles things the way Trina does, and there was some wonderful characterization I saw in her that made her more than just a 2-dimensional figure.

“I hated it when I lost control, because I hardly ever did. My whole life was built on discipline and schedules and never making mistakes. I dreaded what would happen if I let down my guard, even for a day.”

I will admit though, that I would’ve liked it a bit more had there been a stronger reason behind Trina’s rigid attitude. I found out about the big reason behind her worrying tendencies and all that and I was kind of like, “Is that it?” But nonetheless, I loved Trina’s character.

Which brings me to Slade Edmunds, who I really liked (although he’s not without his faults). Of course, he is like one of those typical jock guys you see in contemporaries; the player who’s all for the long-legged Barbie-like ladies. You know what I mean. And despite the fact that I know I’ve seen it before, his character was still interesting. As we get his POV, we see more into how he thinks and that insight definitely proved to be useful since it helped get a deeper perspective into him. He was a really sweet guy and I loved seeing the banter between him and Trina, as well as the way he handled things with the kids.

One thing that wasn’t my favorite about him, was his tendency to comment on how attractive Trina is; noticing her cherry-red lips, her short hair, etc. I mean, this wasn’t a big deal, and I didn’t even notice or care at first, but after a few repetitions of him noticing something and then going like, “Wait, I’m not supposed to be thinking that,” it kind of lost its effect. But again, like my little issue with Trina, this wasn’t a huge deal for me.

And last but not least, I have to mention a few of the secondary characters I really liked! Gillian and Max, the kids Trina and Slade had to watch over, were hilarious and were lots of fun to read about. They were troublemakers for sure! I wasn’t a huge fan of the role the adults played in this, but that didn’t bother me that much since I was more focused on the story.

Writing Style

Lisa Brown Roberts was really able to nail writing in dual-perspective! There were hardly any moments I remember stumbling between chapters, trying to place who’s speaking, thank goodness! It just ruins the flow of reading, you know, when that happens. Both characters’ POVs were written in first person, and it was very well-done. The writing added just the right amount of fluffiness to the novel and really got the characters’ personalities through as well. It had a very conversational tone to it, which went well with the overall warm-fuzzies-and-cuteness feel to the story.

Overall…

This book is a solid 4 stars read that I definitely did not regret! A perfect summer read, this book will give you a  great combination of drama, chemistry between realistic characters, a romance to root for and a story that will have you smiling and turning the pages consistently. Trina and Slade are both characters you can’t help but end up loving despite their flaws-–and that’s what we all look for, right? The plot is pretty cliched and predictable, but if you’re looking for a cute and fluffy read, I recommend picking this one up asap! Seeing the banter between the characters, the development of both Slade and Trina, as well as Gillian and Max amping things up in the humour department, this book is perfect for the summer, or anytime you’re feeling down and need a little fluffy romance!

Have you read this book? Do you want to read this book? And while we’re at it, what are your thoughts on cliches-done-good? Let me know in the comments—and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

*I’d also love to know what you think of the slightly new set-up of my review; like it or do you prefer the other style? Feedback greatly appreciated! <3*

Mm, this one was good. Gobble it up!

Analee 4


lisa brown robertsAbout the Author

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way. Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, several four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

Author Links
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway – “Nanny Survival Kit” open to U.S. which will also include a signed copy of the book. If the winner is international, a $20 Amazon gift card will be substituted in place of the prize pack.
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Connected by Kat Stiles | Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Connected_bookcoverBook Details:

Title: Connected

Author: Kat Stiles

Series Status: Stand-Alone

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing

Publication Date: June 3rd 2015

Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

High school is hard enough, Em knows. Her freshman year introduced her to all the cliques, annoying teachers, and tough homework assignments. But discovering you have super powers and not knowing how to control them is a whole new level of complicated.

Thankfully, Em isn’t alone. Her best friend Roz starts having unusual dreams that come true, and Tommy, Em’s secret crush, can hear the softest whispers in class.

A romance blossoms with Tommy. But just as things are looking up, people start dropping like flies. A telepathic serial killer is on the loose and only Em and her friends have a hope of stopping him.

Or do they? If they don’t figure out the killer’s identity soon, one of them could be next.​

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Author Guest Post: Connected Movie/TV Show Castings

Connected could adapt to the screen easily, with minimal special effects and a focus more on the characters themselves, building the mystery and suspense old school style. As far as the actors go, let me just say I have a little girl, so there’s no escaping Disney.

That being said, I would love to see Em played by Dove Cameron if it’s possible to make her look less perfect.

DoveCameron

Or Hayden Panettiere, even though she’s older I think she could still pull it off.

hayden-panettiere

Zendaya would be perfect to play Roz.

03/23/2013 - Zendaya Coleman - Nickelodeon's 26th Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Arrivals - Galen Center Arena - Los Angeles, CA, USA - Keywords: Kids' Choice Awards 2013 Orientation: Portrait Face Count: 1 - False - Photo Credit: Andrew Evans  / PR Photos - Contact (1-866-551-7827) - Portrait Face Count: 1

For Tommy, I envisioned someone hunky with longer hair, like Tyler Blackburn.

tyler-blackburn-3


Q&A Interview

Q: What was your inspiration for Connected?

I guess I’m a super hero geek at heart. I grew up watching Spiderman, X-men and Superfriends cartoons, and I loved the idea of having super powers. The superhero movies that came out delighted me, even the bad ones were still so much fun. And I remember wishing the series, “Heroes” would go on forever. With Connected, I tried to keep the abilities as organic as possible – something just a little beyond what a normal human can do. I’ve met some pretty incredible people in my life, and my experiences greatly influenced the writing of Connected.

Q: Do you have any other genre you’d like to try your hand at?

Horror, my first love. Though I think a horror/comedy would be much more fun to write than a serious one. Something along the lines of David Wong or Christopher Moore. Or maybe something non-fiction, really there are endless possibilities.

Q: Does Em share any of your characteristics?

It’s no coincidence that Em backwards is “me.” Certainly my teenage self was very much like her…it would be easier to list the differences. Let’s see, I really loved my English classes growing up, I didn’t have a gorgeous, popular best friend, and I had a very loving relationship with my mother. 

Q: Do you have any favorite authors in YA Paranormal Romance? Or ones that have influenced you more than others?

Oh boy there are so many… Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth definitely all influenced me. Amanda Hocking and Abbi Glines in particular also inspired me. Love the Cinder series by Marissa Meyer, though I’m not sure that’s YA Paranormal Romance, maybe more sci-fi. Indies I like in the genre are Chanda Hahn, Lori Brighton, and Keary Taylor.

Q: Do you have anything else in the works?

Yes, I’m almost done with the second book in the Connected series. I also have some ideas for a series of novellas I’m excited about, which may tie into the Connected world.

Q: What about writing life/being an author took you by surprise?

The amount of work it takes, to edit and make a book readable for other humans. I always wonder if it’s different for other writers, if they’re able to just clean up their manuscripts in a couple of drafts and be ready. For me, even after all the edits I’ve done, I still wonder if there’s something I missed, some better way to convey an emotion or draw out a scene.

Now for some fun questions:

Q: What one modern technology do you think you could live without? (Not that you’d like it, but you could if you had to.)

Cell phones, believe it or not. I remember when I was growing up, when you were out, you were out – no way for anyone to reach you short of coming to the restaurant or calling it and having someone page you. Now it seems everyone is texting or playing some game all the time, it’s like we’ve forgotten how wonderful it is to just be with each other.

Q: If you could sit down and have dinner with anyone, living or dead, what would it be and what would you eat?

Oooh I think it would have to be Joseph Heller (Catch-22 is my favorite book). Either him or David Wong (John Dies at the End is a close second). My cuisine choice would undoubtedly be calzones, at an amazing Italian restaurant that cooks Jersey style.

Q: Chocolate, bacon, chocolate with bacon, or none of the above?

That’s an easy one, chocolate. White chocolate to be specific, which I know isn’t technically chocolate, but it’s delicious nonetheless.

Q: Is there one talent you wished you had (besides writing)?

More musical talent, I think. I have this gorgeous string bass, and it’s been so long since I’ve played, I’d have to take lessons to remember how! I admire people who can play by ear, I’ve always needed the sheet music.

Q: Any last words? Um, for the interview, that is. (grin)

IT’S A COOKBOOK!! Sorry, I’m a bit of a Twilight Zone geek. I guess my last words are simply this – Readers: please reach out to me, let me know how you enjoyed Connected. My links are below, I’m thrilled to actually get to connect with people and hear what they think of the book or chat about whatever, as long as you’re not a stalker after a body part.


KatStilesAbout the Author

Kat Stiles is a super hero geek at heart. She grew up watching Spiderman, X-men and Superfriends cartoons, and she loved the idea of having super powers. The superhero movies that came out delighted her; even the bad ones were still so much fun. And she remembers wishing the series, “Heroes” would go on forever. With Connected, she tried to keep the abilities as organic as possible – something just a little beyond what a normal human can do. She’s met some pretty incredible people in her life, and her experiences greatly influenced the writing of Connected.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook


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Deception So Dark by Clara Kensie | Book Review

(Run to You #2)

Published: May 1st 2015

Synopsis:

Originally published as the Run to You serial parts 4-6— Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense.

Deception So Dark is the complete second novel in the Run to You series, a riveting thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

With no more secrets to keep them apart, Tessa and Tristan embark upon a desperate search to find her missing brother and sister. But not even Tristan can keep Tessa safe from the hostile classmates at her new school…or from the nightmare that haunts her even while she’s awake. As Tessa’s nightmare becomes all too real, her hope of getting her family back together feels ever more out of reach. When a psychic warns her that leaving town may mean her death, Tessa still cannot stay when she uncovers a potential lead to her brother and sister. Not even if she must go alone and risk losing it all: Tristan, her family, and even her life.

Run to You is Tessa and Tristan’s story—two full-length books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Danger. Deception. Betrayal. It must be true love.


Deception So Dark_bookcover
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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, romantic thriller

Page Count: 325

Format: E-book


 Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Run to You Series Review

Hello fellow bookworms! I have for you now the review on the sequel to Deception So Deadly, Deception So Dark. (You can check out the review to Deception So Deadly here.) This book, was even more mind-blowing than its predecessor, if that’s even possible. Although there are a few things I liked better in the first book, this book took me on an unforgettable roller coaster and I really enjoyed it. (I’ll be skipping the quick summary this time, by the way.)

Plot

The plot, the plot. It picks up from where the first one ended, and at the start, I will admit I wasn’t convinced that this book would be able to impress me. But I shouldn’t have doubted it, because this book instead brought a organized mashup of plot twists, interesting ideas and cliffhangers. I say organized mashup because while it was all sorts of things mixed together, it was done in a calculated and organized manner, which means the plot twists and cliffhangers weren’t all over the place or anything, just like the first book. Everything was done, I felt, to a certain purpose, and it was really well delivered.

Characters

In the first book I really got attached to the characters, and reading this book was great because I didn’t have to go through the trouble of getting to know them and worrying about whether I like them or not. Tessa, our heroine, made a lot more mistakes in this book than in Deception So Deadly (which seems to be a common theme in YA books, I think) but luckily I still managed to really like her. I suppose it was because I understood her needs and why she did what she did, and a part of me approved of her decision, and admired her for it, no matter how risky and unintelligent it was. No character is perfect, right? As far as flaws go, Tessa’s weren’t bad, and didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of her character.

As for where Tristan is concerned, I still really liked him! I loved seeing how much he truly, sincerely loved Tessa, it was beautiful. What bothered me about him was mostly because he was a bit too obsessed with keeping Tessa safe, and had a bruised ego when he couldn’t. I guess I admire his love for Tessa, but it got on my nerves a bit afterwards. However, in essence, I wasn’t truly upset with him, especially after all he does for Tessa. All in all, the characters were fantastic.

Writing Style

The writing style didn’t change much as far as I could see from the first book, luckily, since it was gripping, engaging and easy to read! I really enjoyed the writing style, it made my reading experience better than it already was by being simple, but gripping and interesting from the very first page.

Overall…

I enjoyed this book so much! Even more than the first book, which I didn’t think would be possible. The plot was a lot more suspenseful in this one, although I think the first book is more fast-paced. I completely fell in love with the characters all over again, and really admired Tessa, sympathizing with her as well. I also really loved the romance in this book; it was sweet, strong and true, I loved how no matter what, Tessa and Tristan’s love stayed sincere and prevailed. The writing was great, just as gripping and interesting as it was in the first book. All in all, this book is one I would recommend you don’t miss if you’re interested in reading a YA romantic thriller!

Analee 10

Deception So Deadly by Clara Kensie | Book Review

(Run to You #1)

Published: May 1st 2015

Synopsis:

Originally published as the Run to You serial parts 1-3: First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm.

Deception So Deadly is the complete first novel in the two-book Run to You series, a riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can’t even tell him her real name. But Tristan won’t be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…

Run to You is Tessa and Tristan’s story—two full-length books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Danger. Deception. Betrayal. It must be true love.


Deception So Deadly_bookcover
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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, romantic thriller

Page Count: 325

Format: E-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Run to You Series Review

This book was so good! Full of romance and mystery, this book is one you don’t want to miss. In a nutshell, I really loved the thriller aspect of this and the plot twists were great!

Quick Summary

Tessa Carson’s psychically gifted family has been on the run ever since a man named Dennis Connelly burst into their house and tried to kill them. Now they keep moving from place to place, keeping their identities secret. They can’t even ask anyone for help either, because when they do, those people mysteriously die, presumedly because of Dennis Connelly.
In their new town, Tessa meets Tristan, but doesn’t want to get too involved with him—he’s not even allowed to know what’s her true identity, so what’s the point? But Tristan is determined to know more, and Tessa can’t help but fall for him…

Plot

The plot was just great! I admit, I wasn’t that into it at first, but once I kept reading, I got really into it. I loved the idea of having psychic powers (first of all, who wouldn’t want those kind of powers? and secondly, they make all stories so much cooler!) and I really liked the whole idea of the book; a family on the run and all. Everything was set up very well, the plot wasn’t all over the place or anything, and there were plenty of plot twists and cliffhangers to keep readers on the edge of their seats! Of course, some of the plot twists can be considered predictable, I guess the only reason they weren’t for me was because I didn’t want to believe what I already saw coming. 😛 Nonetheless, this book was full of suspense and mystery, and I really enjoyed the romance too.

Characters

I just loved the characters; Tessa was just such a sweetheart! Being the only one in her family without a psychic gift, Tessa never fit in, not even in her own family. While her siblings thrive at school, wherever they go, Tessa struggles to keep up. This feeling of isolation, this feeling of being different, I sympathized with, and that made it quite easy for me to connect with her and like her. I really loved Tessa’s character; she may be considered naive by some, but I found her to be realistic. I didn’t approve of all her decisions, but I loved reading about them all the same. By the end of the novel (when all hell breaks loose) I was really hurting for Tessa, I had grown so attached to her that I felt her pain, and my emotions were all over the place.

The love interest, Tristan, was great too. I absolutely loved seeing his relationship with Tessa grow, and how natural it seemed. I could genuinely believe in the romance, and totally rooted for it too. He was simply so sweet and understanding, his interactions with Tessa was something I looked forward to the most.

Clara Kensie did a great job of having me emotionally invested in the characters, which made tragic and shocking events in the story have a greater impact, as I cared so much for the characters. It was great!

Writing Style

The writing style was gripping, I couldn’t stop reading it, and I really enjoyed it. Written in the perspective of Tessa in the first person, the writing style allowed me to clearly see Tessa’s feelings, which in turn allowed me to strongly sympathize with her. The writing style was very subtle, I was able to picture everything without having to be told what everything was like. All in all, the writing was great and simply added to my overall reading experience.

Overall…

This book was a great read, you’d never be able to tell from the cover or the beginning of the story how great it really is, but it really is. This book honestly had my heart clenched in a fist or something. The plot was hooking, and I especially enjoyed the psychic part of the whole family-being-on-the-run. I really loved the characters; I sympathized with them, and really connected with them, even though in essence I have nothing in common with them. They (or more specifically, Tessa) was simply likeable. The writing style was gripping, I couldn’t stop reading the book and the writing style made the experience quite memorable! I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for an addictive, fast-paced romantic thriller, filled with plot twists and unique ideas. 

What do you think of this book? Interesting or no? Let me know in the comments below! 

A meal of Deception and So Deadly, coming right up! You can take it to go.

Analee 10

Anya and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner | Release Day Book Blitz & Giveaway

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Anya and the Shy Guy_bookcover

Book Details:

Title: Anya and the Shy Guy

Author: Suze Winegardner

Series Status: Backstage Pass #4

Publisher: Entangled Crush

Publication Date: July 14th 2015

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Anya Anderson doesn’t just need a big break, she needs any break. Living on the streets doesn’t leave a girl many options, so when she scores a gig reporting on the Seconds to Juliet tour, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to sleep somewhere safe. And the paycheck will get bigger—and keep her off the streets for good—if she can dig up dirt on Will Fray, the irritatingly hot “shy guy” of the band.

Problem is, Will Fray isn’t who everyone thinks he is. In fact, he’s not Will at all. Matt, Will’s identical twin, is actually the guy onstage, reluctantly covering for his brother while he’s in rehab. To make matters worse, Matt’s being shadowed by a cute reporter with troubled eyes determined to get the scoop. On him. And he’s having trouble finding the willpower to keep his distance…

But if the secret gets out, it won’t just be his head on a platter—it’ll be the whole band’s.

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains steamy make out scenes, graphic language, and a love story so hot your copy may spontaneously burst into flames. You’ve been warned.

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Excerpt

It was a day spent almost entirely with the other guys, going over steps and set lists. Ryder had had to go to the doctor with a sore throat and swollen glands, so they were sitting on the stage watching for his arrival to make sure he could sing that night.

Matt found himself watching for Anya, too. Looking for a flash of her shiny hair, or the sound of her clomping boots. Nada. He hoped he hadn’t fucked it up the night before. He’d never, ever felt so into a girl before. Like he wanted to pull her apart, see who she was inside, and then put her back together again. He was painfully aware that he was beginning to sound like a creepy serial killer in his own head.

Not that there were many un-creepy serial killers.

“What do you think, Will?” He snapped out of his daydream.

“What?”

“If Ryder’s not able to sing, can you take the lead on ‘Hanging On’?” Trevin asked from his vantage point, sitting on one of the big black amps in front of the drum set.

“I guess.” Shit, he’d have to spend the day practicing. Which meant he couldn’t go find Anya. “Will I get a run-through before the show?”

“You wuss—what do you need a run-through for?” Ryder stepped onto the stage from the wings. “Anyway, I’m fine. Just have to gargle and spray some kind of salty fluid at the back of my throat.” He held up a large bottle with a prescription label.

All of them laughed except for Nathan who looked bemused.

“Don’t worry, Nath. You’ll understand when you’re older, mate,” Miles said, giving the poor guy a noogie.

“So what’s up with you and that reporter chick?” Trevin asked in such a way that Matt knew it had a double meaning.

“I’ve got her under control. Don’t worry.”

“Her?” Miles swiveled around and raised his sunglasses. “You have ‘her’ under control? How does that work?”

“I meant ‘it’. I have ‘it’ under control.” He couldn’t possibly have Anya less under control. Under his skin, yeah. The rest? Not so much.

“Just be charming. And don’t chuck any of under the bus. Ix nay on our secrets,” Miles said.

“I don’t have any secrets,” Nathan said, shrugging. Lucky bastard.

Trevin stood up. “Okay, I guess that’s us for this afternoon. Nathan, I think you’re up first for makeup today, but check the list on the door just in case.”

Matt made a run for the edge of the stage and jumped down.

“Your knee really seems to be better,” called LJ from the third row of seats. Where had he come from?

“Amazing recovery, really.” His face was static. No emotion. No happiness at his recovery.

Shit. Did he really suspect?

Matt hesitated for a moment and then continued walking. “Thanks to you,” he said as he rushed past the man who had put his brother in rehab.

Don’t let me hit him. Don’t let me hit him.


 

About the Author

suze weingardnerSuze Winegardner is an ex-pat Brit who quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She thinks her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference, well, she already considers you kin.

She is represented by Laura Bradford, of the Laura Bradford Literary Agency,and writes for Entangled Publishing‘s Crush imprint.

She’s lived in LondonParis and New York, and has settled, for the time being, in North Carolina.

When not writing, Suze loves to travel with her military husband, and take long walks with their Lab.

Author Links:

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Analee 10

All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang | Blog Tour Review + Giveaway

(Stand-Alone)

Published: June 15th 2015

Synopsis:

The Scions were the four richest, most powerful guys at Valesca Academy, and they ruled the school with iron fists. Everyone wanted to date them or be them…everyone, that is, except Maya Lindberg, who just wanted to avoid them until she could graduate.

She almost succeeded, until an ill-advised outburst on her part put her right in the Scions’ path. Just like that, one became her fake boyfriend, one her unwanted matchmaker, one her guardian angel, and the one she couldn’t stand the most? Yeah, he’s her new housemate.

A Young Adult romantic comedy that explores what happens when a girl gets everything she never asked for, including a puppy, a new wardrobe, and, possibly, even true love.


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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Genre(s): Romantic Comedy, Contemporary, Young-Adult

Page Count: 329

Format: e-book

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Welcome to my review tour stop of All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes thanks to YA Bound Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book.

Boy, am I glad I read this! This was a great contemporary novel, full of humour, romance and simply wonderful characters! The book is actually based from the Japanese manga series named Hana yori Dango or Boys Over Flowers.

Quick Summary

All I’ve Never Wanted follows Maya Lindberg, a high school student who has no interest in the Scions, her school’s most popular guys; Zack Perry, Carlo Tevasco, Parker Remington, and their leader, Roman Fiori. But after an unintentional mistake, Maya now has so much more than what she’s ever wanted.

Plot

Oh my god, I just completely fell in love with this plot. It was simply so addicting, and I had so much fun reading it! There was plenty of humour, romance and simply that touch of special that made me want to keep reading, at all times. What I especially loved was the comedic aspect of it. The author has a great sense of humour! I usually don’t laugh out loud reading books (I do have a sense of humour though! Or at least, I like to think. LOL.) but I did reading this one. Not to mention the fake-boyfriend idea. I haven’t read many books with the fake-boyfriend thing, to be honest, the ones I mostly remember are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han [review], and The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West [review]. But now I can add this one to the list! And this book put a twist on it too. Well, you can kind of expect the twist, but still. It was different. To me, anyway.
All in all, the plot was great! I loved it.

Characters

Ahhhh the characters were the best part for me, I think. I simply fell in love with each and every one of them! Although I have to admit, I did get a few Twilight flashbacks in how the characters were set up. The Scions are kind of like the Cullens, you know? Rich, attractive, mysterious and all. Not to mention Roman’s temper definitely matches Edward. And Adriana, one of the Scions’ sister, reminded me a lot of Alice Cullen.
But Maya, while she’s technically in the role of Bella, she wasn’t. At all. Maya was totally awesome; smart, sarcastic, witty and rebellious, and she just cracked me up! She made stupid mistakes, sure, and her jealousy in some parts of the book might get on your nerves, but she’s not one of those girls who just let people (the Scions) push her around, and I loved her strong nature. It was great to see her develop over the course of the book, and it was so easy to connect with her, even though we don’t actually have as much in common. Maya was simply likeable. You just had to like her. At least, I did.

The Scions were awesome too. I especially liked Carlo and Parker, as well as Roman and Zack. Carlo was simply so nice and sweet! I can smile just of thinking of him, he does such nice things for Maya and is simply great. Parker… he’s one of those guys. The players. But he’s still super awesome, and I loved how he just went along with everything, no questions asked. I smile just of thinking about him too. Really, I smile thinking of all the Scions, but that’s besides the point. Roman is a jerk, I’ll tell you that. We get chapters in his POV, and at first, I really felt like chucking him with a baseball bat all the way to… Africa or something. Or maybe Antarctica. We’ll see how he survives there. His temper sometimes got on my nerves, and his jealousy was kind of annoying… but still sweet too. But by the end of the book, I’m happy to say I really liked him! It was great seeing him change his attitude. Lastly, Zack! He was really funny, his light, care-free personality really made me smile, almost all the time.

As for the other characters, I just loved Maya’s grandmother! She was hilarious, I burst out laughing in several of her scenes. She was just too funny. XD Maya’s friend Venice was great too, I liked how supportive she was of Maya.

Writing Style

All I’ve Never Wanted is in 3rd person, generally in Maya’s POV. There are also some chapters in several of the Scions’ POVs. I liked this set-up, as it kind of gave different perspectives that were both interesting to read. I wouldn’t say the writing style is for everyone, but I did really enjoy it, it was easy to read, flowed nicely and kept me hooked into the story. I will definitely be looking into more stuff from this author! 🙂

Overall…

All I’ve Never Wanted was such a great contemporary story! I haven’t watched the Japanese manga series this book was based on, (called Hana yori Dango, or, Boys Over Flowers) due to lack of time, mostly, but I’d really like to! Although I’m kind of glad I didn’t, as it gave me a chance to read this book without having my mind automatically compare to it. I loved the fake-boyfriend idea in this book, along with the awesome characters. This book did give me some Twilight vibes, but I assure you, for Twilight-haters, it wasn’t bad at all. Maya was a wonderful protagonist; witty, smart and sarcastic, what more could you ask for? The writing style was really good too, which was an added bonus. All in all, if you’re looking for a book with humour, a witty protagonist, great characters and a cute and hot romance, this book is definitely for you. I’m so glad I read this book!

Hungry? Well you should be! You simply have to gobble it up, it’s all you’ve ever wanted.

Analee 10


About the Author:

Ana Huang, better known as ACRL37 on Wattpad, primarily writes Young Adult and Romance. She started writing her first novel, All I’ve Never Wanted, when she was sixteen; it was originally inspired by the Asian manga Hana Yori Dango (also known as Meteor Garden and Boys Over Flowers). Her second novel, If We Ever Meet Again, was loosely based on her own study abroad experiences in college. Her stories currently have a combined view of over 20 million on Wattpad.

Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys politics, brunch, and traveling.

Author Links:

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Synthetica by Rachel Pattinson | Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Synthetica book cover_low resBook Details:

Title: Synthetica

Author: Rachel Pattinson

Series Status: Synthetica #1

Publication Date: April 1st 2015

Genres: Science-Fiction, Young Adult


Synopsis:

This city is falling.

Seventeen-year-old Anais Finch lives in a world where everyone is born beautiful, where every dream is a possibility – and where their every move and every piece of personal information is recorded by an ID picochip inserted behind their right ear. When technology giant, Civitas, finally announces the launch of their highly anticipated Scholarly Learning Programs, which allow people to download and learn any subject instantly, Anais can hardly wait.

But not everyone is pleased with society’s progress, and not everyone wants to fit in. When Anais witnesses a brutal murder on an innocent citizen and is implicated in the crime, she becomes determined to uncover the truth, especially when others like it begin to occur all over the city. But it may already be too late for Anais to stop the man who calls himself ‘the Hacker’ before he commits his most appalling crime yet… 

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Guest Post: Interview

Tell us a little about yourself…

 Hi there! Thanks for having me today! I’m Rachel and I’m a Young Adult sci-fi author. I’m 24 years old and I’m an English girl, born and raised. I love tea, cake, Lord of the Rings, bread and butter, and rain. You have to learn to love the rain if you grow up in the north of England. 

When did you start writing?

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Even in primary school, I remember folding up coloured pieces of A4 paper to make a book, scribbling a story in the first few pages and then abandoning it (that habit hasn’t actually changed that much – only, I now use a computer rather than random bits of paper). Making up stories has been the only thing that’s been constant throughout my life – I’ve never doubted I’d become a writer one day, but it’s only in the past few years that I’ve decided to take that ambition seriously. I first started writing novels three years ago, when I was about to graduate from university. It was while I was waiting to hear back from the hundreds of job applications I’d sent out that I decided to write my first novel and see what became of it. I’ve stopped and started a lost of books over the last few years, but I finally feel like I’m ready to take my writing career seriously.

What made you decide to write Young Adult science fiction?

I’ve got to be honest with you – it’s a genre I kind of accidentally fell into. All my previous attempts at writing have been YA dystopian/apocalyptic novels. I never set out thinking that I’d end up writing science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I love science fiction films and I love reading other YA sci-fi books – learning about new technology/civilisations and the way in which these things impact on society have always fascinated me. But it wasn’t until I was a good halfway through writing Synthetica that I even realised I was writing sci-fi. I just thought I was writing a ‘futuristic’ YA novel…it wasn’t until I had to define it in a category for my query letters that I realised it was, in fact, sci-fi. And now, I can’t seem to stop thinking of other science fiction stories to write…

Tell us a little bit about your book, Synthetica

Seventeen-year-old Anais Finch lives in a world where everyone is born beautiful, where every dream is a possibility – and where their every move and every piece of personal information is recorded by an ID picochip inserted behind their right ear. When technology giant, Civitas, finally announces the launch of their highly anticipated Scholarly Learning Programs, which allow people to download and learn any subject instantly, Anais can hardly wait.

But not everyone is pleased with society’s progress, and not everyone wants to fit in. When Anais witnesses a brutal murder on an innocent citizen and is implicated in the crime, she becomes determined to uncover the truth, especially when others like it begin to occur all over the city. But it may already be too late for Anais to stop the man who calls himself ‘the Hacker’ before he commits his most appalling crime yet.

What inspired Synthetica?

The idea for Synthetica came about while I was watching The Matrix with my better half. It was the scene where Neo downloads the ability to learn martial arts and for some reason, this sparked a thought in my mind – what if programs like this were available for everyone to download? What if you could download knowledge about any subject you liked directly to your brain? And then, what if someone hacked into these programs and used for their own means? It took a couple of months for me to get all the details of this plot worked out, but once I had, I knew this was a book I simply had to write.

How did you come up with the title Synthetica?

 The title simply came to me while I was outlining the book. I don’t know what inspired it or why, but to me, it just felt right. This book is set in a world which only cares about physical and material possessions – your DNA can be changed so you can have the exact look you want, everyone keeps up to date with the latest fashions and looks (which change almost daily), everyday objects must be bought new and changed regularly –  and to me, the title embodies the traits of this world perfectly.

Who was your favourite character to write about?

This is a hard one to answer! Although I love all the characters in Synthetica, there are two in particular that I couldn’t wait to write: Clay Winterbourne and the Hacker. I loved writing Clay’s chapters because he’s such a misery guts and he’s got such an intriguing background, that I could have a lot of fun exploring his reactions to certain situations. He’s not used to being around people and suddenly he’s thrown into this situation where he not only has to interact with people, but he also has to go back to the Imperial City and try to face his personal demons head on. He’s turned his back on the city that framed him for murder, but he has to decide whether he’s stubborn enough to refuse help to someone who genuinely needs him.

And the Hacker – well, who doesn’t love writing about villains? I always knew I wanted the Hacker’s POV dispersed throughout the novel, so we could get a sense of his motivations and why he was committing the crimes he did. It was a challenge to get across his personality in such short scenes, while also making him a bit of an enigma. The Hacker continued to surprise me throughout the book – I always knew he was going to be a sociopath, but I found myself constantly wondering exactly how far he’d go to achieve his goals. He’s a man who genuinely has no regard for human life, which makes the stakes all the higher when Anais encounters him.

Is Synthetica part of a series?

Yes! It’s part of a trilogy.

What can we expect from the rest of the series?

 The second book in the series is mainly about dealing with the fallout of Synthetica. The Imperial City is in chaos, and the second book is not only exploring the consequences of both the Hacker’s and Anais’ actions; it’ll also bring in other characters from the first book, so we can see firsthand what their reactions to the Hacker are. Anais now has to process  everything that happened to her, but she doesn’t end up doing such a good job of handling her emotions, unfortunately. The Hacker is still determined to claim the city as his own, and now that he knows who Anais is, he’s going to make sure they meet face to face. It’s a lot darker than Synthetica – there are parts of the book that have broken my heart already.

I’m still outlining the third book, but it’s going to bring everything to a head. Anais and the Hacker are both determined to bring each other down and now, they’re set to collide in a big way. But with the future of the entire Imperial City at stake, neither of them can afford to lose. I can’t wait to write this book – it’s going to bigger and darker than anything I’ve done before.

Would you ever consider writing in any other genres?

 At the moment I’m happy writing YA sci-fi. I love writing for the YA market, but I wouldn’t say no to writing in a different genre, perhaps a dystopian or a fantasy. I’ve got a couple of ideas for a fantasy series, but I don’t know if it’ll come to anything yet. I don’t see myself moving away from writing for young adults any time soon, but never say never!

What are your current writing projects?

 At the moment, I’m currently having a lot of fun writing the sequel to Synthetica, which I hope will be published before the end of the year. Just a word of warning – if you thought Synthetica was dark, it’s nothing compared to what’s in store for book two *evil cackle*.

I’m also currently outlining an idea for a standalone novel, which I’m working on during my breaks from the world of Synthetica. Nowadays, people seem to put a lot of emphasis on the amount of ‘likes’ or attention they get on social media (myself included), and this got me thinking – what if you took this concept and applied it to a situation where it actually mattered how many ‘likes’ you received? For example what if in this world, the amount of ‘likes’ you had decided whether you lived or died…? I’m super excited to explore this idea, although at the moment I’m having a hard time getting the characters of Synthetica out of my head!

What advice would offer an aspiring author?

Don’t give up. I’m not going to lie – writing a book is hard. It takes a lot of perseverance. There are times when you’re halfway through writing your first draft and you suddenly realise everything you’ve written is awful, or you’ve written in a character that doesn’t work with your plot anymore, or you’ve just spotted a gaping plot hole. It can be disheartening, but remember, no first draft is perfect. Just keep going, and eventually it all comes together. First drafts (and second, and third , and fourth drafts…) can always be rewritten and restructured, so just remember to keep writing. You can change the words you’ve written, but you can’t change anything on a blank page.

 Finally, if you could invite any three book characters to dinner, who would they be and why?

Aragorn, without a doubt. He’d be top of my list. He was pretty much my first book crush (and remains one to this day) and I’d love to the chance to get to interrogate him about Middle Earth in person. Secondly, I’d have to say Jaime Lannister. I started off absolutely hating him in GOT, but he’s now one of my favourite characters. I’d love to get inside his head and ask him whether or not he’d ever get together with Brienne (and if he’s going to do everyone a favour and get rid of Cersei). I was going to choose a different book for my third character, but there’s so much I want to know about GOT, that I’d have to invite Sandor Clegane as well – another one of my favourite characters. He’s got such a messed up sense of loyalty, and I want to know why he stuck with Joffrey for so long, and yet. Why he wanted to save the Stark girls. Hm, I’ve just noticed that all these characters are flawed in some way…I guess that just goes to show how much I love my messed up characters!

Thanks for having me today! It’s been great!


 

rachel pattinsonAbout the Author

Rachel Pattinson graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA Hons in Publishing Media. Born and raised in the north of England, she shares a love for anything to do with tea, cake, bread and butter, rain, the dark, lakes, fells and Lord of the Rings. She now lives in Norfolk with her partner in crime, and is currently working on several new projects, including the sequel to Synthetica.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon


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Banish by Nicola Marsh | Blog Tour Review + Giveaway!

(Soul Retrievers #1)

Published: May 26th 2015

Synopsis:

Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit… and save her soul.

After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.

But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!

Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural…despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?


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My Rating: 4 stars 4/5 (Really Good)

Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, paranormal

Page Count: 264

Format: e-book

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Soul Retrievers Novella – Vanish: (Currently FREE!)

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Welcome to my reviewing blog tour stop for Banish by Nicola Marsh! I really enjoyed this book, and I’m super happy I got the chance to read it. A suspenseful story dealing with the supernatural, Banish was a thrilling and interesting read.

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes. This does not affect my opinion on the book.

Quick Summary

Alyssa Wood flees her town of Broadwater after no longer being capable of dealing with the aftermath of her ex boyfriend’s suicide (right after she dumped him) to live with her Wicca High Priestess aunt. What she didn’t expect was for her ghosts to follow her… and now she has to fight to live and find out the truth before it’s too late.Read More »

Secret of the Sevens by Lynn Lindquist | Book Blitz & Giveaway

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Secret of the Sevens New final (1)Book Details:

Title: Secret of the Sevens

Author: Lynn Lindquist

Series Status: Stand-Alone

Publisher: Flux Publishing

Publication Date: 06/2015

Genres: Thriller, Young Adult


Summary from Goodreads:

Everyone at Singer, a boarding school for underprivileged kids, knows the urban legend of the Society of Seven. Decades ago, the original members of the secret guild for elite students murdered the school’s founder and then perished in the fire they lit to hide the evidence. Or so the story goes.

Talan Michaels doesn’t care about Singer’s past. He’s too focused on his future and the fact that he’ll be homeless after he graduates in May. To take his mind off it, he accepts a mysterious invitation to join a group calling itself the Sevens. He expects pranks, parties, and perks. Instead, he finds himself neck-deep in a conspiracy involving secret passages and cryptic riddles about the school’s history. Even worse, he’s now tangled in web of lies someone will kill to keep hidden.

“At the end of the day, it’s Talan and his endearing combination of bravado and vulnerability, coupled with the crackling chemistry he shares with Laney, that will keep readers turning the pages. A satisfying read for secret-society fanatics and romantics alike.” – Kirkus ReviewsRead More »