Monday, October 10, 2016

Review: If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.
When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.
Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .


Publishes in US: October 25th 2016 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: earc from Harlequin Teen via Netgalley
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not affected by the book being free.
Series? no

Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository Barnes and Noble

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook

    I wanted to read If I Fix You because I liked the sound of the main characters. I have a thing for contemp genre, especially ones dealing with hurting people and their healing. It also sounded like it had a good chance for a good romance where two people support each other. 

    I liked the main character Jill. She has her issues, but she is trying to move on with life. She is close to her dad, still upset with her mom for leaving, the boy who used to be her best friend and his part in it, and their resulting distance from each other. She sleeps on the roof trying to find a way to deal with her pain, and escape her dad's pacing. But she has her own interests, cars and running. She helps in her dad's mechanic shop where she is more than tired of changing oil, but she gets to work on older cars, her passion and what she's saving up for. 

   Her new neighbor Daniel, who when she was hanging out/sleeping on the roof, overheard a huge fight between him and his mom, and begins to see where his bruises and scars come from. They had a connection from the start, but he was still trying to keep some sort of hold on his secrets, but they keep being drawn to each other, helped by their proximity to each other. 

    The romance, the deal with Sean, as well as some of her mom's issues ended up surprising me, but I appreciate the deviation from the norm. It went through a lot of emotions not only with Jill, but all of the characters had things to learn about relationships, their view of certain events, and themselves to learn. 

    While there were some heavy things in this one, it managed to not be depressing, but left me with a deeper understanding of the characters. It left Jill at a good point where she could forgive and more towards healing. I also liked the lighter moments, showing how involved and present her dad was, and the things in life that they shared and making it through her mom leaving. 

   I liked this one, and would read another by Abigail Johnson. 

Bottom Line: Good character growth, heavy at times but worth the read.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you have a favorite or dream car?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

A contemporary YA novel about growing up and learning that loving yourself is more important than trying to be perfect.
AP Exams – check
SAT test – check
College Application – check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for– check
Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan—and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes toa screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are. 


Publishes in US: November 1st 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: ya contemp
Source: earc from Netgalley via St. Martin's
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not affected by the book being free.
Series? no

Buy it: Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 2.02.10 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-04 at 2.02.29 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-04 at 2.03.49 PM

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog

     I wanted to read The Best Possible Answer because I liked the sound of Vivi. I am drawn to books about anxiety, young people making mistakes and how they learn from them, and the complicated family dynamics that it hints at. 
     Vivi is it dealing with panic attacks at the beginning of the book and her mom has finally realize how much stress she's only trying to do so much and be so much as an honor student and although she is trying to encourage her to slow down part of the problem is that she won't admit what else is going on with Vivi. We know from the synopsis that her boyfriend had leaked some pictures of her and it really affected her in a lot of ways and her mom just wants to look at the school aspect of it and tell her to calm down instead of trying to face the emotional pain that she's facing with that.

    As far as family dynamics that's pretty complicated as well. Her dad is not living with them and not on good terms with her mom even though her mom just dealt with thyroid cancer and well things are looking okay she's still got a lot of uncertainties. Vivi has a younger sister who looks up to her a lot and wants to be closer. When her mom takes away the normal academic summer camp that she usually goes to that one chance to and it also brings her new friends into the picture. Vivi's father is a story unto himself. He has a lot of secrets, and he has hurt those around him in a lot of ways. Vivi figures out some of the things that he was hiding, and it only adds to her confusion and identity issues. 

     I liked the friendship aspect in this one as well. Vivi and her best friend Sammie live in the same building and they have been friends for years. They've always been close, but their own family issues that left them hurting have allowed them to bond even more and know that someone else understands. I do wish that the whole aspect of both of them liking the same guy wouldn't have been there, but it did allow for a lot of character growth and for them to look at their relationship and how to work on it. 

    I liked the story line, how Vivi realized a lot about herself, her life, her plans for the future, and how she interacts with others. She wasn't in the best place at the beginning but she certainly learned a lot and while the main story lines were tied up, she still had a lot of room to grow, make choices, and move on with both old and new friends.

Bottom Line: Good read, had decent emotional connection, and complex family dynamics.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Did your college plans turn out how you thought?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Where's Brandi????

Hey lovely readers. I just wanted to let you know that I have been a bit burned out with YA genre. I found only two or three books in this fall season, and into the winter catalogs that I have wanted to read from Netgalley and Edelweiss.
I have been reading a bit of Mercy series by Patricia Briggs, and while I enjoy and I reviewed the first book, I just haven't had the desire to review the next three books.
As for those who know about my health struggles, I did have knee surgery at the beginning of this month and though stairs still bother me it is tons above what it was. Although my fibro isn't really happy about favoring one leg--my shoulder, neck, other knee and back is flared a bit. But I am hanging in there, and now that it will all settle down.
But mostly what I have been reading is Twilight fanfic. It is reminding me of characters and a love story that is my favorite as well as some AU with Bella and Jake.
I intend to return to blogging, and not say goodbye to it forever, because I have met wonderful people and it is something that I love. But it is a break. I have a review for one of the YA books I did request and liked coming in October, but no promises past that.
If you are curious what fanfics I am reading, I have been adding them on GR. If I added a rating, then its one of my faves.

Take care and don't forget me when I do come back!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Short and Sweet DNF: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Publishes in US:  July 31st 2016 by Little Brown UK
Genre: script
Source: bought
Harry Potter #8

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     I wanted to read this because I love the HP series, and wanted more. I read several of the scenes, but could not get into the play script format, and that is on me. I would love to see it though. 

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Did you read this? Are you planning to? Have you ever read a script before?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs
Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water...
Publishes in US: Published January 31st 2006 by Ace
Genre: adult paranormal
Source: library
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
Series? Mercy Thompson #1Mercy Thompson World - Complete #1

Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository Barnes and Noble

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook


    I wanted to read Moon called because of them branching out into the adult General little bit and this is one of the things that came up on the list of books to try if you like Richelle Mead and I very much enjoyed her adult fantasy books so we can give it a couple of them a try.

     Mercy is the main character and I liked her a lot she's different from a lot of women that I read about she is a mechanic and she's strong and she's a shapeshifter and what she shifts into is a coyote which is also something that I haven't read about. She's strong and sassy and snarky but she also has a big heart. She comes across a new werewolf who asked her for work and she ends up being a big Ally for him and help him out.

     It was a nice blend of the Paranormal there were werewolves and vampires and of course Walker's which is what they called her seat and her shape-shifting.

     There were hints of the romance developing, but for a while it kept me guessing because Mercy deals with a lot of the paranormal beings, and she has a history with some as well. But I liked the eventual pick, and direction it was going.

     I will continue with the series, because I liked the characters, and plot and how this one wrapped up.

Bottom Line: Fast, entertaining with good characters.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
What animal would you like to shift into if you could pick?