BOOK REVIEW : ON DUBLIN STREET BY SAMANTHA YOUNG

Title: On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Published: August 31st 2012
322 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

Jocelyn/Joss moves to Scotland after finishing her studies, to make a new life for herself. Ever since her parents and younger sister died in a car crash years earlier, she’s been doing her best at avoiding dealing with this trauma and keeping her emotions in check. She ends up moving into a flat on Dublin Street with a girl named Ellie. Ellie and Joss hit it off, becoming fast friends. Not long after, Joss meets Ellie’s wealthy and very attractive brother, Braden. That, my friends, is where the story takes off.

Jocelyn feels attracted to Braden since their very first encounter in a taxi. Braden wants Jocelyn. Jocelyn has long sworn off relationships, not wanting to let anyone in. It takes a guy like Braden to break her walls down. I ADORED THIS. ADORED!

I read this book in one sitting. On Dublin Street had me so invested so fast. It took me on such an emotional roller coaster. So much happened in only 325 pages. SO MANY FREAKING FEELS. I feel deeply for Braden, Joss and Ellie. These three characters are rough and real. Now that it’s over, I just want more.

Does that sound like rambling to you? How many times can I say SO in one single book review? I’m sorry, but I just barely put this book down and just HAD TO share my thoughts and spread the love. I don’t want to give too much away, as I went into this book blind. If you’re even a tiny bit interested in the new adult genre, and you’re looking for a steamy read with an extremely good storyline – you MUST read this book. I can’t wait to try some more of Samantha Young’s work. 5 out of 5 stars, clearly…
maria

BOOK REVIEWS: BEAUTIFUL DISASTER & WALKING DISASTER BY JAMIE MCGUIRE

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Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1), Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publication: May 26th 2011 by Jamie McGuire, April 2nd 2013 by Atria Books

When I started Beautiful Disaster, I was seriously wondering what all of the fuss was about. The writing was just okay, and I felt as if the story was being rushed. For example, Abby and Travis became friends very fast and then BOOM he loves her. Thankfully, these initial thoughts did not keep me from reading or loving this book. I have to admit, the more I read, the more enthralled I became with their dysfunctional relationship. After reading the first hundred pages, I was down right addicted. I did not want to put this book down, at all.

Walking Disaster is the very same story told in Travis’s point of view. I enjoyed this one just as much. I did get a bit bored with the repeated dialogue, since I picked it up immediately after finishing Beautiful Disaster, but I loved reading about Travis’s thoughts and feelings. It was refreshing to read from a males perspective and I flew through it.

Travis is a bad boy with big time anger issues that he chooses to deal with by fighting in college. He is the kind of male character that you hate SO MUCH sometimes, but in the end you just can’t help but love anyway. Yes, my favourite kind. There were moments in this book when I seriously wanted to punch him in the face, or at least make Abby stay away from him. He was a disaster, but he had a big heart and tried SO hard to prove himself to her. Abby, however, is a good girl who had a hard upbringing. Her mother was a drunk and her father was a gambler, so she does everything in her power to stay away from that type of lifestyle – at least before falling for Travis.

Shepley, Travis’s roommate, and his girlfriend America also played big parts in these two books. They were such great friends to both Travis and Abby. I enjoyed following them and watching them grow as a couple, even though they weren’t the main focus of the story.

Jamie McGuire knows how to write some addicting books with lots of ups and downs. I am looking forward to reading A Beautiful Wedding and Beautiful Oblivion. If you have read any of these books, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

maria

BOOK REVIEW: HAWKSONG BY AMELIA ATWATER-RHODES

30334Title: Hawksong
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Published: September 28th 2004 by Laurel Leaf Library
243 pages
Source: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Do you ever not know what to read and just pick a random book from your shelf? That’s what I did with this one. None of my friends have read it and it hasn’t had much hype in the booktube or bookblog community, but it totally surprised me. I loved it!

Hawksong is in Danica Shardae’s point of view. She is an avian shape shifter and has the ability to shift into the golden hawks form. Her land has been at war with the serpiente as long as she can remember and she’s watched too many people die to let it go on any longer. As she will soon become heir to the avian throne, she will do what ever it takes to make peace with the serpiente people. She learns that her best option of stopping the war would be to live in peace with the serpents herself, in order to set a good example for her people. She risks her life as she accepts the serpiente prince, Zane Cobriana, as her husband.

The character’s were very well developed and each had a unique personality. Danica was a brave and independent female lead. Zane was a strong and free spirited love interest. As he points out many times in the book, if he wanted Danica dead – he would have killed her easily. The cobra leader also had a soft side. He cared for his new partner and would do anything to protect her. It took time, but eventually Danica and Zane learned to trust and love one another. I found myself caring deeply for them, as well as the side characters in this captivating fantasy tale.

Overall I was very intrigued with Atwater-Rhodes wonderful writing. The rich shapeshifter history added a lot of depth to the story and to characters. I enjoyed learning about their customs and traditions. The cultures were total opposites. For example, the serpiente’s are very open about they’re feelings. Wether it is love or anger, they don’t hold back any emotion and affection is a very important part of their lifestyle. On the contrary, the hawks were raised to show no emotion whatsoever. It is wrong of them to show tears as they are trained to be tough. Reading about Danica and Zane deal with these differences was extremely interesting!

I seriously couldn’t put this book down after starting it! I had only planned on reading the first 100 pages, but flew through the 243 pages in no time at all. The twists and turns kept me on my toes and I loved the romance build up.

I’m so happy that I picked this book up! I do plan on reading the rest of the books in the Kiesha’ra series, but i’m pretty convinced that this is the most loved book of them all. If you want to give shapeshifter books a try, I highly recommend starting out with this one! It had an awesome setting, a captivating writing style, complex characters, some action, some adventure and a swoon worthy love story. Need I say more? Don’t let the odd covers fool you…
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BOOK REVIEW: UGLY LOVE BY COLLEEN HOOVER

17788401Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover Published: Published August 5th 2014 by Atria Books 337 pages
Source: Purchased
Click here to find it on GoodreadsValentines day is coming up ladies – I recommend you pick this one up!

Maria’s thoughts: Beware, rambling ahead. The story is told in alternating chapters. One being Tates point of view in the present and the other being Miles point of view in the past, six years earlier. As the story progresses, we learn why Miles behaves the way he does and what happened to him that caused him so much hurt. I appreciated seeing the past through Miles eyes as it helped me connect more to his character and fill in the blanks. It was refreshing to read about him when he was so young and so in love, but also painful.

I loved each and every one of the characters in Ugly Love.

I loved Tate. She was a responsable twenty three year old with a great future ahead of her. She respected her brother, even though his overprotectiveness could become a bit overwhelming at times. Her feelings were so relatable and very real. All she wanted was to be loved. And she ended up falling very hard for her neighbour across the hall…

I loved her brother Colin. I really liked that he was the protective older brother type and that he was so close to his sister. It’s nice to read about a good relationship between siblings every once in a while. The more the relationship between Tate and Miles became serious, the more scared I was of what Colin would do when he would finally find out about them. No guy was ever good enough for Tate in his eyes and the fact that they were doing it behind his back… Not good. Plus, every time she snuck into miles apartment, it described how loud she was being and I was like shut up shut up shut up YOUR BROTHER IS GOING TO HEAR YOU WOMAN.

I LOVED Miles.
I fell in love with this character SO EARLY ON. He had my attention from the very beginning of the story. I could totally relate with Tate because I don’t see how you could not fall in love with this guy. His career is important to him, he values relationships so much that he refuses to love again (6 YEARS with no sex guys. WHAT even is he), he is a good friend to Colin… I loved the way Colleen Hoover describes his appearance (his scar, his smile). I loved the way he was slowly falling head over heals in love with Tate and would always be trying to sneak her away from her brother. Miles was nice and caring towards her, despite his effort not to become attached to her. He his share of issues and flaws, but I couldn’t help but love him anyway. I’m sure tate felt the same way. I FELT FOR HIM SO MUCH.

I loved CAP. Oh my, this old man brought so much to the story. He was such a good friend to Tate. She could open up to him and trust him with her secrets. He understood her and could always cheer her up. He never failed at making her laugh with the jokes he’s learned over the years.

I am in love with the writing style. The characters are so real. The descriptions are so fitting. Every thought and detail that went into the work of this brilliant new adult romance was well worth it. EVERY KISS was written PERFECTLY. Nothing felt repetitive, or “too much”. I wish I could write like Colleen Hoover.

“A kiss is so much easier than what we’re doing. When you kiss, you can close your eyes. You can kiss away the thoughts. You can kiss away the pain, the doubt, the shame. When you close your eyes and kiss, you protect yourself from the vulnerability.”

This book was exactly what I needed. I’ve been waiting for a NA novel to WOW me. This was a true love story, even if it was an ugly one. I really am beginning to worship the ground that Colleen Hoover walks on. I now feel the need to go out and purchase everything she has ever written.

Because of the connection I felt with the characters, I loved this book even more than Maybe Someday. Her novels just keep getting better. Seriously. Pick this one up! I think it’s pretty obvious that I rated this 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.

I read this book along with Mallory, Marissa and Mackenzie.
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR BOOK DISCUSSION 

BOOK REVIEW: THE MINE BY JOHN A. HELDT

19353394Title: The Mine
Author: John A. Heldt
Published: February 2012
290 pages
Source: Author
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
A story of time travel, family and love.

Joel Smith is a confident college senior who decides to take a trip with his best friend before graduation. Seeking adventure, Joel finds himself exploring an old Montana mine. However, when he exits the mine, things aren’t quite the same as they were when he’d entered. He soon learns that he is no longer in the year 2000, but in 1941. This travel through time leads to many wonderful relationships, one of them being with a much younger version of Joel’s grandmother. Joel has no trouble fitting into this time period as he befriends a wonderful family and friends. Of course, Joel can’t possibly stay in the past forever, he has a life of his own in the present, but he’s grown so attached to his new family and lifestyle that it is hard to imagine his life any other way.

I enjoyed this book immensely. The writing was extremely well done and the story pulled me in from the moment Joel discovered he was in 1941. I had predicted it to be about a mine and time travel, though I never imagined there to be a love story involved. The romance had caught me by surprise and had really pulled me into the story. Needless to say, Joel and Grace had my full attention.

Every character was complex and had an interesting backstory of their own. Joel was both intelligent and funny, he brought joy to many characters in this book. Known for seeking adventure and taking risks, Joel also had the heart of gold and genuinely cared for his new friends. Tom and his father accepted Joel right away, taking him into their home. Tom’s girlfriend, Ginny, and her group of friends were no exception. That’s how he meets Grace, and it isn’t not long after that that Joel begins to fall in love with her. The author did a remarkable job at bringing these loveable 40s characters to life.

It was extremely fascinating to read about a young boy meeting his grandmother in the past, when she was only 21 years old. I loved learning about her friends, her first love and her life before her children and grandchildren came along. The old 40s setting was very captivating and the mystery behind the time traveling mine was more than enough to keep readers interested. The entire time that I was reading, I wondered if what Joel was doing in 1941 would affect the future. Not once did I feel like I knew what was about to happen. The author kept me on my toes and in the end, I still didn’t know what choice Joel would make.

Mr. Heldt, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read about Joel’s journey. I assure you that your story will not be forgotten. It has given me the urge to pick up more time travel related novels and I would be happy to read your second book in the Northwest Passage series.Readers, if you are interested in getting into the science fiction/time travel genre and have a love for romance and great characters – this book is for you!

Mallory’s thoughts:
Joel Smith is thrown 60 years back in time after entering a mine as a strange planet alignment is occurring. From 2000 back to 1941 , Joel is left with no money (that he can use) and no place to stay. He parks himself on a bench to sleep for the night when he hears a fight going on. Coming to the rescue of a boy named Tom, who decides to take Joel home with him to his family. From there we follow Joel as he tries to make a life for himself in a time that is headed straight for war.

Time travel books can always be iffy for me, but I’m happy to report that I fell in love with this one. I’m going to start out by talking about the setting. I loved the feel of the book and how easily it shifted from modern time to the 1940’s. The detailing in the writing was done so well that visualizing was so extremely easy that I felt like I was watching a movie.

Moving on to characters. To put it simply: I fell in love with all of them. They each had a purpose and characteristics that stood out. They each felt like a friend that I took my time getting to know. Joel was one of my favorite main characters to read about. He was so genuinely selfless and thoughtful of everyone other than himself. He was very refreshing to read about. The Carters (Tom’s parents) gave the book such a great feel too. They brought Joel into their family and home even though they didn’t know him and yet they acted as true parents towards him. My heart melts when I read about characters like them.

The romance (as Maria said in her review) was quite a shock. I was not expecting it at all and yet it just clashed so well with the whole story. I loved Grace and Joel together as a couple and what they brought out of each other.

I am so happy we were contacted to review this book. It was the perfect start to my 2015 reading list. An easy 4.5/5 stars for me. And thank you so much to the author again for sending this our way!

FAVORITE COVERS: PINK

Today was the CIBC Run For The Cure which is a very special day for me. My grandmother was taken way too early from Breast Cancer. I always love to raise awareness on this day so today I put on my bright pink pants and went out for a 5k run.
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And I also decided to show you guys my favorite pink covers! So here they are.
2014-10-05 17.33.17(Top row, left to right)
Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland. This is in the Color Your Library collection from Chapters.
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.
Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky.
Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
(Bottom row, left to right)
Sweet Valley High (bind up of the first three in the series) by Francine Pascal.
Thanks For the Memories by Cecilia Ahern.
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.
The Merciless by Danielle Vega.
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Let me know what your favorite pink covers are.

Mallory

BOOK REVIEW: OBSIDIAN BY JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT

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Title: Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: September 2011 by Entangled Teen
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 361
Click here to find Obsidian on goodreads

Maria read and reviewed this book with her friend Mackenzie.
Click for Mackenzie’s goodreads
Click for Maria’s goodreads

Maria and Mackenzie’s thoughts:

Book blogger, Katy, is new to West Virginia. Forced to move and change schools after the death of her father, she would much rather be reading and reviewing books than making new friends. After the non-stop encouragement from her mother, Katy decides to pay her new neighbours a visit. That is when she meets Dee and her arrogant, but very attractive, brother Daemon. Daemon refused to welcome Katy into the neighboorhood and on top of that he did not want her to become friends with his sister. This offended Katy, of course, but she eventually learns why Daemon is so overprotective of his sister and how to live with her alien neighbours.

Katy

Maria: I loved Katy. When she finds out about her neighbours being from another planet, it shows how much of a strong, confident and kick-ass character she truly is. Unlike a lot of female characters, Katy does not sit back and do what she is told. She will stand up and fight not only for herself, but for Dee and Daemon. Being human does not weaken her. Katy is also a very relatable and funny caracter, which makes this book so much better.

Mackenzie: I liked Katy as a character because she is very strong and sticks up for herself. I love that she loves books and book blogging. I also like that she isn’t one of those annoying lead characters that can’t do anything for themselves.

Daemon

Maria: Daemon was pretty much an ass throughout the entire novel, but as ignorant and as obnoxious as he could be, I couldn’t help but love him. It helps that he is a total hottie with green eyes though 😉 I think that it’s safe to say that Daemon has mood swings. I loved that Katy wasn’t afraid to stand up to him, even when he made her feel like total crap. I want to learn more about his caracter and why he behaves this way most of the time.

Mackenzie: I actually really love Daemon. I love that he is protective of his sister and caring. Even though he acts like a jerk, it’s entertaining to read about. I think that Daemon is an interesting character in general to read about, especially since he is an alien.

The relationship between Katy and Daemon

Maria: Can we say love\hate relationship? Like Daemons frequent mood swings, their relationship is hot and cold. One minute they hate eachother, and the next minute they are literally inches away from kissing. It may sound annoying, but it worked very well in the story. Katy struggles with her feelings towards Daemon since the very first time she layed eyes on him. She tries so hard to convince herself that she hates him, when the sexual tension is so obviously THERE. I’m just really proud of Katy for not giving Daemon what he wants. If he gives her shit, she will give it right back. I also loved the fact that their relationship took time to develop. And it is still developing (they still hate each other half of the time).

Mackenzie: I really like how Katy can stand up for herself to Daemon. I really love when they get along because you see the other side of Daemon that he hides from the outside world.

The relationship between Katy and Dee

Maria: Dee befriended Katy very quickly, but instead of it feeling rushed, it showed how kind-hearted Dee really was. I feel like Dee just has a very friendly personality and would naturally go out of her way to welcome the new girl in town. They develop a very strong friendship, going against the wishes of Daemon and most of the neighboorhood. Dee makes Katy’s move alot easier. This may end up being a friendship that will last a very long while.

The setting

Maria: I loved the fact that Katy, Dee and Daemon were neighbours and I really enjoyed visualizing both houses next to eachother. The small town fit the alien aspect very well, not wanting to attract very many people to them. It was funny to read about people giving Katy such strange looks in town. Also, the typical highschool cafeteria was great (spaghetti scene though…).

The writing

Maria: Addicting. Sarcastic. Funny. Entertaining. Jennifer L. Armentrout did a great job at pulling her readers in and keeping them from ever wanting to put Obsidian down. Literally. The writting was hilarious. The entire 335 pages were interesting and never boring. I never wanted the book to hurry up and be over. I never wanted to be reading or doing anything else while reading this book. I really love that Armentrout chose to write about aliens and not our typical paranormal beings. I found this super original and interesting. Maybe that’s just me – I haven’t read very many alien-related books. I am convinced that Jennifer L. Armentrout is a brilliant author and I can’t wait to read the rest of her work! I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars and will be reading Onyx very very soon!

Mackenzie: I loved the writing. I really loved the dialogue between the characters and how fast paced it was. I also loved that there was always something happening to grab your attention. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars!

As you can see, we both LOVED this book! We encourage all paranormal-romance lovers to pick up the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Big thanks to Mackenzie for reading and reviewing this book along with me. It’s always fun to get different point of views. I’m sure that Mackenzie will be helping with more book-blog posts in the future. – Maria