Hey Ya’ll! Have you missed me???

I’ve been MIA since a review in November and I have surely missed you all! I had to take a little blogging break becuase of a lot of personal things going on and my job being so intense, but I’m ready to be back – but still not full time… I’m determined to find a balance to my life where I can still be active here without it overtaking my entire life – so if you have any tips, I”m all ears…

Anyway, i Just wanted to say HI since it’s been so long and tell you I have a few great reviews coming – one for the sequel to “Tangled” that I have been anxiously awaiting! I’m also reading the “Unearthly” series by Cynthia Hand right now and let me tell you… WOW – it has touched me in a way I haven’t found in a long time. I am only on the second book, but I’m captivated – so look forward to that review too!

Hope everyone has a great Thursday! And look for more coming from me soon!

XO

Book Girl From South Carolina

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McGarry’s “Crash Into You” is Amazing – an Absolute MUST Read for 2013!

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Title: “Crash Into You”

Author: Katie McGarry

Release Date: November 26th, 2013

How I got My Copy: I got an E-Copy for review from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The Re-Cap (Courtesy of GoodReads)

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

What I thought:

I can only start off as fair warning that I am a huge fan of Katie McGarry’s writing. Every store she writes, just seems to catch me in a different place. This book was no different. I actually applied for an ARC copy and was turned down – then I reapplied and made sure to include the links to my other reviews – and then about 2 weeks ago I got a notification that I got the copy.. Awesome! To say this made my day is an understatement. So – what does an obsessive reader do? I quit everything else I was reading, started this and finished it within 1 day – YES it was that good! Ok, so now I’m mostly over my swooning – let’s hear what I thought of the story.

I want to start with Isiah – and how much I really loved his character in the other books, so loyal and honest. I was super excited to see him get his own story finally. Saying that, seeing more into his story was a little heart breaking – what a hard life he had growing up. What I can say without question is that Isiah is a survivor – He never let himself be a victim and I loved that strength. Meeting his Mom in this book was both sobering and.. I think in the end healing for him and I loved seeing that. I also really enjoyed seeing the characters from the other stories reappear – espeically Noah and Echo (these guys have a very special place in my heart!) and seeing them still happy made me even more happy! Throughout the story, I loved watching the relationship between Rachel and Isiah growing, seeing them get closer despite all of their differences – and seeing them overcome the stereotypes that would have kept them apart. The journey all around for Isiah was a great one, it was real and it built like a real relationship. I love that McGarry always portrays such real, rounded characters – they are believeable and people you could be friends with should they really exist outside of the pages – and these characters and story are no exception.

Now on to Rachel.. In the begining, the word I thought about the most for her was naive. I felt for her with her home life and the pressure her sister’s passing put on her and how it affected her whole mental being, it literally had me in tears within the first few pages. I cannot imagine having to live under that type of stress or expectation – and Wow, again McGarry wrote this so well. When Rachel does to the drag strip, and Isiah sees her and refers to her as an Angel I think I swooned over the Moon! From the first moments, their connection crackled. I love that even though McGarry includes the physical aspects, she doesn’t force more than would be appropriate – it’s always so tasteful and within the context of the story and the characters. In this case, seeing Isiah be so gentle with her and just… wanting to take care of her when no one else in her life thought of her first — Swoon! Now of course they get in trouble together – we had to have a story line, but I loved it. I loved the bad boy racing and seeing Rachel open up to a world outside of everything she knows. Seeing her learn to trust Isiah and open up was beautiful. I loved seeing her tough side come out and see her want to defend Isiah too. Really, I just fell in love with both of these characters hands down.

The Romance… How could I not write about the romance?? SWOON city! In every book, I always enjoy seeing how McGarry builds the romance based on the characters in the story – so it always fits them to a tee and does not feel fake, forced, or out of place. That is a huge talent she has as a writer and a story teller. Rachel and Isiah were characters I wanted to see together from the first moment. The book had twists and turns and even though they may have fought it in the begining, both so unsure of trusting someone else like that and letting them in, seeing it happen was amazing. I for one could not put it down – I read this one night sitting on my couch without any stopping – and it’s been a long time since I’ve been this intuned with a story. The story is full of real love, real swoon, not fake and false things that no person in real life would do – these characters are the type of people you meet everyday and that is why I really love McGarry’s writing. Reading this story to me, shows that there is true love out there – and it does’nt have to always be hearts and flowers to be real – it can just be REAL.

My Take-Away:

If you’re not sure yet how I feel I will tell you now – GET THIS! READ THIS! If you love romance, a bad boy, some drama, and then some twists and turns – then this book is for you. McGarry did it again with this story and now I cannot wait for what will come next – soon hopefully?? I am really excited I got to read and review this book for my site and honored that I get to put the word out about this story – and I hope all of you will check it out. I will post the amazon link to buy the book below.. You could be reading this in mere minutes on your E-Reader device – so check it out! If you don’t trust me wholly, check out the other reviews, because I’ve looked and I see all her other fans who love this as much as I do. Isiah and Rachel had a story that really shows the best people can bring out in each other, a story that showed that true love can conquer all in a “Say Anything” type of way – a love that can go beyond societal lines.. Their love is the kind of love I have and I hope everyone else can find too. So, get the book and check it out – you will not be sorry!

Quotes I Adored:

“You can ignore me, Rachel, and you can try to treat me as a friend, but none of that will erase the fact that I think about kissing you every second I’m awake and dream at night of my hands on your body. And it sure as hell won’t erase that I’m terrified by how much I like you.”

“Maybe this is what happens when you fall in love. On the outside a lighter is nothing amazing, but it holds all the ingredients that can create something wonderful. With a few pushes in the right direction, you can inspire something so brilliant that it pushes back the darkness.”

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Well readers – I’ll leave you with that – I hope you enjoyed and will check the book out!!

Happy Reading!

Kelley

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Monday Musing – October 14th

MusingMondays5Hosted by Should Be Reading @ http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/musing-mondays-oct-14/

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits. • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s). • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it. • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us! • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

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Today I want to muse about something I read over the weekend – I read “This Is What Happy Looks Like” by Jennifer E. Smith over the weekend and it had such great character building – sweet romance, and story bulid up – it was as heart breaking in some points as sweet in others, but at the end I really needed that HEA… and it just wasn’t there. As much as I loved this book, I was just… let down. I really wanted to see that all the heart ache, all the work led to something at least – a second date – more communication.. I know their lives were very different and it basically leaves it for you to assume they will continue seeing each other, but me personally, I like hard proof.

So – have you guys read this? What did you think? I have heard such great things about this book (hence why I actually bought it) and I was just a little let down..

Happy Monday! Tell me what you think!

Kelley

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Monday Musing – Cover Reveal “Last Hit”

MusingMondays5Hosted by Should Be Reading @ http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/musing-mondays-oct-7/

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits. • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s). • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it. • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us! • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

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This week I’m musing about a new book by one of my favorite authors coming out December 2013 – I got to do a cover reveal today which is super exciting so I hope you’ll all check it out – here’s an excerpt from the book below – Happy Monday!

Kelley

 

last hit cover

Book Blurb and GoodReads Link:

Nikolai:

I have been a contract killer since I was a boy.  For years I savored the fear caused by my name, the trembling at the site of my tattoos.  The stars on my knees, the marks on my fingers, the dagger in my neck, all bespoke of danger.  If you saw my eyes, it was the last vision you’d have.  I have ever been the hunter, never the prey.  With her, I am the mark and I am ready to lie down and let her capture me.  Opening my small scarred heart to her brings out my enemies.  I will carry out one last hit, but if they hurt her, I will bring the world down around their ears.

Daisy:

I’ve been sheltered from the outside world all my life.  Homeschooled and farm-raised, I’m so naive that my best friend calls me Pollyanna.  I like to believe the best in people.  Nikolai is part of this new life, and he’s terrifying to me.  Not because his eyes are cold or my friend warns me away from him, but because he’s the only man that has ever seen the real me beneath the awkwardness.  With him, my heart is at risk..and also, my life.

GoodReads Link:

https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F18626111-last-hit%3Ffrom_search%3Dtrue&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNH6_ebG1Iq1hi8yQZblYfE8toAh_A

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COVER REVEAL – “Last Hit” by Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare

last hit cover

Happy Monday Everyone! I hope you are having a great day and I’m super excited to reveal the cover of the new book from Jen Frederick (author of “Undeclared” and “Unspoken”) and Jessica Clare! I have an awesome blub and an exclusive teaser below too – click the link to add it to your GoodReads list today – it will hit stores December 2013!

Book Blurb:

Nikolai:

I have been a contract killer since I was a boy.  For years I savored the fear caused by my name, the trembling at the site of my tattoos.  The stars on my knees, the marks on my fingers, the dagger in my neck, all bespoke of danger.  If you saw my eyes, it was the last vision you’d have.  I have ever been the hunter, never the prey.  With her, I am the mark and I am ready to lie down and let her capture me.  Opening my small scarred heart to her brings out my enemies.  I will carry out one last hit, but if they hurt her, I will bring the world down around their ears.

Daisy:

I’ve been sheltered from the outside world all my life.  Homeschooled and farm-raised, I’m so naive that my best friend calls me Pollyanna.  I like to believe the best in people.  Nikolai is part of this new life, and he’s terrifying to me.  Not because his eyes are cold or my friend warns me away from him, but because he’s the only man that has ever seen the real me beneath the awkwardness.  With him, my heart is at risk..and also, my life.

GoodReads Link:

https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F18626111-last-hit%3Ffrom_search%3Dtrue&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNH6_ebG1Iq1hi8yQZblYfE8toAh_A

Now for the Teaser!

Teaser:

Swinging my scope over to room 524, I flip on my night vision goggles.  I can only see the outline of her body.  It is leaving the apartment and she appears to have a basket with her.  I track her down to the basement laundry.  When I first walked the building, I noted the basement laundry facility.  It was dank and musty with only a few lights and disgusting floor.  524 should not have to clean her clothes down there.  Someone should clean her clothes for her but I knew she could not afford that.  Her refrigerator helf few items and when she did eat, which seemed far too rare for my own peace of mind, she ate noodles and other cheap food stuffs.  Her roommate did not make any more money either.  The two of them were poor and so obviously prey it is a miracle that they’ve survived on their own to make it to adulthood.  The one male in their lives is worthless.

I watch again as her outlined form leans over the washing machine.  She places her clothes inside and she leaves.  She returns to her apartment and returns to her bedroom.  It is too dark for me to tell what she is doing in there.  Is she touching herself again?  Is she bringing herself off?  I think she may be reading a book.  I watch her and the time that passes is meaningless.  Nothing is more interesting to me than watching her, even if it is just the outline of her form.  I should be doing so many other things.  Researching my potential mark in Seattle.  Determining my next step with Mr. Brown.  Instead I am mesmerized by her.

Teaser Quote:

“She leans into me and I rub her back, just her upper back in small circles as I did for a sex worker in Amsterdam who offered to teach me to cuddle.  Then I did not like it.  I rubbed the worker’s back for a few seconds and then made her leave.  But this is…amazing.  Daisy’s little body is resting lightly against mine.  I can feel muscles in her back which suggests that Daisy is strong.  The blades of her shoulders are sharp against my hand which suggests Daisy is not eating enough.  I want to scoop her into my lap and feed her with one hand and stroke her pussy with my other.”

All I can say is WOW! So excited for this – out December 2013!

 

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ARC Review of “How To Love” by Katie Cotugno – a lesson on real life love

How to Love

Book: “How to Love”

Author” Katie Cotugno

Publish Date: October 1, 2013

How I Got the Book: From a Blog tour Site – Around the World ARC Tours

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Summary:

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

What I thought:

For starters I got the book and realized it was very long, but after the first chapter – it had me at Chapter one.. I liked the way the author went back and forth between before and now – so you could build the story in your head in a full way – without making full judgement of any character before you gave them a chance. I think had all the before scences come first it would have been WAY harder for me to like Sawyer at all – but the way she built the story and the narration was great. Maybe I read too many books now, but I really take notice of these type of things and I appreciate when someone does something different. I do wish we had heard more from Sawyer’s side, but in the end it was Rena’s story that needed to be heard – well her and Hannah’s story.

I started out thinking this would be another cute/love story in the contemporary YA world, but I was amazingly proved wrong. It was deep, real, and emotional. I felt the heart break Reena felt and the loss when Sawyer left – and the heartache and loss when she learned she was pregnant – and then the pure joy of her beautiful little girl. The book had it all. If you are looking forward to anything in October, i hope this is one of the top picks. The story covered series emotional situations – teen pregnancy, teen parenting, addiction, abandonment – troubled family relationships, and just plain fear. It’s certainly not a fairy tale teen pregnancy story, it’s real and gritty and heart breaking.

The theme I got over and over again was about love, the fact that real love is not easy by any means  – that it takes work but when you work for it, it’s one of the best parts of this world. I have gone through some difficult times in my own life, and my own love has been tested to the very limits during some of these times, and I thought this book really did justice to the real life love it takes to survive in this world. It showed a “true” love can overcome any obstacle – it really reminded me of “the Notebook” and the end where Noah and Ally believe their love can do anything – nothing worth having is ever easy – that is my two cents anyway… for what it’s worth.

Now On To The Characters:

Reena is a strong young woman. When she realizes she’s pregnant and goes to see Sawyer and walks home to face the music alone, her bravery and character astound me – for her age it’s hard to imagine having to go through that and what a tough girl. Tosss in some huge loss in her life and she is really tested beyond belief yet she keeps moving forward – making the best of what she has. She has regrets sure, but who doesn’t. Even with Sawyer, when he appears again – she is so afraid to love him and for good reason – but she doesn’t give up. Yes, she fights it, but I think after everything that went down she deerved to be fought for to some extent.

Sawyer – well from the first pages he was hot, laid back – the cool guy everyone thought they wanted to date in highschool. I like that it showed all of his sides, not just his good side – and it showed that no one is perfect. I wanted to like him, but it took me even a good part of the book to see what his purpose was when he was back in town and to allow myself to give him a chance – I have to say I was rooting for him by the end…

Shelby – Loved her. I loved her real friendship with Reena which is just what she needed. Despite her being in college and away from home she was still there for Reena and supported her no matter what – which is just what she needed. She also added fun and laughter to somme of the most difficult parts of the story.

The parents – The relationship I felt the most for was for Reena and her Dad – in the end I had tears as they had their last conversation, how much she taught him and how far they came – I don’t want to ruin any plots here, but it’s worth the read  juswt to see this touching scene…

So Enough Blabbing on – What’s My Take Away Here?

5/5 Stars for sure!

The book had true emotion. My heart broke, mended, and grew all in one story. I loved the characters and disliked them strongly at different times. Combine that with the beautiful writing and it’s a classic for sure. The way Katie wrote the story really made all the difference, to me she let you see what you needed to and when – and not before or it may have changed your opinion of the characters – I think it let you get to know the characters in an unbyassed way as possible. This book is just so hard to review because it reallly exceeded everything I thought I would get from it. I thought this would be another YA teen pregnancy story – but boy was I wrong. I learned things about living and taking life as it comes from this strong young character – and seeing real love in action warmed my heart. It’s so easy to love when everything is perfect, so easy to feel like that anyway – but it’s not easy to realize that you have to work for what you want. All that happened here, Sawyer had to work for his family, and seeing someone seeing someone his age to that – made my heart warm.  It was just a wonerfully redeeming story.

In the end it was real, not what you expected. It had hard moments, moments that brought tears to my eyes for the shear heart break – but it also had moments that made me so happy I shed tears then too. It really had it all. In the end, I was left feeling whole – like the world was left as it shouold be and I hope you will feel this same way when you are done.  It’s one of the best “real life” love stories I’ve read in some time.  The characters had a love that won out against everything life threw at them – and that even taught them how to love again and feel what had been there all along.

In closing, I hope you get this book, it’s an absolute worthwhile read — so remember October 1st or better  yet pre-order now. Then tell me what you think! If you’ve had a chance to read and review, love your comments here too —

I will admit I’m missing my famous quote section here this time and I hate that because this book had some great ones, but when it’s “offiially” released i am already planning to go back and get some to amend this slight to all of you guys, so keep posted!

Happy early Friday Everyone and Happy reading!

Kelley

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Friday Finds for September 27th!

FridayFinds_bringOntheInkHosted by Should Be Reading @ http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/friday-finds-sept-27/

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

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Happy Friday and HEY GUYS! Have you missed me? I’ve been sick this week and just insane busy… So i haven’t posted since Monday (OH NO!) but still wanted to share some Friday finds with you this week! Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1) “Perfect Ruin’ By Lauren DeStefano

Link to goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17339241-perfect-ruin?ac=1

Trust in Me (Wait for You, #1.5) “Trust in Me” by J. Lynn

* I LOVE a male POV so if you read “Wait For You” then I feel certain you will love this too!

GoodReads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17860217-trust-in-me

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The next 2 are books I “re-found” on my Audible unread this week and promtply read them while I was sick – and really enjoyed!

Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2) “Beautiful Stranger” by Christina Lauren

*Note I heart “Beautiful Bastard” and Bennett – but Max in this with his English accent… YUMMY! Highly Reccommend

GoodReads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16117506-beautiful-stranger?ac=1

Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3) “Entwined With You” by Sylvia Day

*Now this is part of the cross fire series and to be honest I thought the last book – must be why I held off on it, but it’s NOT so read it and get excited for more!

GoodReads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15731779-entwined-with-you?ac=1

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Well that’s all I’ve got folks – have a great weekend and do some great reading!

Kelley

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