*Arc Review* Maybe This Time- Kasie West

41473823One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

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My Review:

“I didn’t even care; he tasted like heaven and I felt like I was floating on air.”

Usually, with any Kasie West book, it’s an instant love for me. But this took me quite some time to get into and I felt as if I walked into the middle of a conversation. This was sort of cute, just not my favorite of hers.

At times I felt that there wasn’t much of a plot. There was no lead-way to what was happening, you just jump straight in head first. The banter between the two lead characters wasn’t as funny as her others. I felt the pure hatred flow between the pages because it burned like a roaring fire. I wasn’t actually sure if Andrew and Sophie were going to get to that inevitable point like in almost every other contemporary novel. It happened but it felt fake.

I did love seeing the working side of being a caterer and florist. It was interesting reading about all the things they go through to make everything perfect for your special day. I also really enjoyed the growing of Sophie’s family. She was really easy to judge a situation before she knew all the facts but in the end, it brought her family closer together.

Maybe This Time wasn’t my favorite but I didn’t hate it. We all know what to expect from contemporary novels but this one didn’t have that heart-eyed overflowing cuteness like all her others.

 

stacy

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*First Line Friday- 3/29/19* His Hideous Heart- Dahlia Adler

39127647Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation.

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining “Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morge”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).

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“The night that the stables burned, the air turned cold and still as in the dead of winter.”

stacy

*Arc Review* The Rumor- Lesley Kara

43894584When a single mother hears a rumor outside her son’s school, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another. . . . And now there’s no going back.

Rumor has it that a notorious killer, a woman who has been released from prison years after her brutal crime, is living under a new identity in Joanna’s seaside town. So who is the supposedly reformed murderer now living in their neighborhood? Suspicion falls on everyone.

As Joanna becomes obsessed with the case, her curiosity will expose her son and his father to a heartless psychopath who has killed—and may kill again. And she will learn how dangerous one rumor can become . . . and just how far she must go to protect those she loves from harm. She is going to regret the day she ever said a word. . . .

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My Review:

“All the others did what I said. I think they were a little bit scared of me. I’d had a good role model, you see. I knew how scary people acted. I knew the sorts of things they said. The way they looked at you and turned your insides to liquid. I was acting out the only thing I knew. What happened at home. What I’d seen. What I’d heard.”

This is going to be the best thriller of the year. Nothing has shocked me as much as this. When you think you have it all figured out, something comes along and makes you second guess everything. I will admit, I rolled my eyes and sighed because I was a hundred percent sure that I figured it out. And I was wrong, I was close but so very wrong. You’ll keep guessing right up until the end and that last sentence will blow your mind.

A notorious killer has been released from prison and may be living in a small town under a new identity. Joanna hears all the rumors and even gossips like all the other Moms to fit in. This killer is living in her town and everyone is a suspect.

Joanna is living with her son, Alfie in the town she grew up in to be closer to her Mother. When she goes to a book club and mentions the rumor of the unknown identity of the killer, things in her life take a weird turn. Someone starts to torment her. They post cryptic tweets on Twitter and even photoshop a picture of her son. She becomes uneasy and her mind starts to be controlled by these thoughts of who would be doing something like this to her and her family.

Joanna will do anything to protect the people she loves. But she may soon regret the day she shared a rumor…..

The Rumor is the debut thriller that everyone will be talking about. This book will be the reason why we all have trust issues. But this was so riveting and disturbing that you won’t be able to put it down. Just think twice before you spread that rumor, you never know who’s life you’ll ruin just by one little lie. That rumor could even cost you something precious in your life.

stacy

*First Line Friday* 3/22/19 Finale- Stephanie Garber

40381392Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

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The Beginning

“The first time Legend appeared in Tella’s dreams, he looked as if he’d just stepped out of one of the stories people told about him.”

stacy

*Arc Review* The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

39338454Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

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I received an arc from the First to Read website hosted by Penguin Random House.

You don’t know how excited I was when I saw this book pop up. I’ve been wanting to read this since I’ve finished The Kiss Quotient, which was one of my top romances of last year. It contained a nice mix of romance and diverse character portrayals throughout.

Book two is written in the same style where the main male character has autism whereas The Kiss Quotient the female lead has autism.

The storyline of the book is Khai feels as if he can’t find love since he doesn’t feel it, which makes him feel content. His is family takes matters into their own hands by going to Vietnam. They plan on bringing back a woman for him to meet for an arranged marriage. This is where Esme comes in (she is the other main MC). She is quiet, determined, and strong-willed. But she takes a chance to help her family to start a new life since she is living in an extremely poor part of Vietnam. In this awkward tale, can these two work?

Well, I enjoyed this one but not as much as The Kiss Quotient. I thought this book did a fantastic job of explaining the day to day life of someone dealing with autism, coming from myself who is special ed. Another thing I’ve come to learn, that I love in books, is a dual pov for the main characters. Esme was spot on as being very strong-willed while able to be vulnerable and always thinking about how to help her family. It’s harder to figure out what Khai is thinking due to this thought process. It was good but also confusing to figure out.

But this story was really cute. Esme is always trying to be her best and was always trying to help Khai be better. It takes time to like Khai because he is sooo stubborn but he has his cute moments. You just have to wait and see.

The plot mixed well, from Esme traveling from Vietnam to the States and the romance that blooms between Esme and Khai as he learns the things he can and can’t do. Helen paints a beautiful picture of how love can overcome anything.

My rating is 4/5 stars!

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justin

*Arc Review* Lie With Me- Philippe Besson

40539136The award-winning, bestselling French novel by Philippe Besson about an affair between two teenage boys in 1984 France, translated with subtle beauty and haunting lyricism by the iconic and internationally acclaimed actress/writer Molly Ringwald. 

We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I’m frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I’m holding on to him, that I’m holding on to him outside.

Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he’s never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair.

Dazzlingly rendered in English by Ringwald in her first-ever translation, Besson’s powerfully moving coming-of-age story captures the eroticism and tenderness of first love—and the heartbreaking passage of time.

My Review:

“This feeling of love, it transports me, it makes me happy. But it also consumes me and makes me miserable, the way all impossible loves are miserable.”

Lie With Me was that gut-wrenching read that makes you have trouble catching your breath. This was such a beautiful and harrowing story of young desire in the 1980s. You’ll have trouble keeping the tears from falling.

Even days after I finished this, my mind kept going back to this and it broke my heart all over again. I had to up my rating because of that. I can’t get this beautiful story out of there.

Philippe is talking to an interviewer at a hotel when he spots someone. A someone that resembles someone from his past. As he calls out his name and goes after him, he wishes with all his heart that this someone is Thomas. As fate would have it, it’s not but it’s someone else that will help him fill in the blanks of the past.

As the past comes spilling out of Philippe, what transpires is something so deep and wonderful that we don’t want it to end. In his younger years, he strikes up a secret romance with Thomas as love blooms between these two boys. After all this time, Philippe remembers everything and hopes that Thomas does as well. Things start to come together and what was once young love turns into fond memories that no one will ever forget or want to.

Lie With Me was one of the most gorgeous reads that I have ever read. There was something about this that touched my soul and I’ll never forget it. Besson paints a tender and beautiful tale of first loves and desire. It’s a really quick read that you will devour in one sitting because of its pure perfection.

If you get a chance to read this, do it. I dare you to tell me that this didn’t make you weep!!

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stacy