Book Review

Book Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 353 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

LOVED THIS STORY.

Oh man. This book made me nervous. I wasn’t sure if I could handle Gia. Some characters can really turn you off of a book and make them harder to read. This definitely started out that way. I am so glad I kept going because her character progression was on point.

Her friends made me roll my eyes and get angry more than once. I really couldn’t stand the way any of them were treating each other. I know this can definitely be realistic in high school and I appreciate that we got to see Gia move on from that kind of unnecessary drama.

Totally, absolutely smitten with the romance. The fake-relationship trope is a favorite of mine and this was written beautifully. I like how they found ways back to each other, while helping them work through their own life issues. Gia really won me over with how she learned to have friendships with others she normally wouldn’t. Once again, just happy to see her grow as a person over the book. Bradley and Gia made me melt. I thought Bradley was adorable and he constantly made me smile.

This is a favorite for Kasie West books.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

Book Review: Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Point
Release Date: May 29th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West’s adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.

CUTE AS EXPECTED.

Found myself another charming Kasie West read. Definitely would put it up higher on my list of my favorites of hers.

I thought the romance was super cute. It did take some time for me to get on board with the relationship because I saw it going in a totally different direction (and that was just me choosing the wrong guy haha). But, once I saw how well they worked together they were utterly adorable. I like how the feelings developed and interactions. It was everything I’m looking for when I read a rom-com by West.

The podcast story line was fun. I’ve read one other book that has a radio theme and found that to be such a bust. This worked out well and allowed for growth in the main character, Kate. I thought her changes over the book were positive and I was really able to see that she was growing up. I love seeing these story lines in high school books. There’s so much to work through during those years!

The family and friend dynamic brought another good level for this book. I love when there’s an interesting family (this one all living on the same property). Added plenty of high-jinks and giving more layers to the characters.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: ☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult fantasy + historical fiction
Length: 416 pages
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Returning to the dark and glamorous world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever.

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

Thank you to Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for the e-ARC. All opinions are my own!

MY SOUL IS IN TORMENT.

Why you may ask? Well because THAT ENDING HURT ME. It was exactly what the book called for though. Not really a cliffhanger, but feeling a desperate need to see how everything is resolved in the last book. Ohhhhh how I need the last book. If these first two books are any indication (The Gilded Wolves review here!), this finale will rock.

The ANGST I felt in this book for Laila and Severin was on another level. Oh em gee. It was the kinda of slow fire, second chance, enemies to lovers-ish vibe that I was ALL OVER. My cinnamon roll Severin who is struggling to work through some things has caused him to push people away. This hard outer shell only makes me love him more. Seeing his inner dialogue is wonderful. I love the rotating chapter POVs because I truly feel for all of these characters now. I want to be apart of this dysfunctional family too.

I liked the way the story moved. I felt there was a steady flow of action, then a lull, then back up again, all at the right times. I was never bored because things were constantly moving. If they weren’t solving a mystery, someone or another was having a tender moment. This gave me a lot of scenes that brought this installment home. The writing was beautiful with plenty of sentences I wanted to highlight and save for later.

The villains are pretty easy to spot, but are quirky and have many layers that I need to sift through. They were a bit creepy and kept me on my toes, especially in the last 20%. I flew through pages trying to figure out what was going to happen next. While my heart shattered at some point, the pieces were picked back up and put in a jar for further introspection. Everything in this book is a few shades darker. There is a lot of pain, inner turmoil, and I feel like I’m waiting on half the cast to apologize to the other half. It’s forming great characters arcs though and I am appreciating watching everyone grow.

Still, I have so many questions!! There is a vast amount of open-ended issues when it comes to everyone. Who is into who? Who is upset with who? Who is alive? Where is who? Why can who do this? I barely had questions answered before I thought of a thousand more. While sometimes too many unknowns can be a bother, I felt this really convinced me I want book three (which I don’t mind in the slightest). I think everything will be answered and while I have no idea how this well end, I am here for it all.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + historical fiction
  • Language: some language
  • Romance: a few kisses, make-outs, a no detailed quick fade to black, but mentioned love scene (very appropriate for a true YA book)
  • Violence: poison, animal attacks, magic, fire, knives, murder
  • Trigger warnings: a person disguises themselves as someone else with intent to do sexual things, mentions of child abuse, drugging people without consent

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: August 2020

Is 2020 over yet? Asking for a friend.

In the reading world, I did get through quite a few books, with some five stars. So that’s something! A lot of upcoming releases as well.

Favorites this month: You Have a Match, From Blood and Ash, and Heart Bones
Least favorites: Harley in the Sky, Between Shades of Gray

  • Hitching the Pitcher (Belltown Six Pack #1) by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, and Heather B. Moore – (☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts (Steampunk Proper Romance #4) by Nancy Campbell Allen – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • [ARC] Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Intertwine (House of Oak #1) by Nichole Van – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • [ARC] You Have a Match by Emma Lord – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Royal We (Royal We #1) by Heather Cocks – (☆☆ 1/2)
  • Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Brown – (☆☆☆)
  • The Extra (The Extra Series #1) by Megan Walker – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Kingdom of Sea and Stone (Crown of Coral and Pearl #2) by Mara Rutherford – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) by Diana Gabaldon – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman – (☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Mistletoe and Mr. Right (Moose Springs, Alaska #2) by Sarah Morgenthaler – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – (☆☆☆)
  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Bright Raven Skies (Sweet Black Waves #3) by Kristina Perez – (☆☆☆☆)

What were some favorite books you read in August? Lets talk in the comments!

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