Stacking the Shelves – Sunday 21st July 2013

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme created and hosted by Tynga @ Tynga’s Reviews. It gives bloggers the chance to show their readers books they’ve bought, borrowed or received during the week.

I’ve had a great week book wise. Have a look at my acquisitions for this week:

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – I got this book to review from The Reading Room and I’ve only just started it but I’m surprised by just how funny it is. It’s beautiful and fantastically eccentric. I’m really enjoying it.

The Inevitability of Stars by Kathryn R Lyster

The Inevitability of Stars by Kathryn R Lyster

The Inevitability of Stars by Kathryn R. Lyster (Harlequin) – This book is a new adult novel set in Byron Bay and Sydney. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and the blurb is so enticing… “A modern-day Romeo and Juliet set amongst the beauty of Byron Bay and the grind of Sydney.”

Siege by Sarah Mussi and the film Upside Down

Siege by Sarah Mussi and the film Upside Down

I was lucky enough to win this dystopian pack from Date A Book. Siege by Sarah Mussi (great photo skillz there. I managed to cover up the authors name. It’s SARAH MUSSI!) and the Kirsten Dunst movie, Upside Down.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

And finally, If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This is one that I borrowed from my local library this week. They have a fantastic selection of books. I also picked up a couple of cookbooks! I’ve heard amazing things about If I Stay and am very eager to experience Gayle Forman’s writing for myself.

 

That’s the additions to my personal library for this week. 🙂 Feel free to leave me a comment telling me which books you got this week. Thanks 🙂

Book Review: An Endless Summer by C.J. Duggan

An Endless Summer banner

Today is whYAnot Review’s stop on the Endless Summer blog tour! An Endless Summer is the second book in the Summer series by C.J. Duggan. The first book, The Boys of Summer, was a great New Adult contemporary romance novel and I was delighted to read An Endless Summer. I have a huge soft spot for books by Aussie authors set in Australia! There’s also a tour wide giveaway towards the end of my post so don’t forget to check that out too!

Title: An Endless Summer (Summer #2)an endless summer
Author: C. J. Duggan
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: 11 July 2013
Pages: 311
Rating: 4.stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in a silent study.

“Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”
I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”
A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?”

After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:

Boarding School.

Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.

How had her dad let it come to this?

With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.

In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy

My Review:

Oh, those Onslow boys strike again! In An Endless Summer (which can be read as a standalone novel) , Amy Henderson finds herself back in the small rural town of Onslow. But she never thought she’d be returning to ruins. Her father’s pub is now falling down around her so she enlists Sean Murphy’s handyman skills to help her restore the Onslow back to the pub she grew up in and loved.

I have to admit that after reading The Boys of Summer, I was all prepared to continue on not liking Sean. There was something about him that rubbed me the wrong way. Seems I wasn’t the only one. Despite saving Amy’s life more than once, Amy also seems to be irritated by the gorgeous tradesman. They have great chemistry and I was rooting for them by the end of the book. In fact – I loved how the romance developed over time. They take a while to get there but by the time they do I felt like both had earned the other. My favourite kind of romance!

Amy was another surprise. At the start of the novel she’s rather selfish and tends to be a little egocentric. But as she gets into fixing up the old pub and learning about it, she learns about herself and really grows as a character. Sean is a bit mysterious and perhaps his self-evolution wasn’t as profound as Amy’s but still enjoyable to read.

I’m not a huge fan of New Adult as a genre but it’s books like this that are changing my mind. This really is the story of a girl finding herself and who is she as a person. Amy’s journey from teen to a strong independent adult was a pleasure to be a part of and the romance was fantastic to read too.

 

 

About the Author

cj duggan

C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia.
The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.

WebsiteTwitterGoodreadsFacebook

 

***GIVEAWAY***
1 Signed paperback copy of either The Boys of Summer or An Endless Summer (INT) and 5 ebook copies of The Boys of Summer or An Endless Summer (INT).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon U.S || Amazon U.K || Amazon Canada

 

The Boys of Summer (Summer #1) is also just 99 cents from Amazon at the moment!

the boys of summer

 

Amazon U.S || Amazon U.K || Amazon Canada 

Cover Reveal: Reaper’s Rhythm by Clare Davidson

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Blurb

When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered.

Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger.

The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.

Excerpt from Reaper’s Rhythm

The warm light seeps through the closed sitting room curtains when I step into the drive. The muffled thump of dance music grows louder as I approach the familiar front door. I push the key into the lock, but the door swings open on its own. My breath catches in my throat, but I force it into a growl. Not only has my sister, Charley, not bothered to lock the door, she hasn’t latched it. Whatever she rushed home for must have been important.

I step over the threshold and a blast of warm air hits me, enveloping me like one of Mum’s overprotective hugs. My wind-chilled face tingles, as I close and lock the door.

“Charley, I hope you’ve set the table.” My voice competes with the din of the deep bass of my sister’s music.

I toss my keys into the wicker basket on the hall table. As I peel my coat off, I see Charley’s in a crumpled heap on the floor. Rolling my eyes, I scoop it up and hang it, then place her discarded boots in the shoe rack beside my own. Why am I the conscientious sister? I’m only sixteen. Charley will be heading off to university next year.

Stomach rumbling, I snatch up the Chinese takeout I’d picked up on the walk home and wander into the kitchen. Frowning, I flick the switch to light up the pristine room. Mum is a clean freak now that Dad doesn’t live here. The table isn’t set, even though Charley promised she would do it before she rushed off ahead.

“Charley,” I call out and then dump the bag on the kitchen table and stomp across the hall to the sitting room, shoving the door open.

The music hits me first, making me jerk my head back, then the smell. An odd odour, metallic and rich, overpowers the air freshener on the mantel.

“Charley?” She must be trying to scare me. “Charley, stop messing around.” I grit my teeth, expecting her to jump out at any second.

My body shudders and my flesh tingles as if an army of ants is marching beneath my skin. I back out of the empty sitting room and bolt upstairs. The smell is stronger, snaking down my throat, making me want to gag.

“Charley?”

I shove her door open, hard.

Charley’s lying on the bed, her blond hair fanned out over the pillow. Her arms are spread wide, palms up. Crimson blood drips from deep slashes on her wrists. Her blue eyes are open, staring at the ceiling. But they don’t see. They’re dull, empty.

Dead.

The room spins. My stomach lurches and bile rises up my throat. I swallow and clap my hand to my mouth. Sagging against the doorframe, I can’t tear my gaze from the single lock of hair resting over Charley’s porcelain cheek. What should I do?

Charley would know what to do.

As I stumble down the stairs, my mind clicks into gear. A scream rips out of my throat, eclipsing the pounding music. My foot slips on the beige carpet, sending me tumbling down the remaining stairs. My shoulder and back slam against the wall. I scramble to my feet, screaming, sobbing, then stagger into the hallway, colliding into a young man with the darkest eyes I’ve ever seen.

My own force knocks me backwards. His strong grip clenches my arm, preventing me from falling. I try to scream again, but the sound is trapped within my constricting chest. My sister is dead. A stranger is in my house.

I writhe against his grip, lashing out with my foot. My toes crumple and sting when they hit his shin. I’m thrown off balance, but he holds me fast.

He raises his thumb to my forehead and applies gentle pressure, as he sweeps his thumb towards my brow and then hooks it back up.

“Sleep.” His quiet voice acts like a sedative.

My head flops forward until my chin touches my chest. A new scent replaces the sickly metallic tang of Charley’s blood: freshly cut grass. Inhaling it makes my head fuzzy and my heartbeat slow.

I want to see his face, memorise every detail. The contours of his cheeks and jaw, the shape of his nose, the colour of his hair. The police want to know those things, don’t they? The only feature I can see for sure is the impossible darkness of his eyes.

My own eyelids droop, my limbs turn liquid. A strong arm loops round my back and lowers me to the floor. I fight against sleep. Each time I force my eyelids open, they flutter shut again.

“Forget,” he says. The word is nothing more than a whisper at the edge of my hearing. “Sleep.”

Author Bio:

Clare Davidson is an independent writer, based in Lancaster. Clare is a high school teacher, mother and character-driven fantasy writer. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter, a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten.

She published her first novel, Trinity in July 2012. Trinity is a young adult, fantasy novel, which currently has seventeen five star reviews on Amazon UK.

Her second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is due to be released on the 26th July 2013. Also aimed at a young adult audience, Reaper’s Rhythm is an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.

Ways to connect with Clare Davidson:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | New releases mailing list

Book Blitz: Glass Frost by Liz DeJesus

Glass Frost RDB

Dragon Drop

Title: Glass Frost (Frost Series #2)

Author: Liz DeJesus

Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:

When joined together, Cinderella’s slippers grant the wearer her heart’s desire. But whose wish will be granted?When Cinderella’s glass slipper is stolen, Queen Felicia sends her faithful steward Terrance to the real world to retrieve his love and witch-in-training, Bianca Frost. The power of the glass slipper in the wrong hands could ruin peace in Everafter. Bianca must gather every bit of magic she has learned in the past few weeks to find the slipper and protect her new love. Together, Bianca, Ming, Prince Ferdinand, and Terrance venture deep into the heart of Everafter to seek clues as to who has stolen the slipper and why. Along the way, they uncover what happened to the Seven Dwarves after Snow White married the prince, but also learn the awful risk of tampering with black magic and the high price that must be paid for magical aid, even when used for good.

Bianca and Terrance’s relationship is put to the test. Through the pain of suffering and loss, Bianca must determine if following her gallant boyfriend into his faraway world is in fact her heart’s desire.

Glass Frost is the second book in the Frost Series.

 
Teaser
 

Bianca turned around, ready to leave the Fairy Realm, defeated and with no answers when something hit her. What if Fanny could understand her questions regardless of what the queen thought? What was the harm in asking? Bianca shrugged and turned back toward Fanny. Terrance put a hand on her shoulder and tried to stop her. His eyes widened, with a look he asked her what she was doing. She patted his hand and walked away, convinced that what she was about to do was right.

“What does she think she’s doing?” Titania asked.

Bianca hesitated for a moment, worried about what the queen would do to her. But Titania remained still, almost as if she was as curious as everyone else to see how Fanny would react to Bianca.

Fanny danced around Bianca as though she were invisible. She just twirled and giggled as though someone had told a funny joke.

Why won’t she see me? Am I invisible to her?

“Hello,” Bianca cried. She touched Fanny on the elbow, hoping deep inside to make a connection. A flash of light blinded her momentarily, and she felt an electric current race through her body. The power from that knocked Bianca on the floor on her rear end.

Fanny miraculously stopped. She remained silent at first. Then she turned her dark brown eyes at Bianca. They held so much sorrow and pain.

“Fanny, can you hear me?” Bianca asked.

“Yes,” she replied. Her eyes widened in surprise, as though she was amazed that she was still able to use her voice.

Fanny then gagged. She got on all fours and heaved until a single white rose passed through her lips. The flower was covered with bile and saliva as it fell heavily on the ground.

Bianca sat beside Fanny, her hand hovering over her shoulder precariously. She was scared of what else would happen should she touch Fanny once more.

“I’m so sorry. I forgot that it would cause you pain to speak.”

Fanny looked into Bianca’s eyes. She shrugged and gave Bianca a sad smile.

“My name is Bianca. Those are my friends over there, Ming, Terrance, and Prince Ferdinand. We’re all here because we need your help.”

© Liz DeJesus 2013

Author Bio
 
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Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi’er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 2011) First Frost (Musa Publishing, June 2012) and Glass Frost (Musa Publishing, July 2013).
 
She is also a member of The Written Remains Writers Guild http://www.writtenremains.org/.
 
Liz is currently working on a new novel. Find out more about the author at her website www.lizdejesus.com
 
 
LINKS:
 
 

Cover Reveal: Unafraid by Melody Grace

Today I get to help reveal the cover for the second book in Melody Grace’s Beachwood Bay series, Unafraid. Despite being the second book in the series, this book can be read as a standalone. I think it sounds like a fantastic NA book and I’m delighted to be apart of the cover reveal.

Unafraid by Melody Grace

Unafraid by Melody Grace

Title: Unafraid (Beachwood Bay #2)
Author:
Melody Grace
Publication Date:
27th August 2013
Genre:
New Adult, Contemporary Romance

 Blurb (goodreads):

The first time I saw her, I knew this girl was wilder than any stallion I’d ever trained. She was headstrong, wounded, passionate and free. And I had to have her…”

Brittany Ray doesn’t care about her bad reputation. Growing up in a sleepy beach town with a junkie mom and a runaway dad, Brit’s learned the hard way that the people you love will only let you down. It’s no use hoping for love or happiness. Some dreams aren’t meant for girls like her.

Hunter Covington is one of those dreams.

Gorgeous, charming Hunter is damn near perfect—and it’s killing him. Son of Charleston royalty, he’s been trapped in a gilded cage since the day he was born. Now he’s breaking free. He’s quit law school to restore his grandpa’s old horse ranch, trying to soothe the demons in his soul. But Beachwood Bay is full of old ghosts, like the mysterious girl who spent an unforgettable night with him—and then slipped away before dawn. Brit.

Everything about her screams danger, but Hunter doesn’t care: he’s never felt a connection so deep. And try as she may, Brit can’t resist the desire consuming her —or the safety she finds in Hunter’s arms.

A reckless passion. An undeniable bond. Scarred by their pasts, Brit and Hunter fight to heal old wounds. But will dark secrets tear apart their new beginning? And when love is the biggest risk of all, can they find the courage to face the future unafraid?

 

ABOUT MELODY GRACE:

 

Melody Grace is the USA Today bestselling author of UNBROKEN and UNTOUCHED. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach-lover, she spent years with her nose in a book before deciding it was time to write them for herself. She loves bad boys, good books, and pistachio-flavored ice-cream.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors Who Deserve More Recognition!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

So here are some of my favourite authors who I think deserve more recognition.

A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine #1)Shadows (The Rephaim, #1)Between the LivesStormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)Saving FrancescaSpeechlessEleanor & ParkThe Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1)Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1)

Jaclyn Moriarty (Aussie Author!) – I’m currently working my way through her Ashbury/Brookfield series and I love her writing style. I’m also a huge fan of A Corner of White which is a bit more fantasy but still fantastic.

Paula Weston (Aussie Author!) – I didn’t know about Paula or her Rephaim series until a few months ago but I’m delighted that I discovered them. One of my all time favourite YA angel series.

Jessica Shirvington (Aussie Author!)- Between the Lives is one of the coolest concepts in a book I’ve read in a while. One girl who lives each day twice as two different people. How cool? And her Violet Eden series is pretty great too.

Jay Kristoff (Aussie Author!) – Just finished Stormdancer and I’m on a mission to pimp it. It’s great. Japanese Steampunk? How could you not want to read this book and push it onto all your nearest and dearest people?

Melina Marchetta (Aussie Author!) – Okay, so she’s getting to be a fairly big name but I’ve adored her books for over a decade now (yep… I read Looking for Alibrandi back in 1999…. and it’s been true love ever since)

Hannah Harrington – Fantastic realistic contemporary writer. Speechless and Saving June were both powerful and made me think.

Rainbow RowellEleanor and Park was such a beautiful novel. And her adult book, Attachments, was a fun read that I enjoyed despite my reservations about the ethical issues the main character seemed to ignore.

Kelley Armstrong – I loved her adult urban fantasy series, Women of the Otherworld and adore her YA series that are set in the same universe. The Darkest Powers trilogy is amazing.

Kresley Cole – This author is a must buy for me. She’s more known for her adult paranormal romance series, Immortals After Dark, but has started writing for the YA crowed with Poison Princess. I loved this book. So much.

Darynda Jones – Another that I love for her adult series (Charlie Davidson) but she also writes YA! I’ve read Death and the Girl Next Door and loved her transition to the younger audience.

That’s the top 10 authors that I think need more recognition. Read them! And even if you don’t like them as much as I do, at least then we can discuss them! 😀 Hope you all have a fantastic week!

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Book Review: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

A Really Awesome Mess

Title: A Really Awesome Mess
Author: Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contempoary, 
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: 23 July 2013 
Pages: 288
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
A hint of Recovery Road, a sample of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and a cut of Juno. A Really Awesome Mess is a laugh-out-loud, gut-wrenching/heart-warming story of two teenagers struggling to find love and themselves.

Two teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy.
Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin’s summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents’ divorce put Justin on rocky mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom.

Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog– and Emmy definitely doesn’t. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook.

Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends.
A funny, sad, and remarkable story, A Really Awesome Mess is a journey of friendship and self-discovery that teen readers will surely sign up for.

My Review:

I’ve read a few books where teens are placed in facilities and they’re not meant to be there. They complain and moan and as you get into the novel you come to realize that they truly are not meant to be there. This is not the case with Emmy and Justin in A Really Awesome Mess. Oh – they gripe about being sent to Heartland Academy, and at the start it seems like they have a legitimate claim. But then, after spending a little time with them – it’s clear that they are both really awesome messes. Emmy has spent a lifetime feeling like an outsider. As an adopted daughter from China, she has always felt out-of-place in her tall blonde family. So she diets trying to feel like appearance wise, she fits in. And the may have the slightest anger management issues when she decides to get retribution on a classmate by vilifying and humiliating them online. Justin’s depressed and engages in some very risky behaviour trying to get attention from his parents.

This dual POV novel was great at capturing angst, anger and the all round bad and slightly defeated attitude of both Emmy and Justin. They’re feeling betrayed and their pain is evident when reading their stories. I enjoyed reading their stories. And the supporting characters? Amazing. I loved the great cast and their eccentricities.

But this book is a mess (possibly the mess referred to in the title) when it comes to the romance between Emmy and Justin. It just didn’t work for me. I can’t stand when authors think that just because they’re writing for YA audiences then there needs to be a love story. The relationship between these two felt superfluous and so very out of character for both.

A Really Awesome Mess was an enjoyable read with some issues but there were a few heart-warming moments as well.

Thanks to Egmont USA and Netgalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Book Depository

Cover Reveal: Djinn by Laura Catherine

Today I have the pleasure of being one of the blogs revealing the cover of Laura Catherine’s new novel, Djinn. Not only is this a book about Djinn – very cool genie type creatures – but Laura is from Melbourne, one of my favourite cities in the world! I think this cover is gorgeous – and the story sounds amazing!
Djinn by Laura Catherine

Djinn by Laura Catherine

BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:
Title: Djinn (Djinn #1)
Author: Laura Catherine
Publication date: December 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Synopsis (goodreads):

Kyra’s life is far from normal.

She’s been on the run for as long she can remember and her father is the only stable thing in her life, but everything changes when the people pursuing them finally catch up.

Kyra is abducted by the handsome and mysterious, Will. He takes her to a secret compound where she is told the truth: She’s a Djinn, a genie-like creature with super powers and a love of dogs.

Kyra has to adjust to the Djinn and their rules, but her new life is far from perfect. Everyone is hiding something and the one person Kyra  cares about most is forbidden to her.

There are secrets around every corner and more dangers than Kyra could ever imagine as she struggles to find herself and be with the one she loves.

 
AUTHOR BIO
Author Laura Catherine

Author Laura Catherine

Laura Catherine is Young Adult author focusing on Paranormal Romance, Dystopia, and Fantasy.

She writes stories full of action, secrets, and magic. She loves creating worlds where anything is possible and everyone has a story to tell. She has an over-active imagination, spends a lot of her time daydreaming, and wishes pokemon were real so she would have one.

Laura Catherine lives in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Book Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction 
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 4th June 2013 
Pages: 448
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

My Review:

I love Sarah Dessen novels and The Moon and More is no exception. Emaline never expected The Last Summer before leaving for college to get so complicated. There’s working for the family realty business, her absent father coming back into her life and the breakdown of her longterm romance with Luke. And then there’s Theo, a New York City dweller who is anything like the locals of Colby.

The thing that I love most about Sarah Dessen novels is how real they always feel to me when I’m reading them. Despite it being the depths of winter here at the moment, I felt like I was in the beach town with Emaline, riding along when she’s dealing with difficult clients or walking down the boardwalk with best friend Daisy. The characters are rich with flaws and it’s because of this that makes them relatable and real. The brief mentions of people and places that appear in previous novels really bring the reader into the book by making the universe just that bit more developed. It’s a really special thing that Dessen achieves. Emaline was a character I enjoyed reading about from the first page, melting in the sand box and conversing with new renters. She’s mature but completely believable as the new adult she’s becoming. Theo is so very exuberant and I found myself thrilled that he wasn’t the typical new love interest that often come along in these sorts of books. He’s a bit pretentious and So Very Enthusiastic. About everything! But he’s written in a way that I found that to be both so very charming and endearing and at the same time Frustratingly Annoying. His Big City Thinking and way of life contrasted so very well with the laid back locals. Morris and Daisy are the kinds of friends I want. They’re supportive and yet, they don’t let their friends walk over them because they’re friends. They are authentic and perfect to help Emaline navigate her life changing summer.

I enjoyed that this book had romantic relationships within it but what the novel came down to was Emaline finding herself as a person and not defining herself by anyone else. The bonds between family, biological or not, were explored fanatically. The connection between Emaline and her sisters versus the way she interacted with her brother were interesting to read. I adored the diversity between the family relationships and the way Emaline handled herself when things got tough.

It’s a beautifully crafted novel with plot and characters that I loved getting to know over the course of the story.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon
 Book Depository

Book Review: Confessions of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson

Title: Confessions of a Chalet Girl
Author: Lorraine Wilson
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction 
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 27 June 2013 
Pages: 108
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Confessions of a Chalet Girl is a fun and flirty contemporary romance novella from the fabulous Lorraine Wilson.

The slopes seriously start to heat up when chalet girl Holly is propositioned by her sexy new boss!

My Review:

I love the idea of chalet girls. Maybe I have a bit of a romanticized view of them considering my only knowledge of them is from the Ed Westwick/Felicity Jones movie and a brief mention in one series of Ladette to Lady, but I love the idea of beautiful snow lodges and a ski vacation in exchange for some household chores… Okay – so my expectations of life of a Chalet girl and the reality is most likely completely off. Lucky for me, Lorraine Wilson seems to have similar expectations and this short glimpse into the life of Holly on her working holiday is just what I expected and was hoping for when I picked up this book to read.

Written with switching point-of-views, Confessions of a Chalet Girl tells the story of Holly, an English girl who is working in Switzerland as a chalet girl. After meeting him for the first time, she finds herself enthralled with her new boss – Scott. Scott is similarly enamoured with Holly and before they know it sparks are flying. But rowdy drunken rich boys, meddlesome co-workers and the pesky employer/employee imbalance of power is getting in the way of what just might be the best thing to happen to either one of them.

This book was a very quick read. At just over a hundred pages, there’s not a lot of time for character development and I think the plot falls down a little because of this. The relationship between Holly and Scott happens at a fast pace. There’s not much else going on in this book except for the romance between the leads. And the characters are inconsistent in their portrayals. Holly fluctuates between acting like a petty pre-teen and being a wanton sex goddess. And despite learning about him throughout the book, I felt like Scott was still a mystery to me in most ways by the time I finished the novel.

That said, this book was cute and a pleasant quick read. It’s very light and fluffy with a lot of romance.

Thanks to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

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