Review: Written on her Heart by Paige Ryan

written on her hearTitle: Written on her Heart
Author: Paige Ryan
Series: Callaway Cove #1
Published: March 20th, 2014 by Createspace
Genres: New adult, romance
Rating: 3/5 stars

You can click the cover to go to its Goodreads page.
I received this book for review via Netgalley, which in no way affects my opinion.

Synopsis: An opportunity of a lifetime. This is what Andi finds when she returns home to Callaway Cove on summer break. A chance to work for her literary idol Ford Delaney is up for grabs, and she’s willing to risk everything-her boyfriend, her best friends, and her education-to get it. She’s positive this will be the key to reaching her dreams. But the moment she begins working for the reclusive author, Andi realizes there’s more to him than just a name. As attraction builds between Andi and Ford, she begins to discover consequences must come hand-in-hand with something great-which could loosen control over her tightly wound life. And once romantic sparks fly, Andi’s other relationships start to crumble, Ford’s fame comes back to haunt him, and the heat they generate will either forge a powerful, enduring love or threaten everything she holds dear.

Review

To be honest, I am still unsure of how to rate this book. Should I give it 3 stars or 3.5? Does it make a big difference? I don’t know. If it were based just on the enjoyment factor it would definitely be 3.5 stars. But if I am honest, there were some aspects of the book I didn’t really agree with and while they didn’t prevent me from enjoying the book, they are definitely important to my star rating. So let’s get into it!

Like I said before, I really enjoyed reading this. Andi and Ford has incredible chemistry and I -mostly- enjoyed the development of their friendship and relationship. I always appreciate witty conversations and discussions, especially in new adult, and this book did not lack in that department. I stayed up quite late to finish it so it definitely sucked me in. There were just some minor aspects that I didn’t like.

First of all, Andi’s friends. Those girls are NOT friends! They constantly try to get the other one fired etc… I’m sorry, but I can honestly say that I am happy none of my friends would ever treat me like these girls do. Secondly, cheating. It’s just a big no-no for me. Usually it bothers me A LOT when it happens in a new adult romance and while I still didn’t like it happening here, I didn’t mind it as much as I do otherwise (I have no clue why). Lastly, while I don’t know much about the writing/publishing process, I felt it was a bit unrealistically portrayed here. Maybe it does happen like this, how would I know (?), but I’d be very surprised to hear that.

I feel as if all these “negative points” made me sound like I didn’t enjoy this book and I want to correct that: I really did! While I didn’t really like all the aspects I mentioned previously there was something about this book that kept me glued to my screen (I read this on the Kindle app). It had this mysterious pull on me and I couldn’t stop reading!

I would recommend this book if you like to read new adult. If you have read this book, please let me know in the comments below what you thought about it! I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts and discussing this book with you! 🙂

Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

the catastrophic historyTitle: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Standalone novel
Published: February 21st 2012 by Penguin Young Readers Group
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Death
Rating: 3,5 stars

Synopsis: Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning…. Welcome to forever.
BRIE’S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn’t love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally. 

But now that she’s D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there’s Patrick, Brie’s mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after. 

With Patrick’s help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she’s ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

Review

I gave The Catastrophic History of You and Me 3,5 stars out of 5, I definitely enjoyed this book. I read it in one setting, the story was really addicting.

The main character, Brie, dies of a broken heart right in the beginning of the book. I know, how can someone die from a broken heart? It sounds so ridiculous yet that is also researched -and explained- in the book. The story is told by Brie herself, in the first perspective. When I saw that, I figured the book would deal with Brie trying to move on from the life she has left behind, because having your life end at just 16 must suck so badly. There’s so much you still want to do. And while it is about Brie moving on, it is also about the people she left behind: her best friends, her parents, little brother, dog and the boy who broke her heart -literally. And we even get to meet a new character, Patrick, who Brie meets on the other side.

The first thing that caught my eye in this book -aside from the gorgeous cover- is that it was subdivided in the different stages of grief -Brie’s own grief. That was a very interesting turn on the story. But I loved the fact that the story didn’t skip over the loved ones that were left behind either. You get to see how much losing a child/sibling devastates a family, how terrible it is to have your best friend ripped away. I think it’s important to show that living on can sometimes feel like a punishment, but that you need to find a way to move on with your life. Brie’s best friends are mentioned quite a few times in the book as well, and I adored them. From the song they sang at her memorial to the bonfire they had in her honor. Another character that I loved was Patrick. He was witty and smart, sweet and funny. The way the author described him was amazing, I could actually image a teenage James Dean. As for the writing, I feel like Jess Rothenberg did a very good job. The story felt fast-paced, even if at parts if may not have been, and I couldn’t put it down. The writing, the characters and the honesty of this story is what I loved most about it.

Now on to the aspects that I didn’t like as much. To be clear, they didn’t bother me enough to get really annoyed at the book but I did think “really?” or “that’s ridiculous, or stupid” a few times. The first time I felt that way, was in the “Denial” stage of the book. Honestly, dying must be very traumatic. But not being able to accept that you’re dead? That I don’t get. It was like Brie had tunnel vision and refused to believe or see anything else. The second -and luckily last- time I felt a bit annoyed was again with tunnel vision. I don’t tend to like people that make assumptions. About anything. And Brie definitely was that way. She just assumed things were a certain way, without even knowing or “investigating” it further. And then she acted on her -terrible- assumptions. That bothered me a bit, especially because she gets a lot of stuff wrong. I feel like “not making assumptions” is kind of a lesson this book teaches you; you need to read it in order to see why though.

Even though these two aspects of the story bothered me a bit, I overall really enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone that likes to read contemporary, romance or even just young adult in general.

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

8349244Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Standalone novel
Published: June 28th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Drama (dark)
Rating: 5 stars

You can click on the cover to go to its Goodreads page.

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives–and the way they understand each other so completely–has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Review

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, which obviously means that I loved it. Yet I feel like saying that “I loved this story” is wrong somehow. Because this is not a happy, fluffy and cute novel. This is an honest, raw and heart wrenching book. So don’t expect to feel happy while reading this. Now on to the actual review!

I was expecting this story to be about Maya and Lochan and while it is for the most part, don’t get me wrong, their family is equally as important. Lochan and Maya take care of their two younger brothers and little sister because their mom, who’s an alcoholic, simply doesn’t care. That’s the first aspect of the story that tugs at your heart: how can someone care so little about her own children? Lochan takes over the parental role while Maya helps out as much as she can while they are both still in high school. The family dynamics of the story are very interesting to read about and I feel like this is part of their story just as much as the romance, if not even more.

As for the main characters themselves, their personalities were both well-developed and very different. Lochan is painfully shy with anyone outside of his family. So much so that he can’t utter a coherent sentence to anyone else and has been handing any oral task for school in as a written one. With his family however, he flourishes. There are just so many sides to his character, which makes him feel even more real. Maya is almost the opposite of Lochan: she is outgoing and social and has friends at school, even though she doesn’t invite them to her home. She’s a very responsible and down-to-earth kind of girl. The way Tabitha Suzuma has created these characters made them feel so very real, like this was not fiction at all.

When Lochan and Maya fall in love, they both know it’s wrong. They know siblings shouldn’t feel the way they do -it’s in the synopsis, so I’m not spoiling you here. But to them, it feels right. I don’t want to say much more about this part of the story because I’m afraid to spoil it, but as the synopsis said: there’s no happy ending for a story like this.

Not only did I give this 5 stars but I also featured in in my Top 10 books of 2014 so far so that shows how much of an impression this story made on me.

PS: I have a sibling too, and the thought of romantic love between siblings freaks me out. But I didn’t feel that way while reading this. As it says: Maya and Lochan don’t really feel like siblings. So don’t hesitate to pick this up!

Review: Break it Up by E. M. Tippetts

Break it UpTitle: Break it Up
Author: E. M. Tippetts
Series: Someone Else’ Fairytale #3 -it is not necessary to read the previous two books, they are companion novels.
Published: November 12th, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3,5 stars
You can click the cover to go to the Goodreads page.

Synopsis: Kyra Armijo is making a few changes in her life. One of them being, she’s no longer going to give it up to every guy who looks at her twice. And she’s putting her hopes and dreams for her future first. When the aspiring photojournalist gets the opportunity of a lifetime to tag along with international boy band sensation, Triple Cross, she can’t pass up the chance.The only problem is that she’s in love with one band member, dodging the unwanted attention of another, and desperate to keep her turbulent past under wraps. Triple Cross have “nice guy” appeal, approved of by parents the world over, but have just let go their longtime manager, who controlled their clean image and media exposure with an iron fist. When Zach Wechsler, the object of Kyra’s affection, begins to show interest, she has to be careful.

Surely one girl can’t destroy a band that’s been together for ten years… only what if she can? Kyra knows she’s one bad decision away from ruining everything she’s worked for, and taking the hottest act of her generation down with her.

Review

*I received this book for review via Goodreads First Reads*

At first, I couldn’t decide whether to give this book 3 stars or 3.5. I settled on 3.5 because I did overall enjoy it, there were just some aspects of the book that prevented me from giving it more.

As far as the story goes, I must admit I was engrossed by it. I started this book in the early evening and finished it before going to bed. A girl who gets to tour with a hot boy band, who wouldn’t want to be in her place? Sometimes in romance novels, the plot can be quite unbelievable. To the point that when you’re reading it, you’re thinking: “Does this ever happen to someone at all?” And even though this may be just as unlikely to happen, the writing made me feel as if it could.

Now, let’s talk about Kyra, the main character. Kyra is the main reason for the 3.5 star rating. In the first quarter to half of the book, she was just so negative about herself. Okay, every person has doubts about themselves or aspects of their character that they don’t like. But for Kyra, it was taken to a whole new level. Because of things she has done in the past, Kyra feels like she is a bad person. But more than that, it’s like she rejects anything positive in her life, because she would not be “deserving of it”. During the story her character developed a lot, which is definitely a positive aspect. But still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that no one should have such a degrading look of themselves.

As for the love story, this book has both the positive and the negative version of it. On one end, there’s a case of instalove. Yes. The “I have never actually spoken to you but I love you”. No. You can’t love someone without knowing them. But on the other end, there’s a developing friendship that grows into love. That is the part I loved to read the most: how they get to know each other and discover not only each other’s good traits but also the bad.

If you are curious to pick this book up after reading this review, I would definitely say to do so! I enjoyed reading it. It has a fun and engrossing plot and there’s a lot of character development going on, which is always fun to read. I didn’t know what to expect going into it and that is probably the reason why the negative self-image and instalove-part irked me. But if you are aware of these going in, you might even enjoy it even more than I did!

Note: Seeing as Goodreads doesn’t allow half-star ratings, it’s marked as a 3 star-read. But I do give it 3.5 stars.