Rock Chick Reawakening by Kristen Ashley | Book Review

Rock Chick Reawakening by Kristen Ashley | Book ReviewRock Chick Reawakening by Kristen Ashley
Series: Rock Chick #0.5
Published by Self Published on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance
Pages: 120
Format: Ebook
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Goodreads
four-stars

From New York Times bestselling author, Kristen Ashley, comes the long-awaited story of Daisy and Marcus, Rock Chick Reawakening. A prequel to Kristen’s Rock Chick series, Rock Chick Reawakening shares the tale of the devastating event that nearly broke Daisy, an event that set Marcus Sloane—one of Denver’s most respected businessmen and one of the Denver underground’s most feared crime bosses—into finally making his move to win the heart of the woman who stole his.

What I thought

Rock Chick Reawakening was a treat! I have been a fan of the Rock Chick books since I discovered Kristen Ashley two years ago (I am so damn late to the party it isn’t even funny) and fell in love with her sassy writing style. Yes, the formula for all of the books in the series is pretty much the same, but sometimes you just need to read a story that will make you believe that fairytales do exist, and the Rock Chick books are just that type of story.

If you’ve read the other books in the Rock Chick series then you’ll be familiar with Daisy. You’ll know she got her happily ever after, after some not so fun times. However, the other books never really went into detail about what those ‘not so fun times’ were, I mean we all had a pretty solid idea of what happened to her, but Rock Chick Reawakening tells the story of Daisy before she met Marcus.

My heart bled for her, as much as my heart bled throughout Sadie’s story. Her story was incredibly hard to take, but what I loved about Rock Chick Reawakening is that, yes it deals with something horrible, but more than anything it focusses on healing. The heavy didn’t overpower the story, it stays a fun and light read regardless of some of the heavy themes. As any of Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chick stories, it focusses on love and healing, and boy did she do a good job, again.

Marcus, on paper, is a bad guy, but it is hard to see him as JUST a bad guy. And although his actions can be bad, he did do a lot of good as well, and it was obvious how much he loved Daisy. As every Kristen Ashley book preaches: not everything is black and white, there’s gray in the middle too.

I loved Rock Chick Reawakening, it was a treat from beginning to end. I teared up, I laughed (believe me, laughing is a given with any book Kristen Ashley has written), and I blushed my way through this book. It was a true rock chick book, with a true rock chick ending.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!For every fan of Kristen Ashley’s writing, Rock Chick Reawakening will be a treat. Daisy and Marcus’s story make for a wonderful addition to the rest of the books and you’ll love learning about how their romance came to be. If you’re looking for a fun and touching story that packs a punch, don’t look any further.

 

By Your Side by Kasie West | Book Review

By Your Side by Kasie West | Book ReviewBy Your Side by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance
Pages: 346
Format: Ebook
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

What I thoughtBy Your Side is pure sweetness! Kasie West has once again written an outstanding and magical love story! I do have to admit that I was a bit skeptic at first. Going into this story I expected it to be a tad surrealistic, because how on earth would NO ONE realize that someone (beloved daughter, best friend, whatever) was missing. The whole concept just seemed a little surreal to me. BUT: I should have known not to worry because we’re talking about Kasie West here: queen of contemporary writing!

By Your Side starts off incredibly cute (and a bit of a cliché): boy and girl get trapped in a library for three days in the middle of winter. Initially, they don’t really want anything to do with each other, but then, unavoidably, feelings slowly start blooming between them. And that’s where the cliche’s end. Which, obviously, I am not going to tell you anything about because I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

I loved the slowly blooming romance between the two and you can’t help but root for them along the way. Kasie West takes it slow and it gives Autumn and Dax a chance to fall in love with each other beyond the physical attraction. There’s fluff, there’s adorableness, there are moments to swoon at. Totally loved Autumn and Dax together.

Now the big question: does By Your Side go beyond the romance? Does it have depth? I am so glad you asked: YES, It does! Autumn suffers from anxiety attacks and Kasie West has tackled this disorder so well, while still sticking to the light and fluffy feeling that you expect from any contemporary read. I won’t share too much about Dax because I think telling you too much will become spoiler-y. I promise you though that his character has plenty of depth as well. Final verdict IRISJEXX!

By Your Side is a fluffy read with a deeper underlying meaning to it. Highly recommend this read to anyone that wants a cute and fluffy read, but wants a little something ‘more’ added to the story.

Fire in You by Jennifer Armentrout | Book Review

Fire in You by Jennifer Armentrout | Book ReviewFire in You by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Wait for You #6
Published by Self Published on November 28th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance
Pages: 360
Format: Ebook
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Goodreads
five-stars

From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J.Lynn, comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the past sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

What I thought

I pretty much devoured all the previous books in the Wait for You series and I was beyond excited to find out that Brock and Jillian were getting their own story. I am no stranger to Jennifer Armentrout’s books and I am of humble opinion that this series is a feel-good series, these books will make you laugh, they’ll make you cry, but above all, they’ll make you feel. And who are we kidding? We all need a read like that every now and then. Fire in You was no exception to the rule.

Brock and Jillian’s story is not the easiest, but if there’s anything Jennifer Armentrout has taught me it’s that sometimes the stories hardest to take can have the most beautiful endings! I love how their story is a true friend-to-lovers story, there were a lot of hurdles they had to pass before they could even remotely come close to a functioning relationship, but once they did, SLOWBURNER FOR THE WIN! I’m telling you, all the feels, you’ll be rooting for them from the start. As any guy in the Wait for You series, Brock makes you want to fan your face, laugh out loud, and wonder where the hell you can find one for yourself.

You slowly learn about the history between Jillian and Brock. Of course, they were introduced earlier in the series, but we don’t really know their stories, and as the story progresses flashbacks slowly help you piece the story together. There’s something about a second chance at love that can make a story even more special, and Fire in You definitely had that and more.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

Fire in You had me laughing, wiping away tears, smiling like a loon, and rooting for the couple in question along the way. It’s a hard story, but beautiful at the same time. I’m very VERY happy to say that Jennifer Armentrout has done it again! As any Jennifer Armentrout book, I wholly recommend it to whoever is willing to listen, join the fan club boys and girls, you won’t regret it!

And because I just can’t not share, I think this might be my favorite quote up to date: “Scars, whether physical or emotional, could be not just a representation of survival but also a story of hope.”

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Published by HarperTeen on October 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
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four-stars

What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

What I thought

The Rest of Us Just Live Here, the copy I got from my Secret Santa this year, GLOWS IN THE DARK. I had it on my desk and woke up in the middle of the night and it took me a while to figure out that it actually was my book that was glowing. It’s the first glow-in-the-dark cover of a book I own, never thought I would say that. Also… Confession: This was my first Patrick Ness book.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is different from any YA book out there

The Rest of Us Just Live Here was different from other Young Adult books. There simply is no other way to describe it. I knew it from the very first page, and as a result I was a bit confused the first few chapters. There’s talk about ‘Chosen Ones’ and ‘Indie kids’ and I literally found myself thinking ‘what am I reading’. Fortunately, that only lasted a little while, once I got used to the writing style I found myself completely absorbed into the story.

Tells the story of the characters that aren’t hero’s: normal people

What I loved most about this book is that is tells the story of the characters that aren’t hero’s, characters that could care less about immortals and zombies and the mysterious stuff that’s going on in their crazy town. They’re just normal people that want to get through senior year and graduate (before anyone blows up the high school, again). I love that Patrick Ness chose to write about normal people, because aren’t we all? Now I can’t say I see zombie deer’s running around every day, or that my school was ever blown up, but Mikey and his friends are as ‘unchosen’ as we are. Fun part was that we got to read about what the indie kids were up to as well at the beginning of every chapter, and it makes for a wonderful contrast between their and Mikey’s (and his friends’) lives.

No diversity to for the sake of diversity

Yes, FILLED with diversity! Mikey, our main character, suffers from anxiety and OCD, and (as far I can be a judge of this) I felt like it was a very realistic portrayal of OCD. The fear he has of being caught in a loop and not being able to get out made The Rest of Us Just Live Here such an emotional read. I felt so much for him, especially the way he felt like the least wanted person in his group of friends. Which left me a blubbering mess. But that’s not where the diversity ends: Mikey’s sister, Mel, recently battled anorexia, he has a best (gay) friend named Jared, and then we have Henna, the (African) girl he has a crush on. It’s not just diversity to for the sake of diversity though. They are ordinary people who have their own problems to overcome.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

While Patrick Ness’ writing took a little getting used to, but once I did I fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful book, one that packs a punch. It’s a Fantasy and a Contemporary all in one, and it’s perfectly balanced. I highly recommend this one to anyone who’ll listen!

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Book Review (but slightly different)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Book Review (but slightly different)Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 10th 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 445
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

A few days ago my secret sister asked me if I had read Fangirl yet. She’d browsed my Goodreads profile, and found Rainbow Rowell’s other books marked read, but Fangirl painfully empty. And to my surprise (and growing horror), I realized she was right. Which just isn’t right, because Fangirl is EVERYTHING and means the world to me. I read Fangirl at precisely the right time. It was exactly the kind of read I needed at that time, relayed a beautiful message like a punch in the gut, and because of that it has  secured a solid spot in my heart.

Now there’s literally TONS of great reviews out there, and I don’t think I have anything to say that hasn’t been said before. Therefore, this is going to be a slightly different review than what you’re used to seeing here on my blog. It’s going to be me telling you about why Fangirl had such a huge impact on me.

What was going on in my life?

When I read Fangirl I had just about finished high-school. My high-school diploma almost in my pocket, I’d gotten the green light from the university of my choice to start my dream study the next year, that sounds like I had it all figured out doesn’t it? Truth was: I was excited but also incredibly intimidated and more than a little scared for what was to come. I would have to move out, because traveling 1 hour and a half to university (and back) every single day just wouldn’t work out. So a strange city, where I didn’t know anyone. That’s bound to be scary for everyone, but internally I was freaking out BIG TIME.

What Fangirl did for me

So I did what I always do when I start freaking out: I read. I picked Fangirl and Cath’s socially awkward personality turned out to be exactly what I needed. She was just as geeky and passionate about books as I am and definitely more socially awkward than I am. And I know that it’s a piece of fiction, but I figured that if she could come out stronger then so could I. I also realized that there were a lot of others probably feeling the same way I did. No one likes change, that’s a given, but it’s also the only way we can challenge ourselves. Change can keep you on your toes, and LOTS of good things can come from it.

So I told myself to suck it up. That first day was nerve-wrecking, but I managed to open myself to the whole experience and now (almost one and a half year later) I am completely settled. I made some great new friends, joined a running association and am very very happy with how my life looks right now.

Sometimes you just need a little nudge in the right direction. Fangirl, without a doubt, was that nudge for me. It was the right read at exactly the right time. Cath’s beautiful and touching story was my wake-up call and for that reason alone Fangirl will always have a special place in my heart (it also helps that besides that the book is just 100% pure awesomeness).

So there you go, my slightly different than normal review of Fangirl. Now there’s just one thing left that I’d like to ask you:

Do YOU have a specific book that did what Fangirl did for me?