Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Blog Tour: Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally


Hi all, today as part of the Jesse's Girl Blog Tour by Miranda Kenneally hosted by Xpresso Book Tours, I get to share my wonderful review with you of this great book. But first here's a bit about the book. 


Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 7th 2015 
Practice Makes Perfect. Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol. But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?
Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble


I adore how Kenneally is always able to make me change my opinion about a character she creates. I of course went in to Jesse’s Girl expecting to be wooed off my feet by Jesse in this book, but instead I found myself really miffed by his behaviour. I couldn’t understand that being in the spot light 24/7 and as famous as Jesse at such a young age makes you a vulnerable person that you have to keep your guard up. But when a person like Maya comes along and is given the chance to shadow you at least try and be polite. I was glad that Maya wasn’t one of those push over girls, but took Jesse’s mood swings in her stride. Even though Maya wasn’t a fan of Jesse, if a famous person had spoken to me in that way on our first meeting, I probably would have fled in tears. Jesse’s first appearance aside, I liked the concept that Kenneally gives us in Jesse’s Girl, Jesse and Maya are two very opposite sort of people and so having to work with one another for the day made them both see things a whole lot differently, (especially me! Where did this new Jesse come from?).

On the day Maya was set up to shadow Jesse was the highlight of this book for me. There was so much that Jesse and Maya were able to try out that neither of them had done before, that it made me wish that I could have one of these days full with laughter and fun for myself. And because this day was so ram packed with so much going on, and because of the relationship that was formed because of it made me feel as if this adventurous day took place over a few days instead. It was good seeing Jesse open up a bit more and let down his hair and although he didn’t feel he could fully trust Maya completely (which I understood after what he had been through) I liked that he went out all there to make the most of this day and give Maya a day she wouldn’t forget.

I really enjoyed seeing Maya and Jesse’s relationship unfold, with a lot of barriers along the way you never really knew which way things would go. But I appreciated this cute story that Kenneally gave us. What I think I was happier about was the appearance of one of my all time favourite characters. I always love going back to characters and finding out what’s going on with their lives again. This character had not changed one bit, but I loved him for his over protectiveness, his nature to want to achieve things by himself and not rely on others and for being the loveable character he always is.

Jesse’s Girl was a really unexpected sort of read for me, but one I still thoroughly enjoyed nevertheless. Kenneally was once again able to easily lure you into her stories with her gorgeous writing that you never want to leave her stories or characters! I can’t wait to meet more wonderful characters along the way!.



AUTHOR BIO: Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.





Friday, 3 July 2015

Review: Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 15th 2014
My rating: 4 stars 


Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race. But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

"If you don't put yourself out there, if you don't take risks, you can't truly feel"

Miranda Kenneally is an author whose books I know I can rely upon time and time again. This last month has been my worst reading month ever, I think I’ve only been able to finish one book and books which have been highly recommended to me too have been falling flat for me too. So with the release of Jesse’s Girl just around the corner, I was itching to get back to Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series, I have enjoyed every single one of these books so far and really just wanted to read a book that I was in the mood for. And honestly I couldn’t have picked a better book.

Annie had decided to take upon the marathon for her boyfriend Kyle, Annie’s never been a runner, so to accomplish this in such a short amount of time would be amazing. Annie had experienced a lot of heartache the last few months, so I was completely rooting for Annie to be able to complete the marathon not only for Kyle but for herself too. I liked how Kenneally didn’t give us the whole back story to Kyle and Annie’s relationship, but bits of it over the course of the story. I was super curious to find out what actually happened and what made Annie want to do this in the first place. It was a real struggle at times reading about Annie and Kyle’s time together, because it was such a beautiful relationship, but Kenneally eased us into their story perfectly. I also appreciated the way Kenneally showed Annie’s growth over the course of the book, yes there was potentially a great relationship that Annie could have with Jeremiah, but I liked how Annie decided to take her time until she was ready for it, also that Jeremiah was willing to give Annie all the time she needed. I always love this quality in a guy.

Jeremiah was also another fantastic guy that Kenneally has introduced us to (I hope you keep them coming!) yes he would go out there to get his adrenaline rush, but deep down he was such a sweet guy. The last couple of months for Annie had been really tough, she didn’t really have anyone or anything she could turn to, so Jeremiah coming along was the ray of sunshine that she needed all along. He could be such a goof at times and make me laugh out loud and then he could bust out with the most romantic line ever that would have you forever swooning. I always thought I knew who my favourite crush would be from the Hundred Oaks series, but now with the introduction of Jeremiah I’m not so sure.

Once again I loved how Kenneally infused a sports themed storyline into this book, If you didn’t know already I’m the biggest ever sports geek. But also this book couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I’d recently taken up running up in my spare time, so I could completely get into the running story line in this book. Also I do love it when authors keep you in the loop about how other favourite characters of yours from the series are getting on. I appreciate it more when it’s not just subtle mentions, but are around for most of the book too, so thanks once again Miranda for being the master at weaving previous characters into your work!

The Hundred Oaks series for me is one of the best series I have read in a long time, I’ve realised that each story I’ve become to love more and each character I end up falling for even more. I highly recommend everyone reading this series as it is one that no one should be missing out on!




Thursday, 2 July 2015

Review: Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson

Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication date: July 7th 2015
My rating: 2.5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20957871-return-to-me
The thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.

Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.

Told in first person alternating perspectives, language, music, and culture go along for the ride as Carter and Robin find their song.


My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed parts Song of Summer. Ms. Anderson was able to stir up dreamy feelings, and at times it was as if I was under a delicious, swoony spell.  Unfortunately, other parts were very angsty, and a few things just didn’t sit well with me.

Robin’s whole life revolves around music. She sings and plays several instruments and working at the Grape Country Dairy diner is helping her save for a coveted guitar. Even her ex-boyfriend, Trent, is all about music which made his dumping of her hard to take. She is still smarting over that, but that soon changes when Carter walks into the diner, and Robin goes into deep crush mode. He’s gorgeous and apparently smitten with Robin, too, the only drawback is Carter is deaf.  Still, they share an immediate and intense attraction.

Both Robin and Carter make attempts to fit into each other’s world, but as they soon come to discover that is no easy feat. Add in both Carter and Robin’s past love interests showing up and causing divisions, and you have a heck of a lot to overcome.

Robin’s life and happiness is so wrapped up in music, that is was ironic, and at times painful that she fell so hard for a person who was unable to share that important part of her life. 

Carter is comfortable in his life in the close-knit Deaf community back home, and he thoroughly detested any who looked at him as deficient, and I can understand where he was coming from. Having a hearing girlfriend was never on the agenda.

I really wanted to love this story. I read the synopsis and fell in love with the premise, but there were just too many things that didn’t work for me.

Trying to get along in the hearing world seemed like trying to get by in another country where you don’t speak the language.  It would be hard not to feel completely left out.  The same applied to Robin when she tried to hang out with Carter’s sister, and his ex-girlfriend, Jolene.  The awkwardness was amplified by the difference in their home base. Carter is a city guy and Robin is a small town girl. And, boy did Jolene jump on those insecurities! I couldn’t stand the drama caused by their exes; more so with Jolene, because Carter allowed it. I was NOT okay with that at all, one instance in particular. But that could just be me. I am a jealous sort of person, and some things that would bug me may not bother others.

I’m not a fan of insta-love romances, but sometimes they can work.  Robin and Carter had really amazing chemistry at the start, so I could’ve been on board had I felt the emotions to support it.  However, I never felt they shared their innermost thoughts; in fact Robin downplayed her absolute love of music whenever she was with Carter. She didn’t really share just how important and vital it was to her until the end.  They both felt like supreme outsiders in each other’s world at different times in the story, but never shared about that! How can you be close, be “in love” with someone when you don’t share what you’re thinking and feeling?  Also, Robin flies off the handle after making an assumption, and she blocks all attempts at explanation from Carter. If you love someone, you let them have the chance to explain! It was completely frustrating. 

Another big ding against this story is the open ending. I know some feel that an open ending is more realistic, especially in view of this being a YA, but that’s not me.  I am definitely not a fan, even if there is a little hope left there in the end.  I was not thrilled with how we got so little after everything. But hey, that’s me, and readers who don’t mind imagining their own HEA based of a little thread of hope thrown out there probably won’t have an issue. I like my endings nice and tightly wrapped up, realistic or not.  I read that the author has a Christmas novella possibly in the works.  I hope that’s true. I would like to read it for closure.





Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Monthly Recap: June




Hi all, seriously where did June go? Work once again was full on that I was only able to read a handful of books, I know every time the new month rolls around I always encourage myself to read more, but it's got to the point where I'm totally knackered or I have to be anti-social at lunch time in order to sneak a few pages in. That being said July looks good so far, hopefully my copy of Burn by Paula Weston will arrive (I'm super jealous of those that have got their copies already) and I'll be catching up with some blogger friends and meeting Sarah Alderson next month!! Eeekkkk! So here's how our month of June was for Rachel and I.



Number of Books read:
Jasprit: 4
Rachel: 15

Highest Rated Book(s): 
Jasprit: 

4 stars
  




Rachel:

5 Stars

Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1)

 
Lowest Rated Book(s):
Jasprit: 

DNF



Rachel:

2.5 Stars

Song of Summer


Books reviewed:

Jasprit: 
(click on titles for review link)


  

Rachel:

(click on titles for review link)

Suddenly One Summer Only a Promise (The Survivors' Club, #5) Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) After the End (After the End, #1)
Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1) The 9th Girl (Kovac and Liska #4) Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1)
Until the Beginning (After the End, #2) Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3)

 

Best read of last month:
Jasprit: Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally, it had been a long time coming since I'd read a book by Keneally, and I'm pleased to say once again that she did not disappoint. Kenneally always knows how to put a smile on my face and make me eager to gobble up more of her reads and books in general. 

Rachel: Romancing the Duke was such utter and complete fun. The narrator, Carmen Rose, truly made this wickedly delicious historical romance come to life!

Book which surprised me the most: 
Jasprit: An Ember in the Ashes, because it didn't end up being as fantastic as I was hoping it would be. I'd heard so many praises for this book, so was a little disappointed that it ended up as a DNF for me. I found myself constantly waiting for it to pick up somewhere.

Rachel:Well, that would be a tie for me: After the End and Until the Beginning by Amy Plum. I haven't had much success with Young Adult for some time now and this duology restored my faith somewhat. The heroine was strong and fiercely determined, and the hero made wonderful positive character growth.  Along with an awesome, action filled plot, this series was a hit for me.


Fictional crush of the month:
Jasprit: Jeremiah from Breath Annie Breathe. This guy was such a sweetheart, why do we never get guys like Jere in real life, who are patient, considerate and who can make you laugh when you're having a crap day.

Rachel: Ransom in Romancing the Duke was so swoonworthy! Rough and gruff to begin with but he couldn't hide his soft tender heart by the end.
 
Three books I'm most looking forward to this month:

Jasprit:
(Click on titles for Goodreads link)



  
  
With hardly anytime I've kind of been slacking when it comes to reading my review books, so with the constant great things I keep hearing about Emmy & Oliver and Every Last Word I can't wait to finally get stuck in. A Million Miles Away was a book I pre-ordered as soon as I heard about it, it sounds just like my sort of read, so I have my fingers crossed that I end up loving it!


 

Rachel:
(Click on titles for Goodreads link)
 
    Chasing River (Burying Water, #3)  The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2)


   Bookish Photo:



I (Rachel) won a very AWESOME giveaway from Joyousreads! Yay and thank you!!




Let us know how you did last month. Link us up an we'll come by to check it out!





Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read so far in 2015.

   

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week they post a new top ten list and ask fellow bloggers to share their lists on that topic.

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Top Ten Books I've Read so far in 2015.



  
  

  
  
  

  
     


For some reason I found it a real struggle choosing my top ten favourite reads for 2015 so far, I had read some amazing books at the beginning of the year, but my last couple of weeks hadn't been that great reading-wise. But these ten books were ones which genuinely blew me away with their amazing world building (Red Queen and A Court of Thorns and Roses), had me sobbing uncontrollably (Me Before You) and just had characters that I never wanted to let go. I'm actually quite surprised with some of the books which ended up being my favourites, as I'm a hardcore contemporary sort of girl, but I'm glad that some fantasy and historical fiction books were able to sneak their way in. 

Which books ended up being your favourite this year so far? Link me up!


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