180 Seconds (Jessica Park)

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Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.


So as I sit here and type this I had to put the book down, even before I had finished it. I just had to get some thoughts out while they kept ringing in my head.

I wish that I could rate this book 10 stars. It’s officially moving into my all time top five. And I am typing that before I have even finished the book. HOW BOUT DAT!?

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“I’m going to give you that, okay? Don’t worry. And, one day, you’ll stop looking for this – for us – to fall apart.”

First and foremost, the communication and connection between Esben and Allison in this book is so overwhelming to me. But overwhelming in a good way. Let me try to explain. Most books we read today feel rushed, they feel like there are specific formulas they each follow. I do not like insta-love. I actually cannot sit here and tell you a book that I have liked that has insta-love in it until 180 Seconds. But the premise of the book is what makes it so enjoyable and easy for me to say that. It helps me to sit here and understand HEY! This CAN happen and here is how it happens. So Jessica, you have made me a believer.

If you are a fan of YA and Jessica’s books Left Drowning and Flat Out Love, you will devour 180 Seconds. It’s almost like Left Drowning and Flat Out Love had a baby and the baby was Esben and Allison and it was a beautiful conception.

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I hope that every person that this blog reaches reads this book. I hope they read it and experience the taste of blueberry ice cream, the smell of cookies, and oysters and all of the good things that Jessica wants to give to us through not only Esben and Allison but Steffi and Simon and Kerry too. I hope they get the hope and support they so deserve and I hope they find a secure and safe feeling with this book. Because even though I didn’t know I needed it, that is what I found when I finished. And for that I am eternally grateful at the good that can come to and even FROM anybody.

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Ever Over After by JA DeRouen

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Marlo … wild-eyed, untamed, and every single thing I’ve ever wanted from this life. I wasn’t ready for her back then. I was a stupid boy with adult feelings and no idea what to do with them. I squandered away every chance she gave me.

Yes, love like ours either burns white hot or crumbles under the pressure.
And now I’m back to sift through the rubble.

Questions and excuses are two things I have in spades. What I need now are answers.
Answers and Low.
Always Low.

My name is Ever Montgomery, and this is my story of love resurrected. 

I didn’t think I’d be happy with the way Marlo and Ever’s story continued but alas, I was wrong.

So you know what, I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet: Grown up Marlo made my heart soar and grown up Ever got me hooked and addicted.

Great story. Just an all around great story.

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Low Over High by JA DeRouen

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I fancy myself a purveyor of truth, a sifter of lies, a cutter of bullshit. It’s not a gift, but rather, all skill, honed to a razor’s edge after one too many trips down the rabbit hole.

Some may dismiss my talent as misplaced and misguided cynicism, but they’d be wrong. Cliches about hope and faith in mankind are concocted unicorn farts, an effort to keep the dreamers dreaming. Experiences don’t lie—people do.

While I’m not proud of the circumstances that led me to this way of thinking, I respect the journey. The road to enlightenment can be dark and foreboding, but the destination makes it all worthwhile.

But funny thing about the past—it’s a defiant child refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected, and sink its fucking claws into the flesh of your heart. No, not my heart—I no longer have one. I foolishly gave it away years ago, but I still feel the ripping in my chest as I fist the crumpled note left on my porch.

I’ve avoided this day, ran from it, for the past eight years.
And still we meet again.

But to truly understand … to feel my dread and fear my future as I do, it’s important to know what happened in my past.

Or who…

My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.

Currently I am dead. R. I. P. to my emotions. R. I. P. to everything that existed before Low and Ever. Buh-bye.

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Let me start off by saying I am pissed. And there are three reasons why but I can’t tell you because spoilers. But I want to, really bad! Both of the characters infuriated me with the way they handled a couple of things but nonetheless…I LOVED IT. Like, it was perfect because it matched their ages and the times and their maturity. The author depicted all of that perfectly. It’s like, the best kind of angst you could ask for.

High school. Broody hero. Strong and quick witted heroine. Yes, yes, yes. Sign me up for all of those things because they’re my weakness. Marlo also wasn’t like most heroines I read about. She was incredible and her personality was like a big ball of wonderful. Sassy. Strong. She rocked my world. Ever and his broodiness and softness mixed into one hot package rocked my other world. I couldn’t get enough of the two of them, especially when they were together.

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The secondary characters in Low Over High were so complex I feel like they each could have had a book about them. I loved them and their interactions but I just felt like I didn’t get enough of them. I wanted more.

The ending is so unfair. In the best possible way though. Like, I hate how it ended but I loved it at the same time. I know, it makes so much sense.

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You know what, I’ll never get over the ending. Ever. It will haunt me for the rest of my existence. And to me, to me that makes a damn memorable book!

Love Me More by R. S. Medina

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I’ve always heard that you should marry someone that loves you more than you love them – that if you do this, you’ll always be happy.
Did I follow that advice? No. Am I happy? No. And is Finn happy? No.
I’m stuck in a marriage with an ex-Marine suffering from PTSD. I’m not sure we’re in love anymore. We have a baby who brings us both joy—but it’s not enough. I feel like my life is crumbling around me and I’m struggling to keep the pieces together.
Someone from my past has sauntered back in quietly, unknowingly. To my surprise, the attention is what I was craving.
I have to make a decision. Do I stay and fight, or leave, when the idea of escape is beautiful and tempting?
I’m always the one who loves more.

Meh. Cheating books are usually a very touchy subject and usually a hit or miss for me. They have to be either well executed or very believable and well, this one was either messy or overly dramatic. There was no middle ground.

Basically I need to say this: I’m not a fan of Tristan and Blair’s “relationship”. I’m not a fan of the way things start and I’m not a fan of the reasons as to why Blair did it. And frankly, that killed the whole story for me. And in return, it made me really not like Blair and her actions. She was selfish, and not in a good way.

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The ending. I could have a whole discussion alone about this but I don’t spoil things for other readers. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like anything about it. If you’re gonna end a book like that you have to pace it. 400+ pages and the ending happens in 5 short pages. Too little too soon.

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I did enjoy RS’s writing, though. For a debut novel I’m thoroughly impressed. I just wasn’t feeling the story line and some of the main characters. I enjoyed the book, although I stayed mad at Blair 80% of the time.

I think I should stop with the cheating books. Maybe it’s time I throw the towel in.

Darken the Stars by Amy Bartol

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Kyon Ensin finally has what he’s always wanted: possession of Kricket Hollowell, the priestess who foresees the future. Together, their combined power will be unrivaled. Kricket, however, doesn’t crave the crown of Ethar—she has an unbreakable desire to live life on her own terms, a life that she desperately wants to share with her love, Trey Allairis.

As conspiracies rage in the war for Ethar, Kricket’s so-called allies want to use her as a spy. Even those held closest cannot be trusted—including Astrid, her sister, and Giffen, a member of a mysterious order with a hidden agenda. But Kricket’s resolve will not allow her to be used as anyone’s pawn, even as the Brotherhood sharpens its plans to cut out her heart.

As the destiny prophesied by her mother approaches, Kricket will backtrack through her fiery future to reshape it. For she knows one thing above all else: the only person she can truly count on is herself.

I’m really torn at this point. I’m not sure I liked how the series ended and how it got to the end but as a reader I can understand why the author did it the way she did. But that doesn’t mean I would have done it that way!

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I’m not disappointed. It’s hard for me right now to justify my feelings towards certain characters and their actions during the last book of the Kricket series. But damnit, nothing can stop me from loving Kricket, Trey, and Kyon. Even when I didn’t want to. What does that say about me? I think that means I’m a glutton for punishment.

So much unfinished business. So much. Let’s hope back up into the world of Ethar. Please please.

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Nonetheless, this series was an incredible ride. I’m forever thankful I picked this series up and read them AND enjoyed every minute of them.

Give me what you got next, Amy. Give it to meeee!

Sea of Stars by Amy Bartol

IMG_7113Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.

A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.

Omg omg OMG! This second book in the Kricket series was everything and as of right now it’s my favorite. For sure. Darken the Stars…can you live up to such high expectations? We’ll see.

Kricket. Trey. Ethar. Even Jax and Wayward. Ugh. I am just completely amazed at Amy and her creation of these characters and their entire world. And their development throughout the story is just fantastic. I’m kind of obsessed with Amy’s writing because even the villain is growing on me. That’s some good character development and writing, right? I think so. Because really…when you LIKE the villain? What does it say about you?

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Sea of Stars is my current favorite because of the fact that I was permanently on the edge of my seat. It’s fast paced and edgy enough to make you not want to stop reading it. Not to mention the twists and turns entwined in the story line have me literally foaming at the mouth for more.

And that ending. I’m so glad I don’t have to wait for the third book.

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Also, can you believe I’m reading ANOTHER series? I’m so excited to see what book three brings me. Starting right meow.