A Little Too Much by Lisa Desrochers {Review + Giveaway}


 
A Little Too Much by Lisa Desrochers {Review + Giveaway}Title: A Little Too Much
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Series: A Little Too Far #2
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse on November 12, 2013
Format: eBook, 416 pages
Source: Mundie Moms Blog Tours
4 Stars

Summary

In the follow-up to Lisa Desrochers’ explosive New Adult novel A Little too Far, Alessandro Moretti must face the life he escaped and the girl he loved and left behind.

Twenty-two year old Hilary McIntyre would like nothing more than to forget her past. As a teenager abandoned to the system, she faced some pretty dark times. But now that’s all behind her. Hilary has her life on track, and there’s no way she’ll head back down that road again.

Until Alessandro Moretti—the one person who can make her remember—shows up on her doorstep. He’s even more devastatingly gorgeous than before, and he’s much too close for comfort. Worse, he sees right through the walls she’s built over these last eight years, right into her heart and the secrets she’s guarding.

As Hilary finds herself falling back into love with the man who, as a boy both saved and destroyed her, she must decide. Past or future? Truth or lies?

My thoughts

Alessandro is the character I fell in love with in A Little Too Far. I was not happy that Lexie chose her stepbrother over the obvious awesomeness that was Alessandro. Big mistake, Lexie. However, thanks to her stupidity, Hilary gets a chance with the one who got away. Hilary and Alessandro (and his brother Lorenzo) spent time together at a group home many years ago. They connected, but circumstances tore them apart and they lost touch. Now that Alessandro realizes entering the priesthood isn’t the way to atone for his past, he goes to New York to find Hilary and make things right. But she’s not the same girl she was when he last saw her. She’s got big dreams and an even bigger wall around her heart.

As you may have guessed from the above summary, I loved Alessandro. He was pretty much perfect in every way, and I was glad to get a chance to read more about him. He had his troubled past, which only served to make him sexily tortured, and he was kind and gentle and so sweet. He had a great sense of humor and was always willing to try something new or go outside his comfort zone for someone else. And, as an added bonus, he looked amazing. Hilary was an arm girl (as am I) and she admired and described his sexy cut arms many times, which was quite nice.

He was able to look past Hilary’s flaws and appreciate her for who she was. And he never sugar coated that he had been in love with someone else recently (the stupid Lexie). I thought that was nice, how he didn’t try to shy away from the facts. He always told the truth, but in a nice way.

On the other hand, I didn’t like Hilary as a character as much as I did Lexie from A Little Too Far. There was no logical reason, I just didn’t click with her. She was nice enough with her friends, but not overly friendly with others. She was in a relationship of convenience, without emotional attachment, and while I think that works fine for some people, that’s just not my thing.

One thing I had to wonder about was why Hilary refused to see how perfect for her Alessandro was. We find out later why (more on that in a minute), but still, she resisted much longer than I would expect anyone to. It was kind of frustrating, I kept thinking “Just kiss him, already!” and “Why are you still denying how great he is?” I didn’t understand the reluctance.

Hilary’s bestie, Jess, was super cute. She was also an actress and we didn’t spend a lot of time with her, but she was genuinely nice, which I always like to see. The boyfriend was fairly likable, considering he was only with Hilary for the sex. They lived together, though, and he was faithful to her, plus he did what he could to help her career. Of course, he turned out not to be quite so charming in the end.

Hilary had a dirty mouth and the f-word was slung around a lot. And there was a fair amount of graphic sex. The build up before the big moment with Hilary and Alessandro was nice; lots of heavy breathing and lip biting. But it still wasn’t as romantically sexy as it was for Alessandro and Lexie. Maybe I’m always going to compare those two couples…

One of the themes in the book was discovering the New York that nobody else knew about and that was fun. We learned a bit about different New York “attractions” that are under-appreciated by the everyday people who live there. In fact, one or two of them sound interesting enough that I might check them out if I ever go back to the city.

There was a big twist about 2/3 of the way through the book, however, I knew it was coming. I’m not sure if it was a lucky guess, but after reading the preview bit at the end of A Little Too Far, I immediately knew what the big event was going to be, and I was right. It’s a big one, but it’s not easy to figure it out as you read. I’m not sure if I would have felt any differently about the story if I hadn’t known what was going on. I think it would have been a big surprise, and I might have been less frustrated with Hilary’s actions.

At any rate, I enjoyed the book and will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

The sum up

Steamy and dramatic with lots of angst, this is an older “new adult” book perfect for romance and drama fans.

About the author

Lisa Desrochers is the USA Today bestselling author of A LITTLE TOO FAR , courtesy of HarperCollins, and companions, A LITTLE TOO MUCH (Nov 12, 2013), and A LITTLE TOO HOT (Jan 21, 2014). Also in stores is her YA PERSONAL DEMONS trilogy (Macmillan).

She lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Purchase

IndieBound | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Giveaway

Enter here for you chance to win 6 signed books plus some swag. If you don’t see the Rafflecopter form, try refreshing your screen, or just click the link. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Liberator by Victoria Scott {Review + Giveaway}

The Liberator by Victoria Scott {Review + Giveaway}Title: The Liberator
Author: Victoria Scott
Series: The Collector #2
Publisher: Entangled Teen on August 27th 2013
Format: eARC, 350 pages
Source: Publisher
5 Stars
Summary

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn’t like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

My thoughts

Oh, Dante. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You’re a badass, you’re an undercover softy, you’re crazy protective of your friends, girlfriend and even her friends and family, you’re sexy and you know it, you know how to party, you dress to impress, you appreciate the finer things in life, you’re a sarcastic smartass, you have a secretly tortured soul, you’re head over heels in love with a good girl. Oh, and you’re a totes hottie.

I absolutely LOVED Dante in The Collector, and he made me fall for him even more in this one. He was still the same guy, just in love. And while the sappiness was a little overwhelming at times (find your balls already, Dante), he still had the same basic attitude about him. Even with the cuff that meant he had to save souls instead of stealing them, he still felt like the demon he used to be. That created serious conflicts of interest for him, which was where the tension between he and Charlie mostly came from.

Charlie was back and just as good as ever. She’d grown up a bit and was more mature, which I liked. She had much more on her shoulders, what with being the one who will bring 100 years of peace to the world and all. Annabelle was back and just as sassy as before. She had more of a presence in this story, though it was mostly comic relief and to rein in Charlie when needed.

Aspen, truly the focus of the novel, had some serious issues, and she had a helluva wall up, preventing anyone from getting too close. It was so nice to see Dante get close to Aspen and become her friend. What Aspen needed was a true friend, and Dante was that for her. (For those of you worried about a love triangle with the new female, don’t be. Victoria herself announced that wasn’t where they were headed. I was glad to hear that. I like a good triangle, but Dante belongs with Charlie.) All of the same supporting characters were back, and a few new faces popped up.

There was a lot of action in this one, both actual fighting and in the training room. There were a ton of tense moments and once or twice I just knew it was going to end badly.

One of my favorite things in The Liberator was finally seeing hell.
One of my favorite things in The Liberator was finally seeing hell. We got a pretty complete tour, starting with where it was and how to get inside. Incredibly detailed and so creepy.

There was some lovin’ going on, but it was romantic and sweet without anything graphic. It might have been nice, though, to have some sexy time details with Dante… Just sayin’.

There were unanswered questions, which was frustrating, but Victoria Scott writes crazy fast, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we find out the answers. The ending was a quasi-cliffhanger; enough to make you worried, but not enough to drive you crazy. A nice compromise.

I can be specific and continue to point out all the great and wonderful things about Dante and this book, but I’m going to stop here and just say this: READ THE BOOKS.

The sum up

Sexy bad boy tries to mend his ways. Good times ensue.

About the author

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe. She’s the author of THE COLLECTOR trilogy (Entangled Teen) and the FIRE & FLOOD series (Scholastic). Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Other opinions

A Life Bound By Books | Lost In Literature | Book Briefs

Giveaway

The giveaway has ended.

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers {Review + iPad Giveaway}

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers {Review + iPad Giveaway}Title: A Little Too Far
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Series: A Little Too Far #1
Publisher: HarperCollins on September 17th 2013
Format: eARC, 371 pages
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
5 Stars
Summary

Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years… and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.

But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt … and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon … only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

My thoughts

Lexi’s broken up with her cheating boyfriend for good. She thinks she’s over him until he tries to get back together with her, and she ends up crying in her bedroom. Comfort from her stepbrother Trent turns into great sex. The two are saved having to figure out what it means when Lexie travels to Rome for a semester abroad. Once there, she ends up working with priest-to-be Alessandro. What starts as a platonic working relationship turns into something more. Now Lexie’s torn between Trent back home and Alessandro in Rome.

I admit, I went into this thinking it was going to be only OK, or I was going to dislike it. Not sure why I felt that way, maybe I was just in one of those moods? Also, the bit from the blurb:

She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation.

 
That bugged me, because what else is a stepbrother if not someone your parent marries who has a son? At any rate, I distinctly remember being about a quarter of the way through and thinking “Wow, I’m really loving this book.”

Lexi was a fairly likable character. She was devastated over her breakup, but was starting to pull through with the help of her friends. She had a bit of strength to her, though she sometimes seemed to forget it. I think she was pretty brave for going all the way to Rome all by herself.

We didn’t spend a lot of time with Trent before Lexi went to Rome, but he seemed like a pretty decent guy. And also, he was pretty good in bed. On the other hand, we got to know Alessandro quite well, and I was totally crushing on him. He had confidence in Lexi even when she didn’t, and he knew when to push her out of her comfort zone. He was sweet, kind, patient, and totally sexy. You can count me on Team Alessandro.

Lexi was sarcastic, which I loved. I especially liked when her sarcasm met with Alessandro’s calm seriousness. It made for some funny moments. There was a bit of bad language (Lexi has quite the potty mouth), but there was also some sexy times. And they were very sexy. But it wasn’t just raunchy for the sake of being raunchy, it was romantic and dare I say, swoon-worthy. I don’t like to throw that term around willy-nilly, but this one deserved it.

I’ve never been particularly attracted to Rome (I’m more of a Greek Islands kind of gal), but Lisa Desrochers managed to make me want to see it. She described everything in such amazing detail, I could picture Lexi walking down a cobblestone path or Alessandro leading her up a flight of steps in an old church. Really, just fantastic descriptions. I could almost see Rome as another character in the story.

There was a bit of religion, but it wasn’t in your face. There was plenty of art and a little history, too. Even a touch of architecture.

This book didn’t end how I thought it would, but that’s okay. There’s no cliffhanger, the story was wrapped up nice and neat, which I appreciated. I was disappointed with the ending, just because it didn’t end how I wanted it to. But that didn’t diminish my overall love of the story.

The sum up

A sexy and sweet story perfect for art lovers, Rome lovers, fans of romance and New Adult.

About the author


Lisa Desrochers lives in northern California with her husband, two very busy daughters, and Shini the tarantula. If you’d told her five years ago she’d write a book, she’d have laughed in your face. As it turns out, she’d owe you an apology. Writing has become an addiction for Lisa and A Little Too Far, courtesy of HarperCollins, is her first novel for adults. She is also the author of the young adult Personal Demons trilogy from Macmillan.

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Purchase

Amazon
Kindle

Other opinions

The Eater of Books!
Katie’s Book Blog
City of Books

Giveaway

Giveaway is open to US/Canada only. For full details, be sure to read the Terms and Conditions. If you don’t see the Rafflecopter form below, try refreshing your screen, or just click the link. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu {Review}

Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu {Review}Title: Catching Liam
Author: Sophia Bleu
Publisher: Self Published on July 8th 2013
Format: eARC, 378 pages
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Series: Catching Liam | Teaching Roman | Reaching Gavin
3 Stars

Summary

Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn’t just a game for Jillian and her friends, it’s a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you’re bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can’t—or perhaps won’t—take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn’t want to be another notch on Jillian’s bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa’s set expiration date means he can’t promise her forever. That doesn’t mean he’s going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they’re playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.

My thoughts

Jillian and her friends have a strict rule when it comes to boys: one night stands only. Unfortunately, her friends are breaking that rule and have all settled into steady relationships. That’s not okay with Jillian; she has a big reason for wanting to keep things casual. Too bad her latest one night stand doesn’t want to be casual with her.

Jillian was not a super-likable character. She was whiny and bitchy and very stand-offish. Of course, we learned there was a reason for this, though we’re not told what it is until later (it’s not difficult to guess). We get hints and clues as the story wears on, but I wish we’d known from the start. The hinting and dragging it out thing is overdone and unnecessary.

Jillian’s relationship with her mother was strained, to say the least. While I understand both of their positions, I felt Jillian was unnecessarily mean to her mother. Truly, her mother loved her, so I felt Jillian could have cut her some slack.

Liam was such a hottie! He was adorable, kind AND HE HAD A SCOTTISH ACCENT. What’s not to like? He was stubborn, but the good kind of stubborn. He was hell-bent on staying in Jillian’s life even when she was being absolutely horrible to him. (How much of that is realistic is another question…) I also liked Jillian’s 2 besties – she was so lucky to have them in her life. They were there for her in every way. They were interesting characters and I would have liked to read more about them.

The story dealt with heavy issues, and Jillian’s relationship-aversion was just one of them. This book showed both healthy relationships, and the not-so-healthy kind. Liam and Jillian had fabulous chemistry and I was rooting for them from the beginning. I liked the snark and sarcasm all the characters brought to the story. Liam had an especially entertaining quip about kilts. I laughed out loud.

The story moved at a brisk pace, and I zipped right through in no time. There were a few editing issues, but nothing that bothered me enough to stop reading.

The story wrapped up a bit too quickly for my liking. It was believable, just too fast. Like, the steps to the resolution should have gone at a slower pace. Do you know what I mean?

The sum up

A quick read that’s sexy, sad and funny.

About the author

Sophia Bleu is a secret identity where I can write about fantasies and falling in love and all the smexiness in between. In real life, I’m likely catching a plane, chasing kids, or making out with the love of my life—all 6 ft 3 inches of hotness that he is. Life is pretty good.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Purchase

Amazon | Kindle | Nook

Other opinions

Between Printed Pages

xspresso book tours

Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

Title: The Collector
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: April 2nd 2013 by Entangled Teen
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Source: Publisher
Series: The Collector | The Liberator | The Warrior

5 owl rating

Summary

He makes good girls…bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

My thoughts

Dante has been a Collector for 2 years; he jaunts around town minding his own business, and when he sees someone committing a sin (or just being a jerk), he gives them a “tag,” a black square that sticks on their soul. Once someone’s soul is completely covered in black squares, it can be collected. They continue to live normally, but after their death, they head downstairs. Dante’s tired of having to go back to hell when his collections are done, and this latest mission comes with a nice promotion: a permanent home on earth from which to supervise other Collectors. But his last collection, Charlie, is not making things very easy.

If there’s anything I can say now to sum up my thoughts on this book, allow me to show you the very articulate message I sent the author, Victoria Scott:

The characters were so different! Dante was a cocky, uncaring asshat. He was very confident in his abilities and in his looks. He was good at his job, and he knew that part of it was the effect he had on women. He knew he looked good and he enjoyed spending money to keep himself in the high life. I’m the first to admit I like the sweet boy next door much more than the bad boy, but Dante had my heart from the beginning. I’m not sure why that was, maybe I saw something in him before anyone else did, or maybe because he was so good at being bad. At any rate, I loved him from the get-go.

Charlie was a spectacular person, pretty much the girl we should all be. She was not traditionally pretty, but she was beautiful on the inside. She was kind, thoughtful and selfless. Even when someone made fun of or bullied her, she still managed to be happy at something as simple as the weather. The secondary characters were just as entertaining; Charlie’s 2 besties and Dante’s fellow Collector bestie, who was almost as arrogant as Dante.

A lot of times in the bad boy/good girl type of stories, you don’t often get the bad boy point of view, so I loved getting Dante’s POV as he changed from an egotistical self-centered badass into something else. It took him a while to understand what was going on, and he fought it mightily, which only made me like him even more. And Charlie was content with being his friend. There was no flirting or insta-love.

I loved lots of little things: the dialogue, the way Dante always said what he was thinking, the way Charlie always managed to see the bright side of things, the way Max stood by Dante and even seemed to look up to him, Blue’s (not so) secret love for Charlie, the incredibly slow way Dante figured out what was happening, Valery’s no-nonsense approach… All of it added up to one big ball of amazing entertainment.

The story started out with a bang, as we’re introduced to arrogant Dante, then Scott’s writing just drew me in and kept me hanging on until the end. There was a touch of religious talk, but it wasn’t overwhelming. There was a bit of mystery, as Dante wondered what was so important about Charlie, why his boss wanted the soul so badly. Will he manage to collect her soul? Will Blue finally tell Charlie how he feels? There wasn’t any sex, but there was passion and romance. And also, lots of cussing. Definitely not a book for the kids (though there were a few nice life lessons hidden in there).

The sum up

If you like your bad boys very bad, this book is for you. And, this is probably only the third time this has ever happened, even though I’ve already read the eARC, I will also be purchasing the paperback copy. I need Dante on my bookshelf.

 

About the author


Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe. She’s the author of THE COLLECTOR trilogy (Entangled Teen) and the FIRE & FLOOD series (Scholastic). Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Other opinions

Cuddlebuggery | Lost in Literature | Vampire Book Club

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie KagawaTitle: The Eternity Cure
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen on April 30, 2013
Format: eARC, 446 pages
Source: Publisher
5 Stars
The sum up

I loved every minute of it and wait not so patiently for the next one.

[Read more...]

Review: Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park

Title: Flat-Out Matt
Author: Jessica park
Publisher: March 25th 2013 by CreateSpace
Format: eBook, 158 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: Flat-Out Love | Flat-Out Matt
5 owl rating

Summary

Matt is a junior at MIT. He’s geeky, he’s witty, he’s brilliant.

And he’s also very, very stupid.

When beautiful, cool, insightful Julie moves in with Matt’s family, why (oh why!) does he pretend to be his absent brother Finn for her alleged benefit?

It seems harmless enough until her short-term stay becomes permanent. And until it snowballs into heart-squeezing insanity. And until he falls in love with Julie, and Julie falls in love with Finn.

But … Matt is the right one for her. If only he can make Julie see it. Without telling her the truth, without shattering them all. Particularly his fragile sister Celeste, who may need Julie the most.

You saw Matt through Julie’s eyes in FLAT-OUT LOVE. Now go deeper into Matt’s world in this FLAT-OUT MATT novella. Live his side of the story, break when his heart breaks, and fall for the unlikely hero all over again.

Take an emotional skydive for two prequel chapters and seven Flat-Out Love chapters retold from his perspective, and then land with a brand-new steamy finale chapter from Julie.

My thoughts

tumblr_ll7k6j3gU71qfp25u

Flat-Out Matt is the companion novel to the best book ever, Flat-Out Love. It’s not a linear retelling of the story; it’s a few prequel chapters and a few of the chapters from Flat-Out Love, all told from Matt’s point of view. And though we are already familiar with the duplicate chapters, nothing feels repetitive because Matt sees things from a very different perspective than Julie.

Most of the characters from Flat-Out Love are back, and we even get to meet the elusive Finn. That part was sad, knowing what was coming, but it was nice to see the brother everyone was lost without. We learn more about Matt’s parents and their part in the Flat Finn fiasco, and we learn that Celeste was actually a pretty average kid before the events in Flat-Out Love. But most of all, we see the journey Matt took from being the brother in the shadows to the one who has to keep the family together, and all that cost him.

The writing was perfect, and you’d never know the books were written almost 2 years apart. It was just like stepping right back into that world. The same snarky dialogue was there and I still loved it. Unlike the first book, though, this one has sexy scenes. This was definitely not a book for the younger set. But don’t worry, the sex doesn’t replace the romance. There’s even more of that. *Swoon*.

I didn’t think it was possible, but I love Matt even more now than I did in the first book. I need a Matt in my life. Seriously. It’s been almost 2 months since I last marked a book as swoon-worthy and even longer since I declared a book a must read, but Flat-Out Matt is both. Read Flat-Out Love, then jump right into this one. You’ll thank me, I promise.

The sum up

The perfect companion novel.

Connect with the author

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Purchase

Amazon
Nook
Kobo
Books A Million
Kindle
The Book Depository
Barnes & Noble

Other opinions

Ana’s Attic
Wine, Relaxation and My Kindle
Totally Booked Blog

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books, Sept. 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 338 pages
Source: Purchased
5 owl rating

 

Summary

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My thoughts

I didn’t think it was possible, but Stephanie Perkins managed to make me love Lola and the Boy Next Door even more than Anna and the French Kiss. Another home run for the Queen of Contemporary Young Adult Romances.

Lola was not your average girl. She saw every day as a chance to reinvent herself, with wigs and costumes; she marched to her own drummer and if you didn’t like it, tough noogies. She lived with her too-good-to-be-true dads and dated an older “bad boy.” Everything was going pretty dandy for Lola until her old neighbors moved back into the house next door.

I loved Lola’s dads – they let her just be herself and were there when she needed them. They were kind (to each other and to her) and thoughtful and just quirky enough. Her boyfriend, Max, was a few years older, and this was mentioned several times, in an effort to make their relationship almost… naughty. I didn’t think the age difference was that big a deal.

The neighbors, the Bells, included twins Calliope and Cricket. Calliope was a talented figure skater whose family had moved back to town to advance her career. She was spoiled and selfish, and not a likable character at all. Cricket, well he’s one of my favorite book boyfriends ever. He was sweet and nerdy and made of pure awesome.

Most of the novel was spent building up the horrible thing that Cricket did to Lola before the Bells moved away, and once we found out what he did, it was a huge letdown. Honestly, it was no big deal at all, and I thought she overreacted quite a bit. The dialogue was fun and real; Lola really had a tendency to say what she was thinking, which led to some amusing situations.

The setting of the novel was so well described, I felt like I was right there in San Francisco with the characters. Everything was so lush and descriptive, I loved it. For fans of Anna and the French Kiss, we are treated to a few scenes with Anna and Etienne in Lola. They are just as in love, and Anna provides a sounding board when Lola needs someone to talk out her issues.

There were a few clichés, and some predictable bits, but they were few and far between. The quirky and fun nature of the book more than made up for those few drawbacks.

The sum up

I loved this one so much. I have a new favorite book and a new favorite book boyfriend.

Connect with the author

Website | Twitter
Blog | Tumblr
Goodreads | Facebook

Purchase

Nook | Kindle  |  eBooks.com
Barnes & Noble hardcover | Amazon hardcover
| Books A Million hardcover  |  The Book Depository
Barnes & Noble audiobook  |  Audible

Other opinions

Jenni Elyse
YA Reads
Pretty Books