Ninja Girl by Cookie O’Gorman {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Ninja Girl
Author: Cookie O’Gorman

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Snow-Soon Lee kicks ass–literally. She teaches at her family-owned martial arts gym, The Academy, and cares more about training to be the next Bruce Lee than hooking up. In fact, Snow’s never even been kissed. But when Girls Night rolls around, Snow decides to prove to her friends (and herself) that she’s not just some boring tomboy. Impulsively, she kisses a hot stranger and even manages to escape his two security guards.

One stolen kiss…

Ash Stryker’s senior year sucks. His politician father pulled him out of Chariot High, separating him from his championship-winning soccer team. Now he’s stuck at a prissy private school with no friends, no team and no chance of being scouted. On top of that, thanks to the death threats his dad’s received, Ash has a security tail aka professional babysitters. When the mystery girl from the movies shows up at his school, rappelling from the rafters, Ash knows one thing: he won’t let her get away again.

One interesting job proposition…

After a seemingly random attack, Ash’s mother surprises everyone. She hires Snow to be Ash’s personal bodyguard until after the election. But can Snow’s kick-ass skills hold up against the rising threats to Ash’s family? More importantly, can Ash convince his ninja girl to screw ethics and kiss him again?

Opposites attract in this YA romance where a smooth talker meets his match in the tough girl who (literally) sweeps him off his feet. Moral of the story:

Sometimes even bad boys need a bodyguard.

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Review

This. Girl. Is. Amazing.

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A Lesson in Thorns (Thornchapel #1) by Sierra Simone

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: A Lesson in Thorns
Author: Sierra Simone
Series: Thornchapel #1
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
***
From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes…

***A Lesson in Thorns is the first of four books in the Thornchapel series.***

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Review

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard about this book, and to be honest, it didn’t even matter.

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Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between
Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Synopsis:
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

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Review

Cute, easy read!

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Cursebreakers #1
Format: Hard copy purchased from Books a Million

Synopsis:
Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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Review

Where do I even begin with my love for this book?

I’m a whore for Beauty and the Beast retellings, but up until I read this book, I always felt as though all of them were missing something.

I’ve always wanted to get inside the Beast’s head a little more. I wanted to see how the curse affected him mentally in the long-term. I also wanted to see the development of his relationship with Belle within the parameters of that.

Basically, I wanted a bit of torture and some epic hate-to-love.

And I got it with A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

Rhen

I have to start by talking about Rhen. First of all? That freaking name. I love all the names in this book, especially his.

Rhen is our Beast in this reimagining. He’s smart and calculating with a charming self-deprecating sense of humor that made me immediately fall in love with him.

But behind his seemingly light-hearted personality is a deep and very dark tortured soul. His pain, though, is buried so deep and has been festering for so long that it has manifested into resignation. He’s pretty much lost all hope that the curse will be broken after so many years of failure and loss.

I appreciate how Rhen is not perfect, but he’s learned from his (big) mistakes. He’s paid for those mistakes, though he may never feel it was enough.

Harper

Oh, Harper. I freaking love this version of Belle so much.

She’s a force to be reckoned with hidden in the body of someone who is constantly underestimated. Her disability doesn’t define her, even though many outside influences believe that it does.

I adored her low-key sense of humor. Her sarcasm and her witty, under-the-breath, pay-attention-or-you’ll-miss-it personality.

Watching her find herself and her strength when she’s thrown into this whirlwind situation was one of the most satisfying reading experiences I’ve ever had.

Gray

I mean, Gray is the ideal formula for a character I love:

Fiercely Loyal + Just a bit Grumpy + Quiet + Watchful = ♥ ♥

I think it’s Gray’s loyalty, against all odds, that makes me love him the most. Of course there is subtle humor there as well, which made me love him even more.

As far as the romance, like everything in this story, it was gradual and slow. I can see why some people felt that this book was slow or even boring, but it’s certainly a character-driven novel. It’s subtle and not action-packed, yet it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

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Geekerella (Once Upon a Con #1) by Ashley Poston {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Series: Once Upon a Con #1

Synopsis:
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

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Review

You know I’m in love with the celebrity interest romances! Well this is one of them!

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After (Books 1-4) by Anna Todd + Movie Review

3-stars
Overall Rating: # Stars
Title: After
Author: Anna Todd
Series: After (Books 1-4)
Format: Audiobooks purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Experience the internet’s most talked-about book, now a major motion picture, from Anna Todd, the writer Cosmopolitan called “the biggest literary phenomenon of her generation.” Now with new exclusive material!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same. #Hessa

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, and tattoos, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

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Review

You guys… this entire series was a hot freaking mess and the movie was awkward and barely followed the same storyline, but goddammit if I didn’t read the entire series in a week and watch the movie several times.

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The Trouble With Kissing Frogs (St. Mary’s Academy #6) by Seven Steps

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: The Trouble With Kissing Frogs
Author: Seven Steps
Series: St. Mary’s Academy #6

Synopsis:
SOPHIA’S KISSED PLENTY OF FROGS. HAS SHE FINALLY FOUND HER PRINCE?

The last time Sophia Johnson spoke to Josiah Walker, she gave him a fake name, a very real kiss, and a broken heart to remember her by. Now, he’s back, and handsome as ever. There’s just one problem: he hates her guts for lying to him last year. When he embarrasses her in front of the entire school, the feeling becomes mutual.

But, when Josiah is hired as her tutor and cast as her co-lead in the school play, old feelings begin to resurface and sparks start to fly.

Will Sophia resist Josiah’s charms? Or can this frog turn into her bona fide prince?

The Trouble With Kissing Frogs is a funny, emotional, enemies-to-lovers, second chance, older brother’s best friend romance. Inspired by The Princess and the Frog, it’s a tale of one girl’s journey to find her voice and find love. Grab your copy of this unforgettable young adult contemporary romance today.

St. Mary’s Academy is a young adult contemporary romance series that brings classic fairytale characters to life in a modern day, high school setting. It’s filled with angsty heroines, hot heroes, and drama galore.

Be prepared. You’ve never read fairytales quite like this.

Book 1 – The Boyfriend Agreement
Book 2 – Chasing Mermaids
Book 3 – The Golden Boy
Book 4 – Stealing Hearts
Book 5 – The Secret Lives of Princesses
Book 6 – The Trouble With Kissing Frogs
Book 7 – Rebels, Love Letters, and the Secret Crush

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Review

Loving this series!

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Format: Hard copy borrowed from the library

Synopsis:
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

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Review

Where do I even begin?

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Chasing Mermaids (St. Mary’s Academy #2) by Seven Steps {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Chasing Mermaids
Author: Seven Steps
Series: St. Mary’s Academy #2

Synopsis:
A hot ex-boyfriend. A determined swim star. And a battle of wills that will make you laugh, cry and cheer.

Ariel Swimworthy thought her life was perfect. She was the new captain of her school’s swim team, she had a new best friend, and even a shiny new crush to dream about.

And then her father pulled her off the team to join a boring business academy.

Now, the only way to swim again is to accept the help of her ex-boyfriend, Eric Shipman. Eric shredded Ariel’s heart when he lied to her, and she’s determined not to get back with him. But its hard to be around someone who knows your deepest, darkest secrets. Even harder when that someone will do anything to win you back.

When sparks start flying, and old flames start igniting, what will Ariel do? Follow her dream or protect her heart at all cost? Its a battle of wills and hearts are on the line in this young adult contemporary romance. Buy it now.

**Can be read as a standalone novel**

Book 1 – The Boyfriend Agreement (Bella)
Book 2 – Chasing Mermaids (Ariel)
Book 3 – The Secret Lives Of Princesses (Jasmine)
Book 4 – The Art Of Kissing Frogs (Sophia Tiana)

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Review

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Good Girl by Lauren Layne

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Good Girl
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: Love Unexpectedly #2
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Lauren Layne brings all the unpredictable heat of her USA Today bestseller Blurred Lines to an all-new cast of characters! Country music’s favorite good girl is hiding away from the world—only to find herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

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Review

Coming off from the high of Blurred Lines, I jumped right into Good Girl after finishing one of my new favorite novels by the same author.

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