Category Archives: Ya Romance

Review: Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

Walk the Edge
(Thunder Road, #2)
By: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.

 

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Review: Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

neverNever Never
(Never Never, #1)
By: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Publisher: Self-published
Published: Jan. 7, 2015
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:
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Goodreads

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.

Complete strangers since this morning.

He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.

 

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Review: Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame

loveyouDid I Mention I Love You?
(The DIMILY Trilogy #1)
By: Estelle Maskame
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: Dec. 1, 2015
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:
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Goodreads

When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

 

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Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

MLNDMy Life Next Door
(My Life Next Door, #1)
By: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Published: June 14, 2012
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:
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Goodreads

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

 

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Review: Mia and the Bad Boy by Lisa Burnstein

25446202Mia and the Bad Boy
(Backstage Pass, #2)
By: Lisa Burnstein
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Published: May 19, 2015
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:
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Goodreads

This good girl’s about to meet her match…

Ryder Brooks is living the dream—he’s famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet’s sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the “bad boy” of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new—and super cute—über-good-girl tutor.

Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It’s a dream come true…until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He’s crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She’s roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he’s being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room…

But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.

 

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Review: Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca

21825486Last Year’s Mistake
By: Gina Ciocca
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:
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Goodreads

Before:
Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decided to move away, she couldn’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn’t ready to let her go…

After:
Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

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Review: One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin

22957535One of the Guys
By: Lisa Aldin
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: Feb 10, 2015
Genre: Contemporary YA
Rating:
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Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She’ll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she’s sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a “lady” while the guys move on without her. Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine s Rent-A-Gent Service. But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends–the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she’s built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.”

 

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Review: Cipher by Aileen Erin

21943833Cipher
(The Shadow Ravens, #1)
By: Aileen Erin
Publisher: Ink Monster
Published: Oct. 14, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Rating:
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In the not-too-distant future, the color of your helix tattoo shows exactly how your DNA was modified—green for super-smart scientists, black for pumped-up warriors, white for the immortal Seligo—but Cipher’s red helix is a death sentence. It’s a sign of unstable DNA, which is probably the reason she can manipulate electricity.

When she was eight years old, Cipher made the mistake of showing her uncle the tattoo. In return, he killed her parents and tried to kidnap her.

She’s been on the run ever since, and twelve long years later, Cipher is tired of hiding. Survival isn’t enough anymore. She wants her life back.

Hacking into the Citadel mainframe is a huge risk, but it pays off when she finds a database on red helixes. Before she can copy it, she loses control of her power, charring her last processor, and the only person in the Arizona Voids that can get her back online is her oldest friend, Knightly. She hasn’t seen him in person since she started running, and Knight 2.0 is fully upgraded with a six-pack and knee-melting smile.

For a girl like Cipher, trust doesn’t come easily, but Knight makes her yearn for a life she knows she can’t have, especially when every secret she reveals endangers them both.

 

1thoughts
Cipher’s helix tattoo is red which means that since she was little, she’s been on the run. She’s learned a lot of tricks that have kept her alive over the years. But when a hacking job calls too much attention to herself she has to put her trust in a group of guys who are not only part of the military that hunts her kind, but they also share the same mysterious raven tattoo that Cipher has.

I thought this was going to be a sci-fi young adult story but it’s really more of a romance novel that’s set in the near future. There isn’t a lot that’s actually futuristic, aside for the whole helix tattoo thing. I was also a little disappointed that the romance overshadows everything. The story is in both Cipher and Knight’s POV. These two met when they were little kids and unknowingly kept in contact via online. Knight has been Cipher’s computer part supplier. Meanwhile, Knight has actually been looking for Cipher (aka Emma) because his secret mission is to save the red helix’s and he’s had a soft spot for his childhood friend throughout the years. So when they meet each other they instantly fall in love. I mean, we are like two days in and there’s talk about marriage. I don’t know. I was really thinking there would be more sci-fi but that was not the case.

If you are looking for a kick-ass sci-fi story, this is not it. I think those who would enjoy the story the most would be anyone who’s looking for a young adult romance. Unfortunately for me, when I picked this book up, I was looking for a kick-ass sci-fi story.

 

1favequote“Well, why don’t you shit in one hand and wish in the other. Let’s see which fills up faster.”

kRISTIN

Review: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

20757528Whatever Life Throws at You
By: Julie Cross
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: Oct. 7, 2014
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:
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Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas’s life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she’s living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie has dreams of her own—most of which involve placing first at every track meet…and one starring the Royals’ super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. The last thing she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn’t just a game. It’s life. And sometimes, it can break your heart…

 

1thoughtsAnnie’s father has just been hired to be an extra pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals (major league baseball). She’s excited to start a new life in KC… that is, until she realizes how flippin’ cold it gets. However, she makes the best of it and joins the track team at her all girls catholic school (she’s not even religious), and becomes friends with the first baseman’s daughter, Lenny (who also attends her school). What she isn’t expecting is to fall in love with the rookie pitcher, whom her father’s career is hanging on. You see, both men are on a trial run right now with the team, if the 19 year old rookie pitcher does bad, then her father does bad, and if the rookie doesn’t make the cut, Annie’s father gets the boot as well.

Julie Cross wrote an amazing story about young love that will give you butterflies. I thought this would be another cute young adult romance but I LOVED this. These characters don’t start off with the insta-love, or even the insta-lust. Nope, Julie did this romance the right way. You have a lot of awkward interactions between the two. Brody treats her like a little sister that he has to keep his eye on and Annie treats him like an obnoxious guy who she’s forced to deal with. They just sort of co-exist around each other for a while. Then slowly Annie develops feelings for Brody and finds herself battling the feelings because he has never once shown signs in viewing her as anything other than his coach’s daughter.

Not only was the romance perfect but the dialog was spot on. I was laughing out loud just about every other chapter. Annie is one witty chick and not an obnoxious witty like some characters. Nope, Annie was genuinely think-on-your-feet funny. She’s a chick that I’d love to be friends with. For instance in the beginning of the story when Annie gets to KC and checks out the stadium where he dad will be working, she walks in on Brody in the locker room wearing a towel. She plays it off as if she’s an intern reporter from Sports Illustrated there to do an interview with him and starts asking questions. Questions about his favorite color, if he adjusts how he throws his pitch when it’s windy, and if he could be any magical creature from Harry Potter, what would he be (at first he chooses a house elf and then changes it to an owl). Ha! That’s when he questions her about working for Sports Illustrated and she plays it cool and says that it’s for the KIDS EDITION! AND HE BELIEVES HER and continues answering. I laughed so hard at that. I must have read it 4 times. Then when I finished the book, I went back and read that part again. And that right there sets the stage for the rest of the book.

“Owls in real life are actually pretty stupid. But no big deal, I’ll just relay that message on to the children of America. Jason Brody, temporary Royals pitcher, wants to be an owl when he grows up because they know geography and shit like that.”

Julie Cross could not have written a more perfect love story for these two characters. She didn’t try to tie everything up giving it a feel good happily ever after. There are some things that never get resolved and are a little sad to think about but that’s life. At no point in this story did I think that the story was melodramatic. I loved every second of Whatever Life Throws at You.

 

1favequoteI figured it was only fitting to have this part be highlighted since Derek Jeter is retiring this year.

“I bet even Derek Jeter had some friendly comradery with a batboy or something his rookie year. Someone who is far gone from his life now. That’s what I’ll be to Brody in twenty years – the forgotten batboy.”

kRISTIN

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

13574417Alienated
By: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Rating:
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Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

 

1thoughtsCara’s been selected to be one of the few chosen from the world to take part in the first ever L’eihr exchange program. A L’eihr (alien) will come down to earth and shadow a human, enroll in their school and learn their ways. When the time is up the roles will be reversed and the human will go to L’eihr and do the same. You can guess that the humans don’t take to kindly to the aliens coming to earth. It doesn’t take long until Cara’s receiving threats. Little does she know that the panic over the L’eihr’s being on earth may have some warrant.

This was a light sci-fi romance. The author does a great job creating a story and keeping the reader entranced from the start. I will admit that I had been in a book slump until I read Alienated. I was starting to think it was just me, but this book immediately lifted my mood. Sure the story was a teensy bit predictable. However, the author still managed to throw in some curve balls throughout the story that I didn’t see coming.

She also took the time to explain the difference between L’eihr’s and humans. For instance, L’eihr’s don’t really feel emotions. They don’t do physical contact and they don’t celebrate birthdays. There was a pretty big cultural difference for Aelyx when he arrived on earth. The author did a great job not over playing it but rather letting it just blend into the story.

I liked that Landers took the time to explain the L’eihr presence as well as why the L’eihr and humans have the same DNA and look the same. I’ll be honest, up until that point I was a little miffed that the L’eihr were pretty much human with nothing to really set them apart from humans. I’m not saying throw in a 3rd eye or anything but I wanted something. However, rest assured that the author thought about this and gave an explanation to the similarities.

I also like that she showed neither species being the enemy. Each side had their good points and bad points. You had Cara’s family who embraced Aelyx as if he were their own, while others were picketing outside their yard. Meanwhile, Aelyx’s friend/fellow exchange buddy was hell bent on causing damage to earth so that the peace treaty among the two planets would cease. So there were faults on both sides as well as those willing to make it work.

My only complaint was that there was no indication that the story was jumping forward in time. One minute Cara would be sitting in the kitchen eating cereal and the next thing you know she’s outside looking at a dragonfly. It also did this when changing POV’s between Aelyx and Cara. This really messed with me since I would have to get my bearings in the middle of reading. However, I did read an ARC copy and therefor this issue may have been resolved before being published.

This is an amazing debut novel and I cannot wait to see what happens next in the storyline. It’s a great story for YA, romance, sci-fi lovers alike.

 

1favequote“One by one, she greeted each leader, letting her fingers linger far, far too long, not understanding that she’d given them the human equivalent of an intimate embrace instead of a handshake. When she touched the young male, his lips twitched in an amused grin before he regained his mask of cool superiority.”

kRISTIN