I’ll Meet You There

I’ll Meet you There by Heather Demetrios

I'll Meet You ThereIf seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper. (Goodreads)

The Story:

Skylar Evans is ready to say goodbye to life as she’s known it in Creek View: Small town, double-wide trailers, no real future in sight. But life away from home is promising. She has a full ride scholarship to study art far from away from the dead-ends surrounding her. All she has to do is get through three months of summer.

Three months.

The problem is that Skylar’s mom is going nowhere. When she’s fired from her job at Taco Bell she essentially falls apart, what little stability she’s built for her and her daughter quickly crumbling under the weight of bad decision after bad decision. To make ends meet Skyler takes on more hours at the Paradise, an odd motel off the highway. She does it not only to pull extra weight at home, but to avoid her mom’s latest loser boyfriend. Her mother can’t seem to get it together and Skyler fears she’ll never be able to leave her behind to truly pursue her dreams.

Josh Mitchell has different plans. His life took an unexpected detour when he lost a leg while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. He’s home again, but he’s not the same and he’s searching for a way, not only to build a life again, but to escape the pain and nightmares he’s enduring on a daily basis.

Skyler and Josh have always known each other, Josh, the cocky guy who was a legendary flirt, Skyler, the brainiac girl who was definitely going somewhere. They’re thrown together again when Josh returns to work at the Paradise and they develop a powerful bond that eventually becomes something more.

My Thoughts:

Holy cow. This book. It was crazy good.

The feelings. The massive swoons. It has everything.

Individually, I loved Skyler and Josh. They were the kind of people I’d always want to be around. Skyler is loyal to the end, even going to far as possibly giving up her dream—her full scholarship and ticket out of Nowhereland—to stay and take care of a mother who won’t (not can’t. Won’t) take care of herself. And what Sklyer isn’t willing to do for Josh. That girl—even before there’s a clear romance—is pretty much his only real friend at home. And Josh slowly sees he can let her in and show her the person he’s become in all his time away from home.

One of the great things about Josh is that there are chapters written from his perspective. They are beautiful and painful, tortured and fractured. Sure, he talks about Skyler sometimes and it’s sweet—but mostly, he talks about what he’s lived through and how he can’t leave it behind. It’s desperate and heartbreaking, and though I, personally, have no first-hand experience with PTSD, Demetrios paints such a vivid picture it left me stunned (and that much more grateful for our incredible soldiers).

It would be easy to pity either of these two–but don’t. Their struggles, their flaws, it’s what makes them amazing and human, and real. It makes them leap from the page and practically grab your heart from your chest. They have a beautiful, breathtaking story, a steamy hot romance (because did I mention that? Josh is all kinds of hot.), but it is also an all-consuming love story. You will not soon forget this story.

I hesitate to compare books to other books and characters to others because, of course, what I think and feel may differ from your opinion, but I have to say this.

When I was reading I’ll Meet You There, Skyler and Josh reminded me of another fictional couple I love: Taylor Markham and Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road. Please don’t misunderstand me, this is a completely different story. But these characters have that same pain, that same passion, that same crazy intensity.

This one is going down as a forever favorite. I’ll be reading and sharing it again and again.

Crush Intensity: 5/5 Amazing. READ THIS BOOK! Swoon City, all the way.

Thank you to Sandie and Daphne for recommending and sending this one to me. You girls felt this was “A Tammy Book” and you were SO right. As you both already know, I loved it.


“I don’t really know what it means to move on, but lately, with Sky, I’m starting to feel like I want to because when I look at her, I don’t see you or the war or any of the shit in my head. I just see her, and it’s like suddenly I can breathe again after holding my breath for so long.”–Josh

“It occurred to me that we were the same, in a way. Both of us treading water, pushing against forces we couldn’t control.”–Skyler

“He tasted like hope and healing. He tasted like the future.”–Skyler

Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding (Princess Diaries #11) by Meg Cabot

Royal WeddingFor Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia’s gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn’t need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother’s leaked “fake” wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia’s father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone–especially herself–that she’s not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well? (Goodreads)

It’s been fifteen years since the publication of the first Princess Diaries book.

I know.

It’s gone by so fast.

And as many of you know, The Princess Diaries is my all-time favorite series. The books make me so happy because, while I was an adult when the first one was published, I felt Meg Cabot had tapped into who I was as a teenager. She perfectly, hilariously, described the thoughts that went through my head in high school (and, okay, sometimes as a grown up) and she introduced me to characters I fell in love with and, in a funny, bookworm way, bonded with.

And don’t even get me started on my boyfriend, Michael Moscovitz, Fake Man of My Dreams. There aren’t enough words, you guys.

Needless to say, I lost my mind when I found out there was going to be another Princess Diaries book. When I had the opportunity to read an early copy through Edelweiss, I DEVOURED it. I read endless excerpts to my adorable husband, sent crazy texts to my BFF (because, Michael, hello), and then read it again. Because I loved it.

The Story:

Mia is now twenty-six years old, a college graduate running a community center named after her dearly departed stepfather, Frank Gianni. She is still the Princess of Genovia, fulfilling her royal duties while balancing life with her longtime boyfriend, Michael Moscovitz.  As usual, Mia’s life is insane. She now lives in an apartment above the Genovian consulate, and is still guarded by Lars. She has a creepy stalker and she’s continuously hounded by the press for both political and personal reasons, so much so that often she can barely leave her home. A lesser man would have run in the other direction years ago, but Michael hangs in there, always making Mia see the positive, helping her deal with everything life throws her way, even as he continues to run his successful robotics firm. When the two finally get engaged it is blissful— until Grandmere goes bananas. The timing is perfect because the Renaldo family has been hit with a major scandal (one of a few they’ve been dealing with) as she sees this as a perfect press opportunity.

My Thoughts:

This book is sweet perfection.

I do not want to spoil the adorable, sweet details, nor do I wish to fill you in on the lives of the many other characters you and I have grown to love (simply because it’s such a treat to read about it). Rest assured, you will hear from Grandmere and Mia’s family, Tina, Boris, and the ever-hilarious Lilly. There are even appearances by Paolo and Lana. And more! But again, I don’t want to spoil it.

Diving into Mia’s life again is pure heaven. I adored it, enjoyed every single moment. As a fan, it was fun catching up with these characters that I’ve fallen in love with. But there’s more to it than that: there’s such a sense of delight I felt in seeing who they’ve become as adults. Their lives aren’t perfectly mapped out yet because they’re still young, but it’s so satisfying to see them as grown ups and observe how they’ve changed (and how they’ve stayed the same). I also loved seeing Mia and Michael’s relationship on a mature level. Michael is such a solid, steadying force in Mia’s crazy life, much like when they were teenagers. He loves her—freakouts, crazy family and all. They have such an adorable connection, both in their everyday discussions, in their sex life, and in the way they view their future. They are a sweet picture of romantic love, the kind you search your whole life to experience.

I loved this book. You don’t have to be a Princess DIaries fan to enjoy it, but if you are one, you will walk away with a giant smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart. This is everything we hoped it would be.

Crush Intensity: Eleven Million/5

One more quick, funny note. Michael and Mia’s wedding date is my birthday. When I saw this I may have spazzed out and texted my BFF, saying “I feel this is somehow significant.” She agreed, as any best friend would.

Thank you to William Morrow and Edelweiss for giving me an e-galley of Royal Wedding (which I read three times).

Royal Wedding is in stores TODAY! I’m going to buy a copy. Are you?


Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion #2) by Aimee Carter

CaptiveFor the past two months, Kitty Doe’s life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister’s niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she’s accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she’ll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price? (Goodreads)


Captive is the sequel to Pawn. If you haven’t read the first book, I suggest you check it out…otherwise you may be just a teensy bit lost what with all the spoilers here and the rambling about characters you haven’t even had time to hate yet (Benji: hate. Knox: kiss).


Let’s get back up to speed:


Still masked as Lila Hart, Kitty is living under the reign of her evil Prime Minister uncle, Daxton Hart. As we learned in the previous book, Daxton is a big fat phony whose true identity is unknown because he’s been masked as well (meaning the real Daxton is probably dead). Cue that soap opera music! Augusta, the matriarch and true Evil Mastermind of the family, is a goner thanks to Kitty shooting her in the last book. Cecilia (Daxton’s sister) and the real Lila are in hiding now and the Blackcoats are moving forward in planning their rebellion. Knox, Lila’s fiancé (that Kitty has to pretend to be engaged to) is still deeply involved with the Blackcoats. He continues to play the game along with Kitty, trying to guide her through things, even helping her arrange private meetings with her snore inducing boyfriend Benji (whom he’s tagged as his personal assistant).

Feeling caught up?

In Captive, things pick up right where they left off. It’s Lila’s birthday soiree and Kitty is being her typical whiny self (I do like her, I swear) and moaning about how she wants to run away somewhere with Benji and live a boring happy life. Because that’s possible. Benji, ever patient, agrees to run away with her but the whole plan falls apart when they’re caught by Daxton himself. This is because Kitty breaks into Daxton’s safe and steals a file containing his true identity. Fake Daxton does not like that. Kitty hides the file somewhere no one can find it, leaving Daxton is furious. Let’s just say that someone ends up dead, someone turns out to be a major traitor, and someone else goes to Elsewhere (hence the book title).

This whole portion of the book was a little slow for me. Maybe it’s because, while I expected Kitty to continue to rebel, I imagined her doing it from the Hart home, right under Daxton’s nose. I didn’t want to see Elsewhere or imagine Kitty there. But things got very interesting. Elsewhere introduced a new group of characters, those you’ll instantly hate, those you’ll instantly love, and those you aren’t entirely sure you should trust. Kitty finds Blackcoats there as well, and she learns that while she’s still a prisoner, the fellow residents look up to her as a voice for their cause. Even Mercer, the hardened man who runs her sector, along with his wife, Hannah, offer her a place to stay (not that they’re nice). It’s difficult for Kitty to know who to trust, especially when her situation seems hopeless.


My Thoughts:

As I mentioned, even though I thought Pawn was great, this was a tough start for me. More than halfway through it I was interested but not fully invested. And then there was this moment where it all clicked and I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. There are many twists and turns and revelations. Kitty is better this time around because she grows to be very bold. She begins to worry less about herself and her happy ending with Benji and she sees the bigger picture. Hallelujah! Upping the stakes are a few new characters who are in a category unto themselves (Friend? Enemy? Frenemy?). I can’t even address the love triangle without serious spoilers (which stinks since that’s always my favorite part to discuss). Suffice it to say that there is some serious and well-deserved tension in Kitty’s relationship with Knox. Benji, on the other hand, is still the President of Snoozerville. I just nodded off while typing that.

If you liked Pawn I think this is worth your time. The end portion is particularly good, the kind of book I lost sleep over because I couldn’t put it down. Don’t you just love that?

Crush Intensity: 4/5 Captive grew on me. I’m eagerly anticipating the third and final book, Queen.

Where’d I Get It: This one was a Christmas present. It’s all mine!

Take Me On

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4) by Katie McGarry

Take Me On

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for. (Goodreads)


Haley’s family is struggling. They live with her uncle and cousin because her dad is out of work. They’ve lost their home and pretty much everything else and life is rough. As a former championship kickboxer, Haley now finds herself training West Young (brother to Rachel. That’s Rachel of Isaiah and Rachel, be still my heart). West got caught up in a tangle when trying to defend Haley to her abusive ex boyfriend and now he and said boyfriend—another boxer—are due to fight.


West and Haley have an obvious attraction to each other, but West is hiding who he truly is. He’s been kicked out of the Young home and forced to leave his fancy private school because of a strained relationship with his father. He wants to be there for Rachel as she recovers from her debilitating accident but he feels like the black sheep of the Young empire. Haley has no idea West comes from such a privileged background, and worse, she has no idea there is possibly a connection between the Youngs and her family’s troubles (you knew it right? There HAD TO BE). The two try to keep things professional, but their chemistry is undeniable and as they get deeper and deeper, West knows he has to tell Haley the truth. Either way, he knows he could lose her.



My Thoughts:

For me, nothing in this series will top Crash Into You. Apparently I have a thing for Isaiah. Seriously. I scoured this book for his name (he’s in there!). Still, all of the books in this series have been solid because Katie McGarry is so gifted in the art of writing sexual tension. She’s also pretty adept at writing an interesting bad boy. West isn’t your typical baddie because he’s not from the wrong side of the tracks, but he’s definitely somewhat destructive and willing to go against what the world expects of him. Haley, while from the rough part of town, is a sweet girl who cannot catch a break. I felt such compassion for her and a longing for her to find a way out of the nightmare of her life. That’s not all found in love, but I think love helps her believe there’s a better way and that’s a start.


This was a good story. Was it amazing? Not really, but I liked it. I enjoyed the will they or won’t they. I ate up the lingering glances and all the feelings. And I was chomping at the bit for some kissing. Here, McGarry does not disappoint.


Crush Intensity: 4/5 Not my favorite of the bunch, but a fun read all the same.


Where’d I Get It: The library

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

Top Ten CluesTop Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments. (Goodreads)



The Story:

Chloe works at GoodFoods Market. She has a crush on her co-worker, Tyson, who is seriously nicer than nice (everyone should have a crush on Tyson). It’s Christmastime and someone has stolen a megaton of money from the donation bin. Like, somewhere in the range of ten thousand buckaroos. Chloe cannot wait to get out of the hellhole known as work, but all of the teenaged employees are on lockdown until Management gets some answers on whose got the sticky fingers.


My Thoughts:

For some reason, I struggled with this book. I liked Chloe. She was funny. I loved that Czukas gave her an insulin pump, as she’s a diabetic, not because diabetes is in any way funny, of course, but because I think it’s wonderful to have a heroine who struggles with the issues that real girls have. I also loved the fact that Chloe obsessively makes lists because this shows that she’s clearly my people. The co-workers are all funny and the dynamic between them all was enticing…for a while. At a certain point, though, the story ran out of steam. There wasn’t a whole lot going on, and thus, as much as I liked certain characters, they weren’t interesting after a while.

I’ve read many reviews online, and most people seem to really like this book. I’m not sure why I didn’t. In some ways, it reminded me a bit of Love and Other Perishable Items (though more lighthearted).


Crush Intensity: 2.5/5


Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Teen for providing me with an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.



Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

I like the whole Tinkerbelle thing going on here. This series has such great cover art.

I like the whole Tinkerbelle thing going on here. This series has such great cover art.

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel. (Goodreads)






If you have not read The Raven Boys, or The Dream Thieves, first off, I’m sad for you. Second, I cannot be held responsible for any spoilers that might get spoilery and possibly spoil things for you. You have been warned.

Let’s catch up:

Maura is gone. Totally up and left and no one seems to know where to find her. Adam still has this weirder than weird connection with the Cabeswater that I don’t think even he understands. Blue still wants to kiss Gansey’s face off but, you know, based on everything she’s been told, it could kill him soooooo maybe now’s not the time. Gansey, unaware that Blue believes she will one day cause her true love’s death, pines for her too, his loyalty to Adam the only thing keeping him away. All the world is still a little bit in love with Gansey—except Ronan (oh, Ronan), who has it bad for Adam. Blue’s family is still as quirky as all get out, and they, along with Blue and her Raven boys, continue to search for the mysterious Glendower. They enlist outside help in the form of some new, interesting characters, and some new bad guys start sniffing around, making life even more difficult. You following?

That’s the main thing with this series, a series I LOVE. I have a hard time keeping up. The characters are amazing. Each book tells the story, with a slightly heightened focus on another character. And the whole idea, the whole setting—all of it—it’s totally bananaballs, but in, like, the best way possible. However, trying to keep it all straight –BECAUSE SO MUCH HAPPENS and SO MUCH OF IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRAZY–is difficult. The writing is incredibly gorgeous, as the previous two have been, but take my advice and read the first books again. Or at least skim them.

All things considered, this installment was very, very it good. I’d say it was my least favorite of the three so far, but it maintained the spirit of awesome we’ve come to expect from Blue and the boys. Definitely read it, be prepared for a few WHAT THE WHATS, and know that the end will, like its predecessors, leave you hanging on like a yo yo (see how I did that? I made you want to listen to a Wham song).

Crush Intensity: 4.25/5 Anxiously awaiting book four. The last one. Sob!

Thank you to Netgalley and Scholastic for giving me an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty

Gorgeous cover. I love it.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love. (Goodreads)

I’m a HUGE sucker for any fairy tale retelling, so I have no idea why I waited so long to read this book. In any case, I started reading it and could not put it down until I was finished (except for sleep. Damn that sleep).

The Story:

Because of a deal struck before her birth, Nyx ( I know. I can’t decide if I loathe or love that name. Still up in the air there) is destined to marry the Gentle Lord. Despite his moniker, he is the evil demon who rules over the land. Everyone there is his captive, held at bay by the constant threat that he’ll unleash his demons–over whom he also rules–to spread terror. While Nyx hates her betrothed, and despises the father whose traded her life away, she wants to fulfill her destiny and kill the Gentle Lord in the name or her people, finally freeing them from his reign.

But, surprise, surprise, the Gentle Lord, otherwise known as Ignifex,  is not quite what she expects. He’s frightening, yes, but charming and funny. And his house, while terrifying, is an enigma, a labyrinth of changing rooms and mysteries. Nyx longs to save her land, especially her dear twin sister, but she also begins to feel something for Ignifex–an odd mix of lust and hate. She wonders if maybe his plight has been misunderstood and if perhaps he isn’t the one pulling the strings.

My Thoughts:

This is not your typical, Disney-fied Beauty and the Beast.

Disney B&B

As much as I love this…nope.

From the moment Ignifex, enters the picture, I was hooked. Pull up a chair and charm my socks off why don’t you, you evil demon?  That may sound shallow, I know, but I really love characters who aren’t what they’re supposed to be (even when you know it’s Beauty and the Beast and the Beast isn’t so ghastly). I mean, yes, he has red, cat-like eyes (creepers!), and he is very naughty what with this Rumplestiltskin-ish way he loves to bargain with desperate people (Nyx’s father among them). But there is something there, something kind. He’s evil, no question, because that’s his job, but he’s more like someone who has merely accepted his fate than someone who overtly does bad things.

Like this, only hot and not super-evil to the core. More like a slave.

Like this, only hot and not super-evil to the core. More like a slave (So, outside of the bargains, not like this at all).

I liked Nyx because she’s sassy and flawed beyond measure. It’s obvious to Ignifex from day one that she, like his eight wives before, will try to kill him (and this amuses him), but she’s not even shy about it. Maybe it’s not the best strategy, but I think that’s what he likes about her. In a way, there are very much alike. Nyx doesn’t want her fate. She hates that her father sentenced her to it, but she accepts it. She accepts that not only must she destroy the Gentle Lord, but she must, more than likely, die in the process. Neither Nyx nor Ignifex is dishonest about the darkness in their hearts, and while it’s what could ultimately pull them apart, I think it brings them together too.

Now, I definitely had some issues. First, can we just stop putting things like “Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast” in book blurbs (it was on this book’s online blurb and I removed it because REALLY?)? This book is nothing like Graceling. Nothing. Second, Nyx lived in an interesting land (one I can’t recall the name of, sorry), but we didn’t learn a ton about it or the people. There was a lot of Greek mythology thrown in, which is always fun, but sometimes it felt confusing as to how it all fit into society and their ways. I would have liked more there. My biggest issue, however,  was with the ending, which felt sort of rushed and jumbled together. It was not at all the way I expected things to happen (and that’s fine) but it felt forced a bit. I wish the pacing had slowed, maybe having less happen, but with more meaning. The love story also came on pretty fast, but I think the author shows us their connection in most of their encounters, so I bought it.

Also, did I mention that I LOVED Ignifex? Not sure if that was clear. Maybe it’s because I pictured him sort of like this:

Yeah. That works.

You are SO welcome.

Despite my few complaints, this was a good book. It was fun. If you are a fantasy or fairy tale fan I think you’ll enjoy it.

Crush Intensity– 4.0/5

Where’d I Get It: Why, the library, of course, just like Belle would.

The One

The One by Kiera Cass (The Selection #3)

The One


The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants. (Goodreads)




This is the final book in The Selection series. If you have not read The Selection, or The Elite, you should do so immediately. There are spoilers ahead. And you don’t want to do that! You hate spoilers as much as I do, come on.

This book picks up right after The Elite. In that book, America, Maxon, and Aspen all pretty much act like idiots. Aspen keeps professing his love for America despite the fact that that ship has sailed, man. America loves Maxon, but wait, she’s jealous because he’s sort of playing the game and getting a little lovey with some of the other girls. And certain incidents involving certain contestants getting hot and heavy with the help put Maxon in the role of Bad Guy Who Has to Punish Them. So, it makes sense that America, in her horror over the whole drama, starts to secretly make out with Aspen. I know. What the what? Aspen is creepy. I hated him in that book. And the secret makeouts made me hate America (but I loved that book).

Now, in book three, America has realized her wrongs and she wants to get back in the game with Maxon. She really does love him and…shocker, he loves her too. Any idiot can see that. Papa Maxon (otherwise known as The King) causes some problems because he really hates America and her sassy ways, but Maxon seems pretty devoted. Still, the Selection hasn’t actually been made official yet, so America always wonders about her place. To make matters worse, there are more attacks on the palace and in outlying areas. It begins to feel like even if America wins the Selection and the heart of Maxon, she’ll never truly have her happy ending because there is such unrest and unfairness in the way the caste system is set up.

I enjoyed this book mostly because it was so good to finally get closure. We learn Maxon’s true heart, and we see his final choice. We get to see even more depth as to how difficult it is for him to stand up to his father, and we see even more of what a terrible man the king is. We also learn more about the palace attacks and both the groups trying to plan them, and those trying to stop them. This is an interesting part of the story and I wish there had been more to it. I felt it was built up over the course of the series, and while the story was good, I would have been happy with more.

I’m also happy to say that I really, really liked Aspen in the end. He had a good story and ended up being a great guy. There are actually a few people in this series I was prepared to hate who surprised me in the end. That was refreshing. Ultimately though, there were some good, good moments with Maxon.

I enjoyed this book, but I was also happy to see it all come to a close. It felt a tiny bit like these characters, as much as I enjoyed them and their story, were overstaying their welcome just a teensy bit.

Crush Intensity: 4.0/5 Slow start but a nice, happy ending tied up with a bow. For those who want the story to continue, it does. The Heir is coming out in May.


The Taking

The Taking (Book #1) by Kimberly Derting


The TakingA flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own? (Goodreads)


The Skinny:

After an argument with her father, Kyra sees a blinding light. She wakes up later behind the local Gas N Sip with no memory of where she’s been. After she stumbles home, she finds out that she’s been missing for five years. In that time Kyra hasn’t aged a day. She has the same bruise she got goofing around with her best friend the night before she disappeared. She looks the same–but she feels different. And worse, her whole life is unrecognizable. Her parents have divorced, her mom is remarried and has another child, and her dad has gone over the edge, drinking and rambling conspiracy theories about alien abductions that sound closer to The X Files than reality. Kyra’s boyfriend, Austin, and her best friend are now twenty-two and away at college,  in love with each other, living the life she was always supposed to live, bought together by the mysterious disappearance of Kyra. Now, her only friend is Tyler, Austin’s little brother. The last time Kyra saw him he was thirteen years old, but now he’s grown, he’s mature, and he’s trying to help her ease into her new life.


My Thoughts:

I was really excited to read this because I love Derting’s series, The Body Finder. Or, more specifically, I love Jay Heaton (so I had some high swoon hopes here). Unfortch, this book didn’t do it for me.

I was completely enticed by the whole alien abduction angle. I’m not a believer in that sort of thing, but I’m normally mesmerized by shows like Ancient Aliens and the like–mostly because there is a level of crazy there that is so sincere I have to respect it. I also thought the idea of Kyra coming back to her life five years later–physically unchanged, but her life in total dissaray– was very interesting. And yeah, the whole thing with the boyfriend and best friend hooking up? I’m not going to lie, it caught my attention because it’s so plausible that they’d fall in love from clinging to each other when they believed Kyra was gone for good.

The problem for me is that, while this book had great potential, it fell really short of my expectations. Kyra’s dad has spent her five year absence going crazy and delving into the online forums of those who believe they’ve been abducted by aliens. And when he tells Kyra this, she blanches, of course. But other than reiterating the bright light they both saw the night she vanished, Derting doesn’t really go into detail about what exactly convinced him he was on the right path.  I think I would have preferred to be pulled in to that world. Instead, she focused on Kyra and Tyler. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a good romance and Tyler is a solid character (I had a tough time with the younger brother thing, mostly because there is no way I would have ever gone out with my boyfriend’s little brother. Gross), and there are some good moments  between these two. But Kyra, WHO HAS NO IDEA WHERE SHE’S BEEN FOR FIVE YEARS, spends an awful lot of time thinking about Tyler, and grinning like a fool, and thinking about how she shouldn’t be thinking about him, and being mad that her boyfriend and best friend are together, and thinking about Tyler more. I don’t know, I just think that realistically, she might have bigger things going on. Things progressed too quickly with Tyler, especially when, early on, we’re asked to believe that Kyra and Austin are hopelessly in love.

There is obviously a big mystery surrounding Kyra’s disappearance, including two people following her. One is just some random, strange dude, and one is an agent from the NSA. While I found this all to be very cool, it went so slowly (wedged in between moments with Tyler and moments where Kyra wandered around her house aimlessly) and then suddenly, it took off and I felt like I got an information overload.

Funny enough, the agent following Kyra around reminded me of the guys from The Matrix.

The MatrixThat is totally how I pictured him.

In short, I was very disappointing in this book. It had potential, and while it wasn’t terrible (there were moments I couldn’t put it down), it wasn’t great.


Crush Intensity: 2.5-3.0/5

Where’d I Get It: The library


Being Audrey Hepburn

Being Audrey Hepburn by Mitchell Kriegman

being audrey hepburnLisbeth comes from a broken home in the land of tube tops, heavy eyeliner, frosted lip-gloss, juiceheads, hoop earrings and “the shore.” She has a circle of friends who have dedicated their teenage lives to relieve the world of all its alcohol one drink at a time.

Obsessed with everything Audrey Hepburn, Lisbeth is transformed when she secretly tries on Audrey’s iconic Givenchy. She becomes who she wants to be by pretending to be somebody she’s not and living among the young and privileged Manhattan elite. Soon she’s faced with choices that she would never imagine making – between who she’s become and who she once was. (Goodreads)


I was really excited to read this because of my background in fashion and well, because of this:


I don’t think there’s a girl in the world who hasn’t imagined themselves in this dress and known how different they’d feel with it on (that’s the draw of high fashion, right?).

But I struggled with this book. It started out with a bang. It was fun and witty and cute, but somewhere fairly early on, it lost me. Maybe it was some of the family drama with a difficult mom, maybe it was the possible love interest from Jersey (or the one from Lisbeth’s new life), or perhaps how implausible everything felt–but I could not get into this book.

I’m interested to know if anyone else has read it. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mindset and need to give it another go? For now, it’s safe to say, that while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.


Crush Intensity: 2.75-3.0/5


Where’d I Get It: An e-galley from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press.  Thank you!