Book review: The Boy Most Likely To

IMG_1510.JPGTitle The Boy Most Likely To

Author Huntley Fitzpatrick

Rating ★★★☆☆

Synopsis 

Surprises abound and sparks ignite in the highly anticipated, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
– find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
– need a liver transplant
– drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
– well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this return to the world of My Life Next Door is a story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more.

Review

Last year I read my first ever Huntley Fitzpatrick book – My Life Next Door – and fell completely in love with her way of writing, and for some unknown reason I’ve waited too long to read The Boy Most Likely To.

I decided to amend this by adding it to my July TBR, and in my humble opinion, summer is the perfect season to read YA novels.

Ever since I read My Life Next Door, I’ve wanted to know more about Jase’s best friend – Tim Mason, and I got my wish.

The book alters between point of views, starting with Tim. He is a charming, smart, reckless, down on his luck, 17 year old with rusty red hair, and a member of the AA for his alcohol addiction.

I found myself relating a lot to him, he uses humour to deflect, it becomes amour against the world, and that really resonated with me.

Tim has lead a life of privilege, bouncing from private to private school until he was finally kicked out, which was the straw that broke that camel’s back for Tim’s father. Tim is thrown out, and when we first meet him, he’s packing, getting ready to move out. He is going to live in an aparment above the garage at the Garrett’s family.

It was great being back at the Garrett house, I have so much love for this family and the wonderful members.

At the Garrett house, the second protagonist is introduced, this time it’s Alice.

Alice, a year older than Tim and what seems to be decades wiser, she is carrying the world on her shoulders. Alice is a no bull-shit kinda girl, she has a lot of anger, and she takes care of her family, while her mother is preoccupied with a pregnancy and Mr. Garrett is at the hospital after the accident in the previous book.

Alice is a bit of a control freak, and that is also apparent in her relationship with Tim, she tries to solve his problems and she is just wired to carry everyone elses problems.

Tim is trying his best to figure life out, while being a recovering alcoholic, and the book also touches upon that and how important it is to have people around you who want the best for you, he goes to his meetings, he makes use of his sponsors and that was great to witness.

When life throws him a curveball that he did not at all see coming, he is close to relapsing, but powers through.

The relationship between Alice and Tim starts to blossom, and I wanted more! I wanted to swoon and be swept away in ya love, but that didn’t happen. That being said, my goodness, Huntley Fitzpatrick can write kisses and first times, I just need moreeeee!

The story touches upon various topics, and family is an ever present theme in this book, just like it was in the My life Next Door, and how families stick together even when the tough gets going.

There were some subplots and minor characters that I could have been without, they didn’t add to the story and that’s a shame.

The curveball that’s thrown at Tim is major, I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but it definitely served as a catalyst for his growth, and  he once again just shows what a sincere person he is.

I think I was expecting another book more like My Life Next Door, where the focus was more on the relationship bteween Alice and Tim, and the parts we got to see in the book were amazing, I just wanted more.

All in all, another great YA novel by Huntley Fitzpatrick, I’ll have to get my hands on more of her books, asap! 🙂

 

Book review: The Hating Game

 

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Title The Hating Game

Author Sally Thorne

Rating ★★★★★

Synopsis 

Nemesi

s (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Review

“It’s a corporate truth universally acknowledged that workers would rather eat rat skeletons than participate in group activities.” – The Hating Game

Argh this might be one of my favorite romantic comedies ever, I absolutely loved it.

The two main characters Lucy and Joshua are co-workers and mortal enemies. They are executive assistants to the owners of “Bexley & Gamin” publishing house, and the two of them have been enemies since the very start.

The story is told entirely from Lucy’s POV and she is a wonderful narrator. She is kind, funny, and a genuinely good person, who has taken a chance when she left the security of her hometown, and struggles with the what ifs. She was extremely relatable that way, and how she hides her loneliness by being a people pleaser, always wanting people ot like her. Lucy considers whether or not it would be a good idea to go home – go back the the known and familiar, if she ends up losing her job, but she persists (YASSS).

Josh on the other hand, came across as stoic, arrogant at at times a little cruel, but with a great sense of humor, and a love of colorful shirts. He comes across as an asshole most of the times, but as the story evolves, you get to peel away the layers of this man and both of the characters.

The two characters were just beautifully written, they had insecurities and flaws and they stood up to each other, they fought, they had passion, tenderness and just hilarious banter.

The banter between the two was amazing, and the games they play, oh boy. I laughed out loud several times, and I clutched the book tightly in my hands when the sexual tension was at all time high, pretty much screaming to myself KISS DAMMIT KISS!

I can’t believe this is a debut novel, but that being said, I am so excited to read more from Sally Thorne! I NEED MORE NOW.

You know those books that just make your heart sing and then you clutch it to your chest after finishing it, while you exhale a big sigh of giddy happiness? This was the book for me, I honestly wish I could read it all over again for the first time, but I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers-trope 😍

So if you’re looking for a enemies to lovers story, with great characters and great writing, do yourself a favor and read this wonderful book ❤️

Book Review: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

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Title(s) Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

Author Leigh Bardugo

Rating ★★★★☆

Synopsis 

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to clai
it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Review 

I ended up buying this duology after seeing it all over Instagram, and it’s been on my shelf for quite some time. I finally decided to read them last week, and oh my goodness!

The story had me a bit confused at first, everything was very fast-paced and it felt a bit like you had to know something about the worlds made by Leigh Bardugo, which I didn’t.

That, as well as the fact that she introduced a lot of characters within the first few chapters had me feeling a bit confused and to be honest, lost.

However, you quickly catch on and wow, it just turns into a fast-paced adventure!

The books take place in what seems like an alternate Netherlands, and it’s an intriguing environment. There are street gangs, brothels, corruption and in the midst of all of this, you’ll find a diverse set of characters. The characters are flawed, they’re convicts, runaways, thieves, sexworkers, murderers, you name it and you’ll find one among this cast.

The characters really made this book for me, they were gritty, they were honest and they were flawed. Thanks to the alternate POVs you’ll get a beautiful insight to what’s going on with these characters.

There’s the leader of the gang – Kaz – Dirtyhands – a fearless anti-hero, who is a criminal genius with a secret past.

Kaz narrowed his eyes. “I’m not some character out of a children’s story who plays harmless pranks and steals from the rich to give to the poor.”

There’s the wonderful, absolute badass Inej, who has so much guilt about the choices she’s made to survive.

Nina – a fire-cracker with powers, Matthias the warrior and the relationship between these two is just UGH.

Wylan – just adorable, and has had to adapt and come to terms with lots of things in his young life, oh and he blushes all the time gaaah!

Jesper – the joker with the perfect aim, and a love of gambling.

I cannot gush enough about this cast, each of them have a backstory that will shock you and then draw you in. They’re multi-layered and the females in this story have a wonderful relationship. There’s no love-triangle, there’s no competition over who’s the prettiest, or who can get the man, they are equal and they help each other, instead of tearing each other down, and that was amazing to witness.

There’s also an element of romance in these books, but it’s never something that takes over. It’s natural, and it doesn’t disturb the rest of the story. There are stolen glances, sexual tension, lots of blushing, but it never overshadows the plot and that was great!

Crooked Kingdom dragged a bit on for me, there was a lot that could’ve been left out and that’s why I’ve given the books 4/5.

But honestly just read them, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Book review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Title A Court Of Thorns and Roses

Author Sarah J. Maas

Rating ★★★☆☆

Synopsis Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Review

Ahhh this is the first kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling I’ve ever read, and I really enjoyed it.

And this book has pretty much everything you could ever wish for! There’s magic, betrayal, romance and danger, all ingredients that make up a delicious story.

The world in which this story takes place was original and greatly described, and I was sucked right into the univserse filled with faeries, humans and different courts.

Feyre, the human girl – whose perspective we hear the story from, takes care of her family by hunting. She lives with her father, and two sisters, in a small house barely scraping by.

Feyre kills a particular animal and it turns out to be a crime, and she is taken to the Spring Fae Court, where she is forced to live with Tamlin  – oh be still my heart and Lucien that cheeky bastard.

It takes a while for the three to warm up to each other, and sparks start to fly between Feyre and Tamlin. Their relationship gradually builds over the course of the story, and it is a glorious thing to behold. I like the fact that they take their time to come to terms with their feelings and it evolves in a very natural way.

The story dragged on a bit for me, it took a while before the something really happened, but my goodness when it finally did, holy Cauldron! But really, I wanted more action!

That being said, the writing was great, and every character and every scene were written with so many vivid details that you had no trouble imagining what it looked like.

I am so excited to continue this series, have you read it? What did you think?

 

 

Book review: Beard Science

 

IMG_0388.JPGTitle Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3)

Author Penny Reid

Rating ★★★★★

Synopsis

2016 Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist
USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.

Review

I am so happy to finally have Cletus’ story! From the very first book about the Winston Brothers (Truth or Beard) I’ve been intrigued by Cletus. I’ll admit, I found him to be a complete (but totally adorable) oddball in the first book, but at the same time he was one of the most interesting characters.

AHhhh I loved this book, loved, loved, loved it!

Cletus has always been the odd one, and as the stories about the Winston brothers progressed, we as readers learn more about Cletus, and his mysterious ways.

Cletus, as it turns out, was a master puppeteer, manipulating and misdirecting the people around him to achieve his desired outcome. The man would not do anything unless he has an agenda, he is crafty, insanely clever, and devious.

Cletus is not one to just fall in love either, not unless the woman is properly “suited” for him.

“I glared at him, not willing to explain the obvious. Clearly my brother didn’t understand the concept of research: the value of gathering data, the necessity of testing theories, and the importance of post-coital analysis.”

I mean honestly!

Enter Jennifer Sylvester – aka The Banana cake Queen.

She knows a lot about the people in the city, and she knows a lot about Cletus. You see, Jennifer is an astute, people watching wallflower and that turns out to be pretty darn advantageous for her.

Jennifer doesn’t like being the Banana Cake Queen, but she is completely under her parents’ thumb, and bids to their every whim.

The job and image of being the Banana Cake Queen has been carefully crafted by her mother and Jennifer has been groomed for the job, she has had her brunette hair dyed blonde for years, wears house dresses (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and is always polite and ready to work (which she does for free!). Meanwhile, Jennifer would much rather get married and start a family, wear overalls while gardening, and bake anything but banana cakes. If that is going to happen, some things need to change, and in her desperate situation, she turns to the only person who she knows can help her, Cletus Winston.

It is so great watching Cletus slowly, but surely falling for Jennifer, and despite the fact that he doesn’t find the two to be properly suited, he just can’t help himself.

Ah just sit back and enjoy this story, you’ll find both Jennifer and Cletus to be so endearing, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the Winston brothers  ♥︎

 

Book review: The Foxe and The Hound

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Title The Foxe and The Hound

Author R.S.Grey

Rating ★★★★★

Publication Date June 1st 2017

Source I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis A full-length STANDALONE romantic comedy from USA TODAY bestselling author R.S. Grey.

When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.

It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.

Review

OY with the covfefe, this book was great!

Ahem is this thing on? Taps imaginary microphone … Because you need to listen up, this is an amazing contemporary romance novel and you need to read it asap!

I’ll just admit it right away, I have a soft sport for R.S.Grey’s books, she always writes great characters and they way she builds up this slow-burn atmosphere is incredible. I always find myself almost crushing my Ipad, practically shouting for the characters to do something about their obvious chemistry, and this book was no exception.

Madeleine is a wonderful, quirky 27 year old real estate agent who, like many other milennials, is just trying to get by. I found myself relating to Madeleine in a lot of ways, I know what it was like to just scrape by, wondering how on earth I was going to get money for next month’s rent, and just feeling like everything was against me.

Madeleine has a wonderful man in her life, someone she can always trust. Her lovely, mischievous puppy Mouse. I need a Mouse in my life, doggos are everything! Madeleine can rely on her her gorgeous puppy, who seems to grow bigger by the minute.

One thing that is missing in Madeleine’s life, is a man. I loved the fact that even though it has become some sort of, I won’t say taboo, but somewhere along those lines,  to actually come out and say that you want to be in a relationship, that you want a man, Madeleine isn’t afraid to say that she’s looking for someone special

Enter Adam Foxe, a gorgeous, tall, brown-haired, muscular vetenarian who has just moved to town.

Thanks to Mouse, some mutual friends and oftentimes pure coincidence Adam and Madeleine are thrown together at every turn.

This book has everything you could want, I mean dogs, a hot vet, a female character you can relate to, humor, a battle between attraction and reluctance? Yes please. This book had these things in spades. There was so much back and forth between these two, and it was glorious, because of the fantastic chemistry between Adam and Madeleine.Teaser#1.png

This book made me snort, it made my heart hurt and it made me so happy that you have an author like R.S. Grey who weaves these brilliant stories together filled with both fluffy and heavy emotions.

Make sure you pick up this wonderful romantic comedy, you won’t regret it and seriously, I need to know more about Adam and Madeleine’s life!

Book review: A Monster Calls

IMG_9742.JPG Title A Monster Calls

Author Patrick Ness

Rating ★★★★★

Synopsis The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

Review

How do you begin to describe and gather your thoughts about a book that turned your heart to shreds?

As much as I wanted to this review right after finishing this beautiful book, I simply couldn’t. Tears were running down my face, I was a sobbing mess and I had to leave it for a few days to clear my head.

Imagine waking up night after night at 12.07 am from the same nightmare, until one day you wake up and find a monster in your bedroom. This is exactly what happens to Conor, a young teenage boy, who has had recurring nightmares that began after his mother started her treatments for cancer.

When he wakes up one night and finds a monster in his bedroom, he is convinced that he is still half asleep, but the monster is so vivid, so real and when he finds physical evidence from it the next day, he slowly starts to come around to the notion that the monster might actually be real.

It soon becomes apparant that Conor must feel as if he is carrying the problems of the world on his shoulders. He lives alone with his mom, and because of her illness, Conor has taken on the responsibilites of caring for the home, making sure to eat his breakfast and cleaning after himself and he makes sure to go to school on time.

You quickly get the feeling that Conor is a lonely boy, he seems and feels invisible to other’s around him, however throughout the book he also shows his humorous side and his strong defiant spirit. Even more so, you get to see a childlike hopefulness that is so incredibly difficult to read about, and is something that just makes you want to grab him and give him the world’s biggest hug.

The monster arrives at time where things seem to be going downhill, and it wants to know the truth about Conor’s nightmares, in order to get the young boy to talk, the monster wants to tell Conor three tales.

Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.

Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

The tales at first seem random, however they all reflect people and situtations from Conor’s life, and although it takes time for Conor to comprehend them, the tales show the readers and Conor that life isn’t always as straightforward as we could hope, there are twists and turns that causes us to make decisions that may seem incomprehensible but actually make a lot of sense.

“Stories don’t always have happy endings.”

This stopped him. Because they didn’t, did they? That’s one thing the monster had definitely taught him. Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn’t expect.”
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

The monster forces Conor to share his truth about the nightmares that he has been having. I don’t want to spoil you, but the truth is a difficult one to read through, Conor deals with issues and feelings that are difficult for everyone to go through.

It is such a brutally and honest book about grieving, about illness and about life and it really resonated with me. I’m still fortunate enough to have both of my parents, but I almost lost my dad four years ago due to a brain hemorrhage and he’s never been the same. I recognized Conor’s feelings, I recognized his hesitance of sharing the truth, and when the truth finally came out, I recognized that one as well.

You were merely wishing for the end of pain, the monster said. Your own pain. An end to how it isolated you. It is the most human wish of all.
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

This quote hit me so hard, even now four years later, it still resonates with me, and sometimes I still feel this way, especially when things become too difficult to manage, or when I look at my dad and no longer see the man who raised me, but rather the shell of someone I used to know. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad, I’m so thankful that he is still here, but he’s not the same anymore and sometimes those angry, sad and annoyed feelings just take over.

“And if one day,’ she said, really crying now, ‘you look back and you feel bad for being so angry, if you feel bad for being so angry at me that you couldn’t even speak to me, then you have to know, Conor, you have to that is was okay. It was okay. That I knew. I know, okay? I know everything you need to tell me without you having to say it out loud.”
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

This book is one of the reasons why I read, it makes me feel, it makes me angry and it makes me hopeful that everything is going to be alright.