ARC Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

Title: Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Author: Lianne Oelke

Published: 09 January 2018 | Clarion Books

Date Read: 23 January 2018

Synopsis:

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

*ARC Kindly provided by Clarion Books thru Edelweiss for review*

I’ve read a couple of books that has a plot that depicts a reality show. Just when I thought I’ll be getting something similar to those books, I get a book that surpass the typical reality-show plot and instead gave us an original writing and premise and a memorable lead character.

“Maybe it’s time to have an adventure on my own. To be good at something on my own.”

The story follows Jane Sinner. A girl expelled from high school for unknown reasons. Now, as she tries to earn her high school diploma by enrolling at the local community college, she learns about a Big Brother type of reality show run by a student.

The House of Orange is one of the unique aspects of the book. I love how this idea came up just from a simple class project. The show was really a lot like Big Brother – there are challenges, immunities and evictions.

Jane came off broody, cynical and sarcastic. She’s the type of character who has a tough and strong facade but deep down inside was a softie at heart. At first, Jane joined the reality show because she enjoyed that anonymity. But as the day goes and tasks were given, HOO pushed Jane out of her comfort zone and helped her find the place for herself that she was looking for. For most part of the book, I was wondering what really happened to Jane. We were only given snippets of her past and her narration gave away that there was an entirely different Jane from that past as to who she is at the present.

“I hate running, and I’ve run each day since starting the show to prove that I am stronger than my apathy. That I am stronger than the girl who gave up on life.”

As the story progress, her story was also revealed. I felt for her. I related to her. She’s dealing with a lot of things all the same time and personally sometimes, that makes me want to explode. Jane is dealing with getting kicked-out from her previous school, not having the same beliefs as her parents have and depression. I really appreciate how the story conveys that people experience depression in different ways and reasons.

As the book was written in a journal type, each chapter seems to be a quick read. The way it was written was unique and enjoyable as well. Though there are slow moments in the story, it was eventually replaced by a lot more enjoyable parts.

This has been a topic on twitter a few weeks ago and I agree that there isn’t a lot of YA novels with main characters at college. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is one of those rare YA Books that has a main character that is in a college setting. Personally, I think I would enjoy reading YA Books set in college when I was back in college. Also, this is one of those rare books that I read that is set in Canada! I visited Alberta two years ago and up until now, I get sepanx over it. I missed Banff and Lake Louise with it snow capped mountains and turquoise water!

As mentioned, although the story has its slow parts I enjoyed reading most it. I love the unique plot, writing and the characters.

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Blog Tour & ARC Review: Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

Title: Broken Beautiful Hearts

Author: Kami Garcia

Published: 06 February 2018 | Imprint

Date Read: 04 February 2018

Synopsis:

Before, Peyton was a star soccer player with the perfect boyfriend, Reed. Now, she has a torn knee ligament, a scholarship on the line, and a shattered sense of self. No one believes Reed pushed her, causing her injury, and Peyton just wants to leave the trauma behind. Living with her uncle and twin cousins in their small, football-obsessed town seems like a great escape plan.

There, Peyton meets Owen—high school classmate and local MMA fighter. Though Owen is charming and gentle, Peyton is determined to repress her growing attraction. But when her old and new life collide, Peyton must reclaim the truth of her past in order to save her future.

*ARC Kindly provided by Macmillan | Clarion & Inkslinger PR thru Netgalley for Review*

I’ve heard and read about Kami Garcia and her works for a couple of years now since I started blogging but its just now that I finally picked up one of her works.

“I believe everything happens for a reason and usually the reason sucks”

Peyton’s senior life is shaping up nicely. She has great friends, a perfect boyfriend and is on the way to becoming an athlete to her dream school – UNC –  for soccer. On the day she dubbed as “One Perfect Day” everything seemed to shatter right before her eyes. She caught the reason why her boyfriend seems to be changing and keeping secrets lately. They broke up, argument ensues, and terrible things happened that forces her to move with her uncle in Tennessee. It is there that she meets her twin cousins, Christian and Cameron, the friendly cheerleader and the twins’ friend Grace and the aspiring kick-boxer, Owen.

The story started good and high for me. I’m craving to read a YA Romance lately and I’m so happy that I pick this one up. Though I have a hunch that certain parts of the book might be too deep and/or emotional, I felt excited. Broken Beautiful Hearts is one of those books that will give you an emotional roller coaster kind of ride. You’ll feel happy, sad, angry, tormented and just all over the place. Kami Garcia puts a lot of secrets, revelations, twists and turns in the story that others may find somewhat predictable, but I find myself enjoying every chapter and its predictability. The plot is entertaining.

The lead characters Peyton and Owen were written with depth and reality. These two might be your typical high-school seniors, but at such a youthful age it seems life they’ve been through a lot.

I didn’t immediately loved Peyton but as the story goes, she grew on me. I find her a bit sarcastic and petulant at the beginning. But as her story progress, she became a stronger and more independent version of herself. Despite being accused as a liar by people who are once close to her, she sticks with her story of truth and didn’t back down; she stood up for herself despite the consequences it might cause her. She didn’t back down from all the stones that were thrown on her way. I appreciate how the author gave Peyton a great support system – her mom, uncle and cousins.

“Any girl with a heartbeat would have trouble ignoring the pull of his sexy smile and beautiful brown eyes.”

Even after reading the story, Owen still seems like a stranger to me. Don’t take me wrong, I liked his character and appreciate his great parts in it and I know what we learned about him on the story was already an important thing, but I could’ve wished we get to know more about him and his life. I feel like we were only introduced to it on a surface level. But anyway, his character played a very vital role in the story. Just like Peyton, he didn’t back down from all the stones that life threw at him.

The chemistry between these two was very well written. I find myself enjoying their sweet banters and flirting. I’m also glad that the “love story” part of the story didn’t overly occupy the entirety of it.

A major part of the book focuses on two types of abuse – relationship and substance abuse. Kami Garcia was able to handle this sensitive topic with care and in a very realistic way. She didn’t only give us the surface level on how the abuse happen and how it affects the person abused but also how it affects the people around that person. This part of the plot was so important, and I think Kami Garcia handled it greatly.

The writing style also worked well for me. It was somewhat intense, emotion-filled, catchy and strong. There wasn’t a page or chapter that I wasn’t invested in. The ending was quite predictable. But as mentioned on the blurb (which is what I was also holding too as I was reading), this book will break our hearts and eventually put it back together again.

Overall, I really love reading Beautiful Broken Hearts. It was a story of fighting, healing, and letting go of things you have no control over.

“We don’t get one perfect day. We get a lifetime of imperfect days and its up to us to decide what we want to do with them.”

This is not how I envisioned celebrating my big news. I reach for my phone to check the time, wondering if it’s too early to head home. But it isn’t in my pocket. Nothing but lip balm, house keys, and Reed’s car keys. God forbid he carry anything except his phone. I pat down my coat. “I lost my phone.”

“It’s probably in the car, like the last three times you lost it. I need to run to the bathroom and then I’ll help you find it,” Tess says.

The line for the bathroom is six people deep. I can’t wait that long. “All my voice mails are on it.”

Tess knows that by all I really mean one—the last message from my dad. It’s the reason I’ve had the same phone for a year and a half, even though it barely holds a charge.

“I bet it’s in the car,” she says. “Don’t worry.”

“I’m just going to run out and check.” I leave through the back door.

Outside, a stone retaining wall snakes down the hill beside the house. The wall separates a paved footpath from the long driveway. My arm scrapes against the rock as I rush toward the steps at the end of the walk- way that lead down to the street.

Reed parked his car across from the steps, and I can’t get it unlocked fast enough. I search for my phone in the front seat and between the crevices of the center console.

Nothing.

Think. Retrace your steps.

When we got in Reed’s car I tossed my jacket in the back seat. My phone could’ve fallen out of the pocket. I lean between the front seats and grope around.

Come on. Please be here.

What if it’s not?

My chest tightens. I can’t lose Dad’s message.

Reed’s car is full of junk—hand wraps, sparring pads, sweaty T-shirts, and empty energy drinks. His smelly gym bag is open on the floor. I dig through it until my fingers hit something rectangular and smooth.

A box.

I take it out of the bag, expecting a cheap plastic box like one Reed uses as a first aid kit. But this box is glossy black cardboard, like a gift box.

Reed doesn’t do surprises, and he thinks presents are a waste of money. The only gift he has given me in the seven months we’ve been together was for my birthday. And Tess and Mrs. Michaels don’t have birthdays anytime soon.

My stomach bottoms out.

All the time he’s been spending at the gym . . . What if Reed hasn’t been there every night?

Things have been off between us for a while and I’m not a fan of his recent mood swings, but I’d never cheat on him. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t.

The box doesn’t have a store name or logo printed on it, and it’s a weird size—too big for a bracelet and too deep for a necklace. A watch, maybe?

I open the lid.

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today & international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages, and the film Beautiful Creatures released in theaters in 2013, from Warner Brothers. Kami’s solo series, The Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller UNBREAKABLE, and the sequel UNMARKED, both of which were nominated for Bram Stoker Awards. Her other works include THE X-FILES ORIGINS: AGENT OF CHAOS and the YA contemporary novels THE LOVELY RECKLESS and the forthcoming BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS (February 2018).

Kami was a teacher for seventeen years before co-authoring her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Visit Kami at http://www.KamiGarcia.com.

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Anticipated Releases: February 2018

The first year of the month is about to close. February is just right around the corner. WHAT IS HAPPENING? Time is literally flying so fast! I still have a couple of January book releases left on my TBR (and a LOT of back list titles) and here we are, about to enter another month filled with goodness gracious awesome book releases. So without further ado, here are my anticipated new releases for February.

American Panda by Gloria Chao
Release Date:06 February 2018

One of my most anticipated read for 2018!! American Panda is about a Taiwanese- American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate. I’m excited to read about all the Asian references especially the dumplings!


Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia
Release Date:06 February 2018

I’m 30% in to this book as I’m writing this post and so far, I’m really loving it. The story stars Peyton, a star soccer player in her school, until her boyfriend pushed her causing her a torn knee ligament. With everything that happened, living with her uncle in a small far town seems like a good escape plan for her.

 


Fade to Us by Julia Day
Release Date:06 February 2018

This book was recommended to me by one of my bookish friends. I haven’t read any books written by Julia Day but Fade To Us’ story blurb enticed me. This book is said to be about new-found families, sisterhood and first love. Brooke is the big sister who has her entire summer planned out until her step-father announces that her little step-sister Natalie who has Asperger’s is moving in with them. When summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants–and the love she’s only dreamed about?


Reed (Cold Fury Hockey #10) by Sawyer Bennett
Release Date:06 February 2018

I’m literally a trash for this series!! The Cold Fury Hockey Series is one of my guilty pleasure reads that no matter how cliché and standard the plot lines and the characters are, I’m still up into reading it. The 10th installment to the series features Reed Olson. Though the story has a trope that has been used and I’ve read a couple of times already (heroine hearing/seeing the hero having sex on the other side of her room), I’m still much excited to read this.


The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton
Release Date:06 February 2018

The Belle is probably one of the most hyped up books to be released this year. As early as the latter part of 2017, this book has been surfacing and been talked about already. What I’m pretty much excited about this book is to know how the world of Orléans works with all The Belles and the secrets behind the royal palace. It’s very rare for me not to love a fantasy novel, so I’m pretty much excited to get my hands on this book.


Sightwitch (The Witchlands 0.5) by Susan Dennard
Release Day: 13 February 2018

A novella set in the world of Truthwitch, Sightwitch follows Ryber Fortiza, the last Sightwitch Sister as she treks deep underground to rescue her missing best friend. While there, she encounters a young Nubrevnan named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he wound up inside the mountain. As the two journeys ever deeper in search of answers, and as they brave one close call after another, a tentative friendship forms between them—one that might one day grow into something more.


Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward
Release Date:19 February 2018

I’ve been a follower of Penelope Ward’s Romance books and make it a point to read each and everyone as much as I could. Gentleman Nine is her newest novel about 3 best friends – the nerd, the playboy and the beauty. The playboy only ever wanted the beauty. He kept it inside because the Rory and him made a pact that their friend, Amber, was off-limits. Rory lied. The playboy went off to college, and Rory got the girl. Amber never knew how the playboy felt. They were together for years—before he broke her heart.


A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
Release Date: 27 February 2018

I’ve read nothing but good things about this book! A Girl Like That is a debut novel from Tanaz Bhatena that narrates the story of a teen named Zarin – a troublemaker and the girl parents warn their kids away. From the blurb, we know Zarin died but we don’t know the how and why. The story was also said to be written in multiple perspectives thus giving us a 360-degrees view of Zarin’s story.


The Calculus of Change by Jessie Hilb
Release Date:27 February 2018

Calculus of Change is said to be a poignant and an empowering teen novel of grief, unrequited love, and finding comfort in one’s own skin. From time to time, I crave a simple YA Contemporary read and I guess this will be it for my February. I’m excited to meet Adent and Tate and be swept up in their tantalizingly warm friendship, complete with long drives with epic soundtracks and deep talks about life, love, and spirituality.


From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Release Date:February 2018

I’ve been wanting to read a book written by Mariana Zapata for quite a long time now (I even have all her books shelved as “to-read” in Goodreads) but haven’t really had the chance to pick one up. From Lukov With Love, doesn’t even have an exact release date in February on Goodreads but the blurb really intrigued me. If Jasmine was to describe the last few years of her life – it will be a four-letter word.

After years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is ending. But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. Including Ivan Lukov.


You, what are your anticipated books for February? Feel free to share them with me on the comment page below. 💜

Blog Tour & ARC Review + Giveaway: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Ibooks | Google Play | B-A-M | KOBO

*ARC Kindly provided by Katie Mcgarry & Inkslinger PR thru Netgalley for Blog Tour*

It’s been a couple of years since I last read a book by Katie Mcgarry. Two things that I do remember whenever I read a book written by her is that first it’s going to be filled with emotions, so I need to have my tissues nearby and second, it’s going to be filled with self and familial love.  Say You’ll Remember Me is Katie Mcgarry’s newest novel about two teens from different walks of life bumping into each other and falling in love.

Honestly, the story started slow. I’m 20% in and I feel like I’m still not into it. Until our two main characters bumped into each other and their complicated web of life started to tangle that I feel like I woke up and started really reading.

Drix and Elle came from two very different walks of life.

Drix just got out of juvenile detention. Elle is the governor’s daughter.

“I got the good boy cut with the bad boy stride.”

Drix is the governor’s face for his newest project – “The Second Chance Program”. Said program aims to slow the rising crime rate of teens and these teens funneling into the adult prison system. But he did not commit the crime. What will happen now?

Drix lived a difficult life. He’s broken before he entered the detention but more so shattered after going out. Though he was introduced as a juvenile delinquent, I knew there was something redeemable about him. I really love how Katie has written his character; he’s not perfect; he did a lot of mistakes at such a youthful age and juvenile detention might have taught him lessons but what happened to him – being accused of a crime he did not commit is still an injustice. Throughout the story we see two sides of Drix. The before and after. The common ground is that he deeply cares for his family and just wanted to give them the best that he could after all the sufferings they’ve all been especially with their parents  being non-existent.

“It’s not okay. I’m seventeen years old, I don’t know who I am, and I don’t have any idea how to get my parents to take me seriously. I’m trapped, and I can’t breathe.”

Elle’s life as the governor’s daughter seems to be perfect. What the people outside don’t see is that she struggles in getting the freedom to do things that she really loves and wants. She struggles under the pressure and expectations of her parents. I like Elle for not giving up and doing the best that she could to serve the best interests for the people around her.

“Is talking to me going to get you into trouble?”

“I’m willing to live dangerously.”

Drix and Elle met, and it might be too cliché to say this, but sparks did fly; there’s an immediate connection between them. Though it is an off-limits romance, these two really got me on edge. Their slow-burn romance was worth anticipating and reading. Drix and Elle are kindred spirits. They find comfort and solace on each other.

Though the romance takes a huge portion of the story, the familial aspect was beautifully shown as well. Drix’s family- Axle, Holiday, Dominic, Kellan and Marcus might not have anything monetary or material wise, but they have each other’s back and that makes them a solid team. Somewhere in the middle of reading, I felt sad. I felt pity. I felt injustice. For the characters on this story who became victims of bad circumstances that they all didn’t ask for and didn’t deserve.

“We’re stronger together, Drix. I promise we are. Please don’t give up on us. Please don’t give up on yourself.”

As the story’s end came, I couldn’t help but feel the intensity of those un-anticipated scenes. I was surprised that the story turned that way, but it was oh so good! It was unexpected but totally the best way for the story to end. I’ll leave it to say that justice has been served.

The story line was remarkable, characters are realistically written, and emotions are on point! Overall, Katie Mcgarry is once again successful in delivering a compelling coming of age story about two teens who are different as night and day but finding a common ground with love and understanding for each other.

“Amazing things are going to happen because that’s what happens when you find your wings and finally fly.”

~Ellison~

Sean points, and a woman in the back asks, “You never met Mr. Pierce before?”

I shake my head, and Sean gestures to the microphone. “No. I was playing a midway game earlier, and he ended up playing beside me, but then we went our separate ways. I left the game, and these guys started to harass me, and hen Hendrix asked if I needed help. I agreed, and he suggested we talk. He said that if the guys thought we were friends they would eventually lose interest, and they did. Hendrix played a game, and we talked until Andrew showed.”

“Andrew?” someone asks.

“Andrew Morton.” That causes enough of a stir that nervousness leaks into my bloodstream and makes my hands cold and clammy. Why is it that I feel that I said something terribly wrong?

“Are you and Andrew Morton friends?” someone else asks, and the question hits me in a sickening way. I name-dropped the grandson of the most powerful US Senator…the position my father is campaigning for. Sean is going to roast me alive.

“Yes. We’ve been friends for as long as I remember.” Friends, enemies, it’s all semantics at this point.

“Did you and Andrew Morton plan to attend the festival together?” Another reporter.

“Yes.”

“Were you on a date?” a woman asks.

My entire body recoils. “What?”

“Are you and Andrew Morton romantically involved?”

I become one of those bunnies who go still at the slightest sound. “I thought we were talking about Hendrix.”

“Did Mr. Pierce confront the men?”

Finally back on track. “No, he was adamant that there should be no violence.”

More questions and I put my hand in the air as I feel like I’m the one on trial. “Isn’t that the point?  Hendrix went through my dad’s program, and one of the first chances he had to make a good decision, he made one. We’re strangers, and he helped me without violence. That, to me, is success.” A few people nod their head, and because I don’t want to be done yet… “Mr. O’Bryan—grown men shouldn’t be following seventeen-year-old girls. I’m curious why you didn’t step in when I was being harassed. If you saw Hendrix and me together, then you know what happened, and it’s horrifying you didn’t help. Hendrix made the right choice. You did not.”

A rumble of conversation, Sean places a hand on my arm and gently, but firmly pushes me to the side. The raging fire in his eyes says he’s mentally measuring out the room in the basement he’s going to let me rot in for the next ten years.

My father approaches the microphone with an ease I envy. “Any more questions for Ellison can be sent to my press secretary. As you can tell, it’s been a trying day for my daughter, but we are most grateful for Mr. Pierce’s actions. We promised a program that was going to help our state’s youth turn their lives around, and, thanks to Mr. Pierce’s admirable actions, we are proud of our first program’s success.”

He offers Drix his hand again, and Drix accepts.

Lots of pictures and applause, and Dad leans in and whispers something to him. I can’t tell what it is, but I do see the shadow that crosses over Drix’s face, his throat move as he swallow and then the slight nod of his head.

I don’t know what happened, but I don’t like it. The urge is to rush Drix, but Sean has a firm hold on my elbow, keeping me in place, silently berating me for causing problems.

Drix stands behind the podium and drops a bomb so huge the ground shakes beneath my feet. “Because Ellison had enough courage to explain what happened today, I’m going to tell you what I was convicted of…”

Get a chance to win $100 Amazon Gift Card! Link below:


Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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ARC Review: Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen

Title: Love and Other Train Wrecks

Author: Leah Konen

Published: 02 January 2018 | Katherine Tegen Books

Date Read: 06 January 2018

Synopsis:

A twenty-four-hour romance about two teens who meet—and perhaps change their minds about love—on a train ride to Upstate New York in the middle of a snowstorm

One train ride. Two strangers.

Noah is a hopeless romantic. He’s heading back home for one last chance with his first love, whom he broke up with when he went off to college.

Ammy doesn’t believe in true love—her parents being prime examples. She’s escaping from a mom who can’t take care of her to a dad who may not even want her. That is, until one winter night when Noah and Ammy find themselves in the same Amtrak car heading to Upstate New York.

After a train-wreck first encounter between the two of them, the Amtrak train suddenly breaks down due to a snowstorm. Desperate to make it to their destinations, Noah and Ammy have no other option but to travel together. What starts off as a minor detour turns into the whirlwind journey of a lifetime, and over the course of the night they fall in love. But come morning their adventure takes an unexpected turn for the worst. Can one night can really change how they feel about love…and the course of their lives forever?

*ARC Kindly provided by Katherine Tegen Books thru Edelweiss for review*

I was blindsided. Just when I thought I would get a quick story about two strangers meeting on a long train ride & falling in love, I get a book divided into three interesting parts. Love and other Train Wrecks spans an entirety of a day (or two). On a very short and quick time frame, a lot happened.

The story introduced us to two strangers (Ammy and Noah) who boarded the Amtrak going to the same destination but for different reasons. Sounds familiar? Yep, it did remind me of Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight with the quick time frame and two strangers meeting in an unconventional way. Up until I came into around 9% of the book that I know the plot line will be somewhat different. And that I might also know what the twist into the story might be. 😉

“Sometimes it takes meeting a stranger on a train to get the courage you need to finally stop asking yourself what if.”

Ammy and Noah wound up sitting with each other. Started talking about random stuffs, getting on each other’s stranger’s nerves. Until. The. Train. Breaks. Down. Both are in time crunch and needed to arrive at their destination at a certain time. With the train broken and people on hold until it gets fixed, they wandered off and started their crazy wild adventure to reach their destination on their own.

Noah boarded the train with an elaborate plan to woo and win back his ex. The more I get into the story, the more that I feel like he’s being pushed by guilt instead of love in winning his ex-back. Reading from his point of view made us see how their story unfolds and what happened that leads up to their break up. I loved Noah. He has flaws but he’s also such a sweetheart and the emotions he showed in the story felt so raw and real. He loves to read, a bit nerdy and adorable.

Ammy boarded the train to attend her father’s wedding/promise ceremony. The more I get into the story, the more that I feel how she’s being eaten up by guilt by leaving her mother alone in an unstable emotional state. Reading from her point of view made us see how complicated her family life has been ever since her parents divorced; how she feels blind-sided by it. But we also get to see how she’s trying to cope up with it, take care of her mother at the same time maintain a good relationship with her step-mom and step-sisters. Ammy was just an okay character for me. I actually find her snarky and snobby at first, but I thawed up on her attitude as I get to know her more in the story.

Love and other Train Wreck is filled with Ammy and Noah’s adventures and misadventures. The second part of the book made me feel like I was watching an episode from Series of Unfortunate Events because it feels like all odds are against these two. But then, the adventures and misadventures honestly made the reading experience more fun and enjoyable.

The romance was just okay and expect the insta-love, of course. I could’ve settled even if they ended up just friends.The ending feels a bit rushed because the conflicts were easily untangled. I want a more definitive conclusion, I guess.

Love and other Train Wreck was a cute & quick story about two strangers, seating with each other on a long train ride then later learned about letting go and moving forward. It was cliché and cheesy, but I ate up the story like a candy. I love the humor, romance, adventure and misadventures. Overall, a fun and entertaining read.

Book Sneak Peak: Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland

I’m a romance novel trash and have long been a follower of anything written by Vi Keeland.  Her stories may not have the deepest and complicated plot line but it’s her characters that always got me hooked. I’m very much excited to you everyone a sneak preview of her now novel, Sex Not Love.

My relationship with Hunter Delucia started backwards.

We met at a wedding—him sitting on the groom’s side, me sitting on the bride’s. Stealing glances at each other throughout the night, there was no denying an intense, mutual attraction.

I caught the bouquet; he caught the garter. Hunter held me tightly while we danced and suggested we explore the chemistry sparking between us. His blunt, dirty mouth should’ve turned me off. But for some crazy reason, it had the opposite effect on me.

We ended up back in my hotel room. The next morning, I headed home to New York leaving him behind in California with the wrong number.

I thought about him often, but after my last relationship, I’d sworn off of charming, cocky, gorgeous-as-sin men. A year later, Hunter and I met again at the birth of our friends’ baby. Our attraction hadn’t dulled one bit. After a whirlwind trip, he demanded a real phone number this time. So I left him with my mother’s—she could scare away any man with her talks of babies and marriage—and flew back home.

I’d thought it was funny, until the following week when he rang the bell at Mom’s house for Sunday night dinner. The crazy, gorgeous man had won over my mother and taken an eight-week assignment in my city. He proposed we spend that time screwing each other out of our systems.

Eight weeks of mind-blowing sex with no strings attached? What did I have to lose?

Nothing, I thought.

It’s just sex, not love.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

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(Amazon eBook will be a live release, no pre-order)

“You’re not going anywhere before you do two things.”

“Two things?”

“Leave your number and kiss me goodbye.”

“I…I…you haven’t brushed your teeth.”

Hunter chuckled. It felt like he could see through all of my bullshit. Reaching over to the nightstand, he grabbed his phone and held it out to me before getting up. “Toothpaste in the bathroom still?”

“The little one the hotel sets out.”

“I’ll brush. You type.”

While he was in the bathroom, I mulled over not typing anything into his phone. There was no way I was keeping in touch with a man living three-thousand miles away. A guy like him was the last thing I needed. But then I thought better of just telling him I’d put my number in. He seemed to have figured me out pretty quick. So instead, I typed my name and number, only I changed the last two digits.

And it was a good thing I did, because when Hunter returned from his bathroom trip, the first thing he did was check that I’d entered something. Luckily, he didn’t attempt to call me. Satisfied, he tossed his phone on the bed and nodded.

“Thank you. Now kiss me.”

I could see he wasn’t going to let me leave without this. So, sacrificing to make my plane, I pushed up on my toes and delivered a quick peck to his lips.

Mmm…. Nice and soft.

(And minty fresh.)

“Well…it was nice to meet you.” I turned to dart out the door, but Hunter grabbed my wrist yet again.

“I said kiss me.”

“I did!”

“Kiss me the way you kissed me last night.”

Before I could even attempt to let that sink in, Hunter yanked me against him. One of his large hands cupped the back of my neck, and he squeezed firmly to direct my head where he wanted it. Then, his lips crashed down on mine.

The shock of feeling his mouth against mine quickly dissipated as he licked my lips, encouraging me to open for him. His tongue dipped inside, and he groaned as he tilted my head and deepened the kiss. The vibration of the sound traveled between us and sent a hum through my body. Soft and gentle went out the window after that. He grabbed a fistful of my ass, and I lifted my body up onto his, wrapping my legs around his waist. As he backed us to the wall, a sense of familiarity overcame me. I couldn’t remember the specifics of our previous kiss, but I now knew deep inside what it had felt like.

My cell dropped from my hand so my fingers could tangle in his hair. Yanking on the soft strands, I couldn’t get enough. A moan from deep inside my chest moved through our connected mouths. Hunter pushed harder, his thick erection pressing into the center of my open legs. He rocked as he kissed me, causing a friction through two layers of clothing that was leading me to a place I didn’t think it was possible to go fully dressed.

It felt like he wanted to swallow me whole, and in that moment, I would have let him. My breasts were crushed to his chest, and a heartbeat raged out of control—only I wasn’t sure if it was my own or his. Jesus, where does a man learn to kiss like this?

I was breathless and stunned when our kiss broke. Hunter sucked on my bottom lip, tugging it before releasing my mouth.

His voice was strained. “Change your flight. We’re not done here.”

I swallowed, trying to gain some composure. “I can’t.” My voice was barely a whisper. It was all I could muster.

“Can’t or don’t want to?”

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in nineteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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Challenge: 2018 Series to Finish

I always seem to have this compulsion to read a series once all the books have been released. It’s a tough one you see, because not every installment is released within the same year; most of the time, the next book will be released on the upcoming year. There are also times that I started reading the first book, then forgetting when the next book will come out. I guess, those reasons are valid enough as to why I have tons of book series’ that are left unread and unfinished.

Now, with the great idea of a friend Anna of Reader and Proud, I finally have the chance to tackle my pile of unfinished series.

The goal for the challenge is to complete a series; it does not matter if you only have one book left or ten, the important thing is to finish them.

Similarly, the amount of series you’re aiming to finish is not important; Anna would like this challenge to be as chill as possible so as long as you try to read and complete more series, you’re already a winner!

The challenge will run from January 1st to December 31st and you can join at any point. ARCs do count for the challenge, as well as books published in 2018.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now!!

(Links: Sign-up Page)

Since this is the first time that I’ll be joining this challenge, my goal wouldn’t be too ambitious. Right now, I’m aiming to finish at least 4 book series (but all are trilogies) in total of 12 books.

Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson

The Palace Chronicles by Margaret Peterson Haddix 

Broken Hearts & Revenge by Katie Finn

Ruined by Amy Tintera

This is the second reading challenge that I joined in for this year (The first is the Beat The Backlist Challenge). I’m excited to read the books I listed on my TBR Goals. 😊


Have you joined any other reading challenges for this year? I’m wishing you goodluck on whichever challenge you are joining too. 💜