Review ~ Slammed by Coleen Hoover

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Title: Slammed

Series: Slammed #1

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: January 5, 2012

Genre: Contemporary YA/NA Romance

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

Goodreads * Amazon

So, I’ve read every single book out there that Colleen Hoover has written, except her first Slammed series. BUT, I’m rectifying that now with my very own personally autographed series!

My ****4.5**** Star Review

It’s kind of weird reading her first book last. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, I did expect the typical CoHo, but I know first books can sometimes be a little off while authors are finding their groove. And, after reading the first little bit, I thought I was in for that, but then, oh, she grabbed me. She reached right out of the pages, grabbed me by my shirt collar, and yanked me right inside!

I’m talking one plot twist after another. Joy. Pain. Will. Did I mention Will? He SLAMMED me! He owned me with his first poetic words. I mean, all of a sudden I am LOVING POETRY! Seriously! I’m making the crap up in my head, staring at the back of my eyelids when I should be in bed! She’s inspiring! You can’t read these words without the urge to go write.

As is typical with all of Colleen’s books, you’ll fall for all of the characters. She always does such an amazing job at developing all of her minor characters.
You’ll love Lake. She struggles, but you’ll completely understand. Your heart will break for her. And Will. Did I mention Will? Yeah, well, he’s
AMAZING!

There really isn’t much more that needs to be said. As I’ve mentioned previously, CoHo doesn’t need good reviews. Her name speaks for itself!

P.S. I’m already reading Point of Retreat, so expect a review soon. I mean I did devour Slammed in just one evening!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ A Stone in the Sea

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Title: A Stone in the Sea

Series: Bleeding Stars #1

Author: A.L. Jackson

Publication Date:

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

This is one of those books where the very first chapter leaves you wanting more.

Baz is full of mystery. You will be left with more questions than answers in the beginning. It will all start unraveling, though, and the full truth will be exposed. Shea has her secrets, too, and when all is revealed, things get nasty!

I loved seeing the chemistry build between Baz & Shea. You can feel the sexual tension between them. Baz is an MC rider & a bad boy rocker. Not many could resist!

But, there’s more to this story than the romance. There are evil people out to make things bad for them. Baz and Shea both have someone out to get them. The question is will it tear them apart?

I can tell you that you’ll still be left with questions at the end and one heck of a cliffhanger! Those of you that like a nice tidy finish will probably want to hold off for now. But those of you that don’t mind the wait, go pick this one up. This book will definitely bring the FEELS!!

She’d asked me what I wanted from her. The problem was I had no clue. All I knew was it was more. That I wanted more of her dark and her light and her heavy and her soft. I wanted more of her sweet breaths and more of her pounding heart.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Distance Between Lost and Found

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Title: The Distance Between Lost and Found

Author: Kathryn Holmes

Publication Date: Feb. 17, 2015

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction

Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

This is one of those books that sucks you in with the first line. There’s a good bit of mystery as to Hallie’s story with Luke, the preacher’s son. You feel sorry for her, but then you’ll start questioning everything she does, everything that’s happened. But, the answers slowly start leaking out. Then when Hallie finds herself lost with Jonah and Rachel, everything will eventually come out.

While the kids are lost, there are some pretty scary moments. The drama is intense, but I would still have to say that this story is character driven. The main story always revolves around Hallie coming to terms with her past and a possible reconciliation with her former friend Jonah whose interests may be a bit stronger. Hallie’s new friend Rachel plays a key role in helping Hallie recognize her own faults and role in her current circumstances.

There are lots of discussions throughout the story about God and his existence and role in their lives. The next sentence may be spoilerish to some, but some parents may be concerned about the direction the story takes concerning God, so I’ll share. Ultimately, the author takes no definitive stand one way or another, so readers can draw their own conclusions. You could make plenty of arguments for or against His existence and role in their lives, and quite frankly I think this book can make for some awesome discussions between teens and their parents – not just concerning God, either. There are lots of issues and blurred lines in this story that can make for some great teaching and mentoring points. I highly recommend this book for teens and parents looking for books that inspire great discussions and debates.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Gone Girl

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Title: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publication Date: Jan. 1, 2012

Genre: Contemporary Adult Fiction/Mystery/Suspense

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4 Star**** Review

So, I have to confess that I was a little slow at getting into this one. However, I read it alongside a group of friends, and a couple of them devoured the book from page 1. I think it’s just a matter of personal preference. I want a hero/heroine. I want to connect with someone. This isn’t one of those books. But, if you’re a lover of “who done it” books, and you don’t need to feel faith in anyone, then this will probably be your book!

It is one giant mystery. I will say that it is highly probable that you will figure out who did it, too. But, it’s still not predictable. Even if you figure it out, you won’t have figured out the whole scenario, and you’ll still be impressed. I was, and I didn’t even really “like” the book. I can respect the writing and the story, though. I have to admit that even though I didn’t like the characters (because of their character, not lack of development), I still found myself at times flipping quickly through the pages to figure something out.

Wrapping this up, if you NEED hearts and flowers, then this isn’t for you. If you love a good crime mystery, then I highly suggest it! Would I read another Gillian Flynn? It’s certainly possible.

Happy Reading,

Alison