Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Capture the World by R. K. Ryals

                                               🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars

"They called me a breakdown waiting to happen. He didn’t see a breakdown. He saw me."

I see people. The way they travel through life like a blurred stream of light. I am one of them, these people, and we’re all light blasting together from one place to another. We’re all trying to be a part of the world, and yet not be a part of it. Like we’re trying to ball the world up into our hands and hold onto it. That’s me. Trying to capture it. The world. To keep it with me awhile before it goes away.

My mom is a traveler, and she takes me with her everywhere. I am ashamed. I am proud. I want to catch her and make the world stop spinning. Maybe make it spin backwards, so that she is changed.
The worst part is the fear I see when people look at me. As if I’m her. As if I’m going to be her. I’m not. But I wish I was. Because she doesn’t see our world. She has her own, and it’s beautiful.
Her life. Her extraordinary world.

My name is Reagan Lawson, a seventeen-year-old seasoned traveler without a passport.
My life. My origami world.
His name is Matthew Moretti. Senior basketball star, handsome, and as far from my complicated world as he can get, he surprises me with his interest, with the way he pulls me into a world I didn't want any part of.

Until now.
His life. His surprising world.

This book was amazing! I have only read one of other book from this author (Hawthorne and Heathcliff) and it seems that I will have to keep my eye on any books that she releases from here on out. I loved everything about it!

I am going to stand on my therapist soap box for a moment. I was impressed with how well the author did with presenting mental illness. There is such a stigma with mental illness today. I have heard people refer to those with mental illness as being crazy or nut jobs and it sickens me. It is this type of thinking that hurts them and makes them close themselves off from people and/or treatment. It also hurts those that they love as witnessed in this book. They are  people who deserve to be treated with respect. Alright, I'm stepping off of my soap box now. 

I thought that Reagan was such a strong character. She had endured so much and was still dealing with things throughout the book. Even though she had been through so much, she never lost her capacity to love those around her. Her relationship with her mother was a testament to this. I could tell as I was reading that she was going through a myriad of emotions concerning her mother but she only treated her with love. I thought that their relationship was beautiful!

I enjoyed how the author presented chapters in terms of the "worlds" that Reagan was in at the time. When she was with her mother, she was in her mother's world. When she was at school, she entered a different world. You get the picture. 

The author had such a poetic way of presenting things in this book. I am starting to see that as her style of writing and I find it beautiful.  The book was realistic without sacrificing the creativity. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hawthorne & Heathcliff (Kindle Edition) by R.K. Ryals

                                                     🌟🌟🌟🌟out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars
Two names that didn't belong to us. Two shoes that did.

Intense and introspective, seventeen-year-old Hawthorne Macy knows all about being abandoned. She's felt the stark pain of being left behind by the people who are supposed to love her the most; her parents. Raised by her caring uncle on an old plantation, Hawthorne lives her life on the fringes of her small Southern town.

Until she meets his shoe.

Senior year, last period English class, and a pair of silent tennis shoes resting next to hers in the back of the room throws Hawthorne into a world she'd learned to stay outside of.

His name is Max Vincent, but in her mind, he’s Heathcliff. The handsome eighteen-year-old boy behind the shoes will pull Hawthorne into a passionate and unforgettable adventure of self-discovery during a time when love seems impossible.

Shoes can tell a lot about a person. The journey they take you on can tell a lot about how they'll hold up.

I was conflicted about the number of stars that I should give this book. I thought that the first 70% of the book was brilliant! I can't say enough good things about the majority of the book! It was a poetic and deep story that touched me. Bring a box of tissues when you sit down to read it because it will tear your heart out. I was crying throughout the majority of the book.
I know that it might sound exaggerated but this book changed me! 

I loved everything about Hawthorne. She was quirky in the most beautiful of ways! The author made her voice so distinct. She was such a quiet character that when she did have dialogue with another character you felt compelled to listen. I loved that she communicated with Max through their shoes and how she was selective about who she gave her heart too. 

I loved the relationship that she had with her uncle and the life lessons that he taught her throughout the book. Some of my favorite quotes in this book came from Uncle Gregor because he opened my mind to think about concepts such as love in such different ways. I know that everyone love the "okay" from The fault in Our Stars but this book beats that with "for my sake" which is spoken between Hawthorne and her uncle. I found it lovely that they expressed their love for each other in this manner. 

I also enjoyed Max although not as much as Hawthorne obviously. He was so patient with Hawthorne and determined to show her that she was loved. He wanted to earn her friendship rather than forcing it which was admirable.

I think that this love story was so successful because it showcased different types of love and didn't make it seem like Hawthorne or Max would die without each other. There were other focuses in their lives.

Personally, I would have rather had the book end at the 70% mark. I was so disappointed by the rest of the story which is why my review is not five stars. Hawthorne and Max see each other again five years after high school and they have both changed in different ways. I felt like everything that I loved about the story disappeared into thin air at this point. Max had changed so much that there was nothing left of the character that he was in the beginning. I also thought the ending  was rushed, with no real explanations or development. 

Since I was in love with the majority of this book, I decided to give it four stars.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Finding Wonderful (The Perfect Rebels Book 1) by Jessica Sorensen

                                                  🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars

                   A great start to the series! I love thrillers and this is shaping up to be one!

My best friend, Brecken, collects secrets. So when he tells me he knows a potentially life-destroying secret about someone, I don’t think too much about it.
Until he dies a few hours later.
The police rule his death a suicide, but I’m not convinced. I don’t really start to fully question his death, though, until the day Gaige Irvins moves in with me.
Gaige used to be a good guy up until three years ago when he joined the popular group known as the Perfect Rebels. Now he’s a cocky jerk that hasn’t been very nice to me.
I try to keep my distance from him, but no matter how hard I try, I find myself drawn to him, enough to let him kiss me. But that kiss shatters everything and forces me back to reality.
And the reality is Gaige might have had something to do with Brecken’s death.

Sometimes I feel like the loneliest guy in the world. Do I have friends? Sure. But none of them know the real me, the guy beneath the cocky facade, fake smiles, secrets, and lies.
I wish I could change, but I can’t. Not unless I want to risk my secret getting out. A secret I’m being blackmailed over.
To make things worse, the day I move in with Willa, my blackmailer sends me a new threat: get close to Willa and find out her secrets.
It’s not like his demand is terrible. Willa is gorgeous, just a little strange. But my friends and I haven’t been that nice to her, and I know getting close to her is going to be difficult.

There were moments towards the end that were tense. I found myself wondering about the identity of the blackmailer. I can't say that the Perfect Rebels don't deserve the things that are happening to them. It is hard for me to sympathize with people who belittle others to make themselves feel better. I did feel a little bad for Gaige having to grow up the environment that he did but he could have chosen to react in another way other than lashing out at those around him.

I myself, am rooting for Willa though. I want her to stay strong and solve the puzzle that has been laid out in front of her. My heart broke for her throughout this story. Her friend has just died towards the beginning of the story and she is having to face the bullies at her school alone. Add that to the fact that now she has to live with Gaige who is one of them.

I felt that I couldn't give this book five stars because I still have so many questions and it is hard for me to swallow the fact that Willa is drawn to Gaige. I have a few theories as to what the Perfect Rebels are being blackmailed for but I'll have to wait and see if they pan out. I enjoy Jessica's books but she kills me a little inside every time I have to wait for the next book in the series to come out.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Dear Life by Meghan Quinn

                                                         🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟stars
Summary: Four lives. Four stories. Four sets of letters. Four brave souls in need of guidance while facing life's greatest challenges.
The anonymously published Dear Life program is designed to help them step outside of their comfort zones, face their obstacles, and relinquish their demons...and prove their existence.
With their lives teetering between wanting more and losing it all, all four souls dive into the program as a New Year’s resolution, sending them on a crazy, life-altering journey.

Dear Life,

Please be kind.

Yours truly, Hollyn, Jace, Daisy, and Carter.

Even though this book caught my attention intially, I was hesitant to read it because I don't normally read a book that has more than two points of view. I can end up finding it a bit confusing and harder to connect with all of the characters. 

I continued to see all of the praise surrounding the book so I thought that I would suck it up and give it a try. While I wasn't in love with the book, I have to say that I found the premise to be thought provoking and inspiring. I felt that the message that the author was trying to send was live your life even when it feels like it is ending because there is always something else that makes life beautiful. 

I thought that it was exciting that each of the characters had a unique voice although I have to say that I was pulled in to Jace and Hollyn more so than Daisy and Carter. I found Daisy to be cringe worthy. I found it hard to read through her parts of the story because her naivety was annoying. Carter started out enjoyable but he was a bit of a slow burn as far as character change so I started to pull away from him as well. He had a huge chip on his shoulder and did not really empathize with the situations of others. I can understand why the author made the characters the way that they were though. If they were all the same, it would make the story less satisfying and realistic.

This story is predictable from beginning to end but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. I would recommend that everyone should read it because I believe that it is the type of book that can help people who are struggling to believe that there is life after painful events.  

As always, feel free to recommend books to me that you would like me to review!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Something There In Between by S. Ferguson

Something There in Between by S. Ferguson receives three out of five stars from me. While there were quite a few things that I loved about this book, there were a few things that took away from the story for me. 

Bree Sutton has lost everything.

Shattered dreams and a lonely park bench are her only companions.
Happy endings aren’t for people like her.

Survivor Declan James knows what rock bottom looks like.
But he knows there can be redemption, no matter how far you’ve fallen.

You can try and fight it, but love doesn't care how broken and battered you are. It's always something there in between...

This book contains strong adult content that may not be suitable for readers sensitive to hard to read subjects.

I loved Declan! He was so kind and compassionate towards Bree. I appreciated his backstory because I feel that it enabled him to truely be able to understand Bree. I thought that Bree was also a well thought out character with a lot of issues that were weighing her down. The way that she was feeling and coping with her issues was realistic and my heart broke for her many times throughout the story.

I felt like Declan developed feelings really quickly for Bree without really knowing her first. He wanted her to care for him and to help her out of the hole that she found herself in. Then the next thing you know he does something that seems to be completely out of character for him. I wasn't sure what to think about this particular event as it didn't seem to fit in the story. I also thought that the ending was a bit odd. Everything comes together and is tied up with a bow. It was a little too clean for my taste. I'm not saying that I don't want a happy ending but I want it to be realistic. No one gets everything that they want. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Between Here and the Horizon by Callie Hart


I just finished this book today and all I can say is WOW! I loved it! I would give it four out of five stars! I have only read one other book from this author but she once again blew me away with her writing!  The summary is as follows:

“You think you know me. You think you want to know me. But trust me, Miss Lang. Pursuing me will be the worst mistake you ever make. I’m broken beyond repair…

…and I take great pleasure in breaking everyone else around me.”

Ophelia Lang needs money, and she needs it bad. Her parent’s restaurant is going under, and ever since she lost her job teaching third grade elementary, scraping enough cash together to pay the bills has proven almost impossible. Her parents are on the brink of losing their home. The vultures are circling overhead. So when Ophelia is offered an interview for a well-paid private tutoring gig in New York, how can she possibly say no?
Ronan Fletcher is far from the overweight, balding businessman Ophelia expected him to be. He’s young, handsome, and wealthy beyond all reason. He’s also perhaps the coldest, rudest person she’s ever met, and has a mean streak in him a mile and a half wide. A hundred grand is a lot of money, however, and if tolerating his frosty temperament, his erratic mood swings and whatever else he throws at her means she’ll get paid, then that is what Ophelia will do.
Her new boss is keeping secrets, though. Awful, terrible secrets.
The ghosts of Ronan Fletcher’s past are about to turn Ophelia’s future upside down, and she can’t even see it coming.

The story is told in a sort of duel point of view. I say sort of because the only time we hear from the love interest is when it flashes back to his past which helps us to understand why he is the way that he is. I thought that the characters were wonderful and relatable. Each of the characters had flaws as well as redeeming qualities. The story had a nice flow to it and it started out with a bang. 

I had figured out the twist before it was explained although that doesn't mean that it given away form the beginning. The romance that takes place between the main characters feels organic not forced. The plot made sense and was well executed. 

There is a point at the beginning of the book that something happens rather abruptly to one of the characters. I don't feel as if there were any hints or indications that it was going to happen. I had to re-read it because it didn't make sense to me. As I continued to read, it made more sense which is why I still gave it four stars. 

I am open to suggestions as to what I should read and review next. Just let me know in the comments!