October 29, 2015

The Libby Garrett Intervention by Kelly Oram


The Libby Garrett Intervention by Kelly Oram
Series: Science Squad #2
Source: arc
Publisher: Bluefields
Publication Date: October 24th 2015
Age Genre: Young Adult
Libby Garrett is addicted to Owen Jackson's hot lovin'. But the sexy, popular college basketball player doesn't appreciate all of Libby's awesomeness. He refuses to be exclusive or even admit to people that they're dating. The relationship is ruining Libby and she's the only one who can't see it.

When Libby's behavior spirals completely out of control, her best friend Avery Shaw and the rest of the Science Squad stage an intervention hoping to cure Libby of her harmful Owen addiction. They put her through her very own Twelve Step program—Owen's Anonymous—and recruit the help of a sexy, broody, hard as nails coffee man to be her official sponsor.
...
Adam Koepp has watched Libby Garrett for years. How could he not notice the sassy girl with the purple skateboard and helmet plastered with cat stickers? But in all the years he's crushed on her, Libby has failed to take notice of him. Why would she when he was just a nobody high school drop out who served her apple cider several times a week? Especially when she was hooking up with a guy like Owen Jackson—a guy with a college scholarship and more abs than Kyle Hamilton.

Adam finally gets the chance to meet Libby when his co-worker Avery Shaw recruits him to take Libby on the journey of a lifetime. With his ability to play Bad Cop and his experience with the Twelve Step program he's the perfect candidate to be Libby's sponsor. But will he be able to keep his personal feelings out of the matter and really help her the way she needs? And will Libby hate him when he forces her to take an honest look at herself?
It's not a secret that I love Kelly Oram's books. It's not a secret that I think her character are hilarious and her romances swoon worthy and her plots unique and interesting. And it's also not a secret that I think all these things about The Libby Garrett Intervention as well.

I absolutely adored Libby in The Avery Shaw Experiment, but Oram made a fantastic job making me really frustrated and upset with this character at the beginning of this story, showcasing the change Libby undergone due to her destructive relationship with Owen--Who refuses to admit there is a relationship and makes Libby doubt everything about her.

And seriously--I was so mad at her. Where is the crazy, confident, smart girl from book one? Where did she go and who is this selfish, stupid, self-centered person that replaced her?! Luckily, with the help of Coffee-Man--Err, I mean, Adam, the science squad decides to stage an intervention... and Adam is going to be mentoring Libby through it.

Adam has been in love--or in crush--with Libby Garrett for years. He couldn't care less about that weight she is so self-conscious about. All he wants is for her to notice him and a shot at proving to her how a real man will treat her. But he can't do that, because he needs to be her sponsor--and it's really important to him that she finds the old her again.

Adam is perfect. I mean, seriously, where does Oram keep finding these incredible guys? He is such a great guy, and he truly loves Libby for Libby. He's such an adorable puppy and he was forced to grow so fast I can't even deal *sniff* My little baby, you are worth ten Owens--stop putting yourself down!

Thanks to Adam, Libby regains the person she was before her relationship with Owen brought her down. He manages to make her realize what real love is, and what's really important--a stupid guy or people who have been her friends for years and truly love her?

Together they were tots adorable and way hot. Seriously, you might need to fan yourself while reading this story.

And, when have you ever heard of a story applying the 12 steps to get over an addiction to a guy? It's super unique--even if I would've liked a bit more details on those twelve steps and what each of them were, kind of like in Avery. 

If you haven't read a Kelly Oram novel yet, I really suggest you do. They are addictive!


   Nitzan

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About The Author
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

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October 22, 2015

Axel by Harper Sloan [Spoilery Rant]

Axel by Harper Sloan 
Series: Corps Security #1
Source: Free kindle copy
Publication Date: July 7th 2013
Age Genre: Adult
Isabelle has learned the hard way how hard life can be when fate isn’t by your side. It can hand you dreams on silver platters, but it can snatch them right back and hand you nightmares. One thing Isabelle knew for sure fate was consistent with was taking away everything she ever loved.
For the last two years Isabelle has been slowly clearing the clouds of her past. Happiness is finally on the horizon. She has a thriving business, great friends, and her life back. All she has to do is jump over the last hurdle…her ex-husband.
When problems start causing her to fear her new life, and memories that are better left forgotten start rushing to the surface the last thing she needs is a ghost from her past to come knocking on her door.
Axel never thought he would look into the eyes of Isabelle West again, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to now. He’s carried his anger for so long he isn’t sure he can just turn it off, but when he is faced with protecting her and an unexpected desire to have her again, life gets a little more complicated.
How will Axel and Isabelle deal when all their cards are put on the table and everything they thought was true blows up in their faces?
This book makes me want to curse until I'm hoarse. This is my way of warning you guys that there is going to be a lot of those in this review. So if those bother you... please don't read on.

The thing that got me so fucking frustrated was the fucking "misunderstanding" that the author fucking refused to solve, no matter how ridiculous it got. In the core of things, you've got two characters who've been fed wrong information that caused their long separation.

Everyone around them sees their two versions don't match up so something's up. But does anyone come up to them and say "Hey, dude, she thought you were dead/Hey girl, he thought you left him?" Err, no. They just sprout some nonsense bullshit about this not being their story to tell and the two "need to talk". This crucial plot point could've been solved eons ago instead of after 70% of the novel if some of their "friends" got over themselves. 

Or if the stupid as fuck couple involve in this got over their shit. I mean, seriously, Izzy. Someone told you he was dead but lo and behold he's alive. Wouldn't you want to figure the fuck out? To talk to him and see what the hell happened because obviously someone lied to you? Instead you get it into your head that he abandoned you? And you refuse to talk about it because it seems cut and dry to you? Even when people are vaguely hinting that it's really not? Are you fucking kidding me? 

And you, Axel--what. the. fuck. First you're angry at her because after four and a half years of no communication she got married to someone else. Four and a half years. Are you off your freaking rocket? But okay, at least you demand the two of you talk--oh fuck me, you just want to talk about the husband situation. Not the whole what happened twelve years ago. Right.
If you'd just opened your fucking mouths and talked then this book wouldn't have been the nightmarish experience it was. 

Seriously, I can't handle this bullshit. Especially because the moment they finally put all that crap behind them and talked (a conversation that needed only a minute and a half for both of them to figure out they've been lied to, so why did it have to drag the entire book is beyond me!) the book got good. They got good.  I could actually enjoy and occasionally smile at the remaining 25% of the book. It's the only reason I considered maybe giving this three stars.

Even though I hate Axel's entire attitude, and can't understand how a woman who's been through what Iz has can even deal with his possessiveness and jealous-ness. There is sexy alpha-male and then there is taking that a level too high... If I had an abusive husband, I'd probably shy away from other controlling men, even if I knew deep down that they won't hurt me.

But I guess a woman like Izzy, who hasn't overcome one single issue on her own and all her problems simply go away with a man, needs that?

Speaking of which, I didn't find his dirty talk hot in any way. It felt kind of weird and too forced to me, not to mention highly inappropriate considering how Brandon used to talk to Iz. But whatever, whatever floats your boat... 

Will I read more books from this author? Maybe. Ultimately, I hated her method of milking the stupid misunderstanding dry, but I had no issue with her writing and I liked the characters. In fact, they interested me ten times more than the sex scenes, all of which I skimmed, and that's actually a good thing.

Nitzan
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October 15, 2015

No Interest in Love by Cassie Mae

No Interest in Love by Cassie Mae
Series: All About Love #2
Source: E-Arc from Netgalley
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: December 22nd 2015
Age Genre: New Adult
When Jace Carver snags a minor part in his buddy’s zombie flick, he suddenly starts getting noticed all over the place. Even Hollywood megastar Carletta Ocean—known for her extensive “research” with her male co-stars—wants Jace for her new rom-com. The role could be a game-changer . . . if Jace nails the audition.
As Jace’s agent, Shaylene Kwak is all business, and isn’t about to let her favorite client blow this opportunity. Since their college years, Shay has been immune to Jace’s charm and rock-hard body. But long hours in close company have a way of wearing down even the best defenses, and when their platonic teasing turns into serious flirting, Jace and Shay are no longer able to resist what’s been right in front of them the entire time.
Shay knows Jace’s love-’em-and-leave-’em history with women. She’s not about to be just another notch in his belt. And it’s true, Jace has never wanted more than a one-night stand—until now. But at the end of the line, he’s got a choice: sleep with Carletta and seal the deal, or risk his career for a shot at true love with Shay.

For those of you who don't know, I love Cassie Mae and her stories. I love her romances. I love her characters, and the plots. So, it's really no surprise that I quite enjoyed No Interest in Love. 

The story here is quite simple - it's a road trip story, where two people who have known each other for years are now forced to be in such close proximity for such a long time that they start noticing each other's... appeal. Even if they swore they will never go there with each other. 

Telling the story is Jace, an aspiring actor who is really all about the women acting will get him. He follows the "Stinson" approach to life--Barney Stinson. And while he had a heart of gold underneath it all, I didn't like his attitude about his job. Was he serious about it? Absolutely. Did he do it from the right reasons? Nope. 

The most interesting aspect about Jace was his struggles with reading and writing, and I kind of wish we got to see more of that. It gave his character much needed vulnerability that helped ease his otherwise slight douche-ness and making him more of a lovable jerk

Shay is a strong girl known mostly for being Elmo girl. You know, from the meme? Yep. She's also Jace's manager. She is this strong girl who never shows weakness and is known for her (attempt at) poker face. 

The best part about this book is hands down seeing two people fall in love. This book really does bring across the little moments that make them attracted to one another. The small things the other person does that makes it impossible not to fall in love with them. 

That said, I didn't like this one quite as much as I did Doing It For Love... though maybe I'm being unfair, because I freakin' ADORED that one. 

Mostly because of a couple of things. 

The most prominent one was the lack of actual showbiz in this book. I love a good road-trip story, but the motivation behind this one is an audition. It's a love story between an actor and his manager for god's sake! But we get very little about showbiz. Barely any line rehearsals, with only one being meaningful. 

We get almost nothing on Shay's side of things, either. Like, the managing bit. I still don't quite understand what Shay's role is, because apparently she is not exactly Jace's manager. In general I felt like we got very little on Shay's side of things. I didn't get to know her half as well as I did Jace.

And then at the end... what happened with that uber important job? We learn nothing about it! It's like the whole subject of their careers is used as nothing more than a MacGuffin--a plot device, and therefore it's not really important what happens with it. But it shouldn't be this way. At least not to me. 

All these things bothered me. They were like little nuggets of information that I needed for the experience to be complete but didn't actually get to experience. 

However, I still enjoyed this book. And I would definitely read the next one Mae writes. 


 Nitzan

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October 8, 2015

Whispered Visions by Tammy Blackwell

Whispered Visions by Tammy Blackwell
Series: Shifters & Seers #3
Source: Kindle version
Publisher: Indie
Publication Date: September 8th 2015
Age Genre: Young Adult
Where do you go when there is nowhere left to run?

For years the Society for Human Preservation has been waging a quiet war against the Shifters & Seers of the world, and now they've taken two of the Alpha Pack's own.

With the ability to See inside a person's mind, Lizzie Anders is one of the most powerful Seers in the world, but all that power comes with the responsibility of protecting herself and others from what she can do. And now, after years of suppressing her Sight, the SHP is intent on tearing down the walls she's carefully constructed to further their cause.

Layne Hagan is the boy no one wanted. Abandoned by his mother when he was a baby and orphaned by his father in Scout's battle to become Alpha Female, he was handed off by his grandparents to live with Charlie and the rest of the Alpha Pack. He's never had a place or purpose... until now.

With no one left to rely on but each other, Lizzie and Layne must learn to put their past behind them and learn to trust each other - and their hearts - again.
   
Before I start this review, I have to tell you that it's impossible to express how sad I am that this series is over. I love this world. I love the characters. I love everything about it and NOW IT'S OVER *sob*

Whispered Visions starts off where Infinite Harmony ended, with Layne and Lizzie being kidnapped by the insane group called Society for Human Preservation. The two are imprisoned alongside a mother and her daughter and forced to work for SHP while they think of an escape plan.

I've been shipping Lizzie and Layne for a while now, and have been so excited for their story! I can't say I was disappointed, though I was definitely surprised. This book was very far from what I thought it will be.

First of all, it's hella dark. There are some really gory parts here--it's bloodier than I'm used to seeing in this world. The madness is... really scary. Specifically as it comes in the form of a young man who is willing to cut a finger off a two year old in order to drive his point home.

Oh, sorry, did I just send a chill down your spine? didn't mean to.

Aside for that, I was expecting some sweet, funny, hate-to-love type of romance.

It's not sweet and funny. Does Lizzie and Layne's sarcasm positively killed me sometimes? yep. But the romance itself is not sweet and funny at all. It's very complicated, it's very deep, and it's intense as heck. 

Which might be due to the fact this is not hate to love at all. This is pretend-hate to okay-I've-been-in-love-with-you-for-years-I'm-sorry-alright?! Layne and Lizze have been in love for ages, they've just being hiding it from one another for... reasons. 

And can we just take a moment to be mad at everyone for treating Layne the way they do??? The guy is so sweet and loyal and he is everything. Look underneath his really sarcastic cares-about-nothing facade, please!

If Lizzie can do it--so can his family! I mean, have you seen the way he is around Caro? Have you noticed the way he protects everyone around him??? STOP BULLYING LAYNE! 

Now let's talk Caroline. Has there ever been a cuter three year old? Everybody are wrapped around this little precious cinnamon roll's finger, but can you really blame them? Can you?? I'd be at her feet if I were in their shoes as well. 

I really hope we're going to see more of this world - preferably in the form of Angel's story, and maybe a couple of short stories about the futures of our favorite couples. I would LOVE to see Scout and Liam's children *wink wink*

Nitzan

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October 1, 2015

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock #1
Source: Kindle Version
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 8th 2012
Age Genre: Young Adult
MACKENZIE AND AMY WERE BEST FRIENDS.
UNTIL AMY WAS BRUTALLY MURDERED.
Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer:
A white werewolf.
Lupine syndrome - also known as the werewolf vius - is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.
Kathleen Peacock's thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filles with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.
Hemlock is one of those books that has been on my tbr for ages, alongside Unearthly, Shadow and Bone and a few others that blew up around the same time. I was always enticed by the general love my friends had for it--but the actual summary didn't really compel me to pick it up immediately.

To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I left it feeling very confused - did I like this book?? Didn't I like this book???
I swear to god, I can't decide.

I mean, it's not a bad book. It's not a bad story. But at the same time I feel like I spent more time wishing I could just fast forward to the moment Jason's eyes are finally opened, Mac would finally clue it to what everyone but her already knows and exasperated at Kyle's righteous self torture than actually enjoying the plot.

So, basically, I kind of... wanted it to be a completely different story? A feeling that was consistent until the very end of the story, as I wished for a completely different ending as well.

Can you understand my uncertainty? I didn't dislike the book, but at the same time can I say I liked it...?

Also, I was very annoyed with the "romance". Mostly because we are told Kyle and Mac are best friends, right? They have this entire huge history that we never got to experience and their whole relationship is based on feelings that sprang from that history. And yet, I didn't feel like they knew each other so well or were such great friends or were in love for a long while or anything.

So basically - the book tells us they're in love, but I never once felt it.

Not to mention the love-triangle that you can see coming from a country away but still manages to smack you in the head with the whhhy-ness of it.

So, yes, I have complaints, but as you can see - the rating I gave this book is still pretty good. It's because that this book flies by, and I can definitely see most of you guys enjoying it to the fullest. I'm just kind of over a lot of the themes and tropes in this book.

Nitzan

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