3 Star Mini-Reviews: Crew by Tijan, Broken Prince by Erin Watt, Black Sheep by Meghan March, Top Secret by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy, Verity by Colleen Hoover

These are some books that I’ve read within the last few months – all of which just happen to be rated 3 stars.

 

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Crew (Crew #1) by Tijan

★★★
This was the first book that I read by Tijan and though I wasn’t too impressed with this initial book, I’m still absolutely willing to read more books from this author. I think the main reason why this book didn’t necessarily work for me is that though the book revolves around high school students, it read much more like an adult contemporary novel. The students essentially had gangs that ran the school with no consequences. I was so distracted by how these characters were acting and I couldn’t get past it. Aside from all of that, I did enjoy reading this. I really liked the romance in it and I like her writing style. I think the next book I plan on reading by Tijan will be Enemies.
Goodreads

 

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Broken Prince (The Royals #2) by Erin Watt

★★★
I had no intention of reading this book. I gave the first book 3 stars. However, my coworker read and loved this series and basically forced me to read it. This book was as ridiculous as the first book in this series. I am not a fan of bully romances, I feel like the heroes never make up for how horrible they are in the beginning. Granted, I didn’t despise Reed nearly as much in this book as I did in the first. That could be because it’d been a while since I read the first book and I forgot how much he pissed me off, but I have no intention of rereading that one, so… here we are. I actually enjoyed the first part of this book, but then it just got ridiculous and I was done. All three of these stars are applied to the first half of the book.
Goodreads

 

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Black Sheep (Dirty Mafia Duet, #1) by Meghan March

★★★
So, this book ends on a cliff hanger – fair warning. I think it’s fair to assume most duets will have the first book end of a cliff hanger, but this one was pretty intense. And, you know what? I never read the second book because, honestly, I didn’t care. I think this book had a lot of potential, but it did something that I get annoyed with in romances. It focused way too much on how hot and sexy the characters were, the romance moved slowly at first, then rushed way too quickly, and I didn’t feel any chemistry between the love interests.
Goodreads

 

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Top Secret by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

★★★
This book was kind of a disappointment for me. I love this duo. Their Him/Us duet was one of my favorites, so I was SO excited about this book, but unfortunately, this one fell kind of flat. There just wasn’t enough swoony romance in it and the entire time our main character is cheating on his girlfriend. I felt like that was never really addressed. It also just made me feel uncomfortable a lot of the time. I can’t put my finger on why, perhaps it has to do with the deception aspect of this book? The premise was promising, but it just didn’t live up to expectations.
Goodreads

 

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Verity by Colleen Hoover

★★★
I don’t read thrillers and Colleen Hoover doesn’t normally write thrillers. That’s not why this didn’t vibe with me. I love CoHo, I love her characters and I love her writing. This book, however, I didn’t so much love the characters. Usually, I fall hard for her heroes, but I was pretty indifferent to the hero in this book. Most of the stars from this book goes to the shock value and the creep factor. It was nearly intolerable as a parent reading the horrifying book that Verity was writing. I almost stopped reading several times. Also, the believability just wasn’t there. Though the ending was unexpected, it was kind of a letdown.
Goodreads

 

Stargirl (Stargirl #1) by Jerry Spinelli

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Stargirl
Author: Jerry Spinelli
Series: Stargirl #1
Format: Hard Copy purchased from the Library Book Sale

Synopsis:
A celebration of nonconformity; a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity–and the thrill and inspiration of first love. Ages 12+

Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out–under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes–for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body.

But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl’s arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her.

In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity–and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

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Review

I can see why a lot of people love this book.

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Promise Me Forever by Debbie Macomber

3-stars
Overall Rating: # Stars
Title: Promise Me Forever
Author: Debbie Macomber
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Debbie Macomber’s beautiful story of hope, healing, and the magic of the human heart is available for the first time as an eBook.

Physical therapist Joy Neilsen doesn’t take no for an answer when it comes to her patients. She’s tough yet compassionate, doing whatever it takes to get them back on their feet . . . and she’s met her match in Sloan Whittaker. Bitter, angry, resentful, Sloan is ready to give up. But Joy doesn’t let anybody quit, especially not a man as talented as this brilliant tycoon—a man who, somewhere along the way, has won her heart.

After weeks trying to push Joy away, Sloan realizes he’s a fool. She’s determined to piece him back together, and now he knows why: Deep down, she’s as broken as he is. Joy is prepared to give him everything, and now Sloan wants to give her something in return. He can be the one to show Joy that she’s perfect inside and out—if she’s willing to let go of her own painful memories and make happy ones with him.

BONUS: This edition includes excerpts from Debbie Macomber’s Last One Home and The Inn at Rose Harbor.

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Review

I loved the first half of this book.

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Rule #4: You Can’t Misinterpret a Mistletoe Kiss (The Rules of Love #4) by Anne-Marie Meyer {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Rule #4: You Can’t Misinterpret a Mistletoe Kiss
Author: Anne-Marie Meyer
Series: The Rules of Love #4

Synopsis:
A mistletoe kiss is just a simple kiss, right? Wrong.

All I want to do during this Christmas break is survive. A week at the cabin with our family’s friends/rivals, the Stephensons, every yuletide activity is turned into a competition where my family must win. Every. One.

Yep. Lots of Christmas spirit around here.

But, I’ve survived past holidays, there’s no reason why I can’t survive this one.

Until Mom informs me that Jacob Stephenson, my brother’s ex-best friend and resident bad boy, is back from his grandmothers after having been gone for the semester. I guess, after you find out your son robbed a gas station, you banish him to the most southern state.

Now my ridiculous crush is back in full force and I’m trying really hard to stay away from him. My brother is frustrated that Jacob is home and I’m supposed to put my family above boys. Right?

Maybe…

I was attempting to be loyal until Jacob and I kiss. Sure, it was a forced one brought on by mistletoe tradition, but there was something in the way he held me and pressed his lips to mine that told me, he just might be feeling something more.

But when he keeps pulling away and acting like the bad boy I’m pretty sure is fake, I begin to realize that there’s more at stake here then just my heart. A truth that is eating away at him. I just hope I can unearth it before Christmas is over and any chance that I have at discovering the real Jacob disappears.

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Review

Another cute and quick story!

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For the Record by Charlotte Huang {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: For the Record
Author: Charlotte Huang

Synopsis:
Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like… until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule… Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

GOODREADS

 

Review

This was a fun and different book that I enjoyed reading!

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Mini-Reviews: The Girl Who Drank the Moon, This Savage Song, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, & Saga Vol. 1

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The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

Rating:★★★★★

Mini-Review: This isn’t the type of book I’d normally reach for, but I’m glad I gave it a chance. I had every intention of reading this with my kiddos, but it couldn’t quite hold their attention. I wasn’t expecting that I would have all the feels that I did while reading this book! The found-family aspect was perhaps my favorite part.

♥ ♥ ♥

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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Rating:★★★★★

Mini-Review: What a great introduction to VE Schwab! This is such a unique story with incredibly interesting characters. I so appreciated the gender-role swap in which the female character who isn’t a monster leans more toward evil than the male monster. I did, of course, want more romance, but the fact that this held my attention despite it is certainly telling!

♥ ♥ ♥

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Saga Vol. 1 (Saga (Collected Editions) #1) by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer) & Fiona Staples (Artist)

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Collecting: Saga 1-6

Rating:★★★

Mini-Review: I liked this one and perhaps would have liked it more if it skipped some questionable phrasing that was a bit hard to move past. I’m not a big graphic novel reader, but after reading this one, I could absolutely see myself reading more graphic novels.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen, Tony Lee (Adapter), Cliff Richards (Illustrator)

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER—NOW AN EYE-POPPING GRAPHIC NOVEL OF MANNERS, MORALS, AND BRAIN-EATING MAYHEM

It is known as “the strange plague,” and its unfortunate victims are referred to only as “unmentionables” or “dreadfuls.” All over England, the dead are rising again, and now even the daughters of Britain’s best families must devote their lives to mastering the deadly arts. Elizabeth Bennet is a fearsome warrior whose ability with a sword is matched only by her quick wit and even sharper tongue. But she faces her most formidable foe yet in the haughty, conceited, and somehow strangely attractive Mr. Darcy. As the two lovers meet in the ballroom and on the battlefield, they’ll soon learn that nothing—not even bands of ninjas, hordes of flesh-eating zombies, or disapproving aunts—can stop true love.

Rating:★★★

Mini-Review: This was just OK. It was nice to have a quick read and to get back into the Pride and Predjudice world I love, however the zombie addition was more weird than interesting or badass, to be completely honest. It kind of made me feel like they only threw zombies in here to make money off of a trend.

 

 

 

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?

GOODREADS

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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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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Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Let’s Talk About Love
Author: Claire Kann
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

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Review

Let’s talk about how this novel was kind of a huge disappointment.

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Up in the Treehouse by K.K. Allen

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Up in the Treehouse
Author: K.K. Allen
Format: Hard Copy purchased from Shameless Book Con

Synopsis:
Romantic Times 2016 Reviewers’ Choice WINNER for Best New Adult Book of the Year

I wanted to tell him all my secrets, but he became one of them instead.

Chloe Rivers never thought she would keep secrets from her best friend. Then again, she never imagined she would fall in love with him either. When she finally reveals her feelings, rejection shatters her, rendering her vulnerable and sending her straight into the destructive arms of the wrong guy.

Gavin Rhodes never saw the betrayal coming. It crushes him. Chloe has always been his forbidden fantasy–sweet, tempting, and beautiful. But when the opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the biggest mistake of all and denies her.

Now it’s too late . . .

Four years after a devastating tragedy, Chloe and Gavin find themselves crashing back into each other’s lives. Haunted by the past, they’re forced to come to terms with all that has transpired to find the peace they deserve. Except they can’t seem to get near each other without combatting an intense emotional connection that brings them right back to where it all started . . . their childhood treehouse.

Chloe still holds her secrets close, but this time she isn’t the only one with something to hide. Can their deep-rooted connection survive the destruction of innocence?

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Review

I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t connect with this novel at all

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