Monday, January 19, 2015

Review : On The Fence by Kasie West

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.
PublisherHarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 7/1/2014
Pages: 304
Source: ARC

The Story:
For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.
To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.
RatingTHREE GOLD STARS!!!!!

My Review

On The Fence is the definition of summer read. So much so that I wishes I had read it during the
summer. But I suppose it worked out perfectly, since being reminded of warmer weather in 7 degree frozen tundra of NYC was a gift.

In On The Fence , we follow Charlie Reynolds as she navigates through a new world of discovering womanhood and falling in love for the first time. Charlie is fierce, independent and clueless about being a girl . . .  let alone  She feels more at home with the boys and in the thick of sports. 

Living with three older brothers and a single Dad doesn't make being a regular girl easy. Charlie grew up with roughhousing, gritty sports and "boyish" pranks being the norm. And she never questioned it until another speeding ticket and her father's punishment of her having to get a job makes her question it all. 

After Charlie begins working at a clothing store where she is forced to experiment with "girly" clothes and makeup, her eyes open up the world beyond being the Tomboy. To make things even more interesting a guy, who is so different than the athletic ones she is used to being around, wants to do more than be her teammate. Is love in the cards for Charlie and the new guy?

A new love interest isn't the only thing keeping up Charlie late at night though. Charlie's mother died in a car crash when she was younger but nightmares of her death keep Charlie awake at night. Insert another guy, the boy next door, and a shared fence line. Charlie and Braden have known each other since she was four years old. But he has been holding a secret about her past that her mind blocks out. What will his deception mean for their friendship?

On The Fence is a quick, light read, perfect for a lounging on the beach. 

*** Check out Kasie West's website for more information about her and On The Fence: HERE 

Happy Reading!
Monday, January 12, 2015

Review : Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

PublisherBlink
Publication date: 7/29/2014
Pages: 411
Source: Own

The Story:
Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes?
When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation.
Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.
Barnes & Noble
 

RatingTHREE GOLD STARS!!!!!

My Review

So I have been obsessed with Scotland since last summer when I discovered Outlander. As it goes, I have been on the hunt for YA books that resemble Claire and Jamie's adventure. When I saw Doon on Instagram guess what I did right after . . . took my butt over to Amazon and put it on my Books I Dream About! Wishlist; Luckily, my Secret Santa choose it for me :) Low and behold, here we are!

The first thing that drew me into Doon, aside from the fact it is basically the YA version of Outlander, was the relationship between Veronica and McKenna (the two protagonists). Their quirky, brainshare dynamic is the same I share with my own best friend, Tiff.

Doon is an adventure with two feisty girls who want more than what life has dictated for them and aren't afraid to go after it. Vee never felt like she belonged, like anyone cared about her and Kenna has bigger plans than letting a hot guy with a sexy Scottish accent keep her from her dreams of being a star on Broadway. Together they step out of their world into a hidden magical one, Doon.

Taken in by the palace, the best friends must prove the accusations of witchery are false while fending off the charms of Scottish princes. To make matters worse, they must uncover whom is the real Big Bad Witch whose powers threaten to destroy Doon. Will the girls succeed or will they fail watch as darkness consumes Doon?

If you love an adventure in Scotland filled with humor, mischief and hot guys, the Doon series is for you! Don't wait any longer, go and get your copies.

Character Breakdown:

Veronica -- As I mentioned above, Vee and Kenna's friendship reminds me of mine with my best friend. Having said that, I felt most relatable to Vee's character. She is a bookworm, feels like she doesn't belong in this world, fantasies about being the lead in a fairy tale, has a sense of humor only her best friend gets and loyal.

McKenna -- First off, Kenna's character reminds me of my best friend. She is goofy, hates books, doesn't believe in fairy tales, and loyal. McKenna is definitely my favorite character in Doon. I appreciate her humor and the fact that although she and a guy from another world are crazy about each other she doesn't let it hold her back from her dreams -- no matter how hard leaving him behind was.

"His eyes widened at the same moment I realized that I'd sniffed him. Fabulous. Now he would think I was some deranged girl who went around smelling people" (page 96).

*** Check out the Doon series' website for more information: HERE 

Happy Reading!
Monday, January 5, 2015

Review : See Me by Wendy Higgins

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

PublisherCreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 3/13/2014
Pages: 314
Source: Own

The Story:
While most seventeen-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he'll look and imagining his cute Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own, however when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle she discovers there's more to her betrothal and McKale's clan than she was led to believe.
What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need. But one giant obstacle stands in the way of their budding romance: a seductive and deadly Fae princess accustomed to getting what she wants-and what she wants is McKale as her plaything. Love, desire, and jealousies collide as Robyn's family and McKale's clan must work together to outsmart the powerful Faeries and preserve the only hope left for their people.
- Barnes & Noble
 

RatingFOUR GOLD STARS!!!!!

My Review: One word: MAGICAL

I loved this book! There was great humor, just the right dose of teen angst and romance mixed in with magical Irish lore. And considering I do NOT read faerie tales, See Me was a lovely surprise. Bravo Ms. Higgins!

The premise for the plot is interesting from the start. From the moment I read the blurb, I was a goner. Robyn Mason is an 17-year-old girl living in America with her parents and younger sister. Everything about her life has been pretty ordinary . . . except for a couple minor detail. Her parents are magical servants for the temperamental Fae. Oh, and she is betrothed to 50-year-old teenager who she has never met.

Before we get to the juicy part, let us start from the beginning. Robyn comes from a long line of human "helpers" of the Fae with some magical blood, the Dightheach. The Fae aren't exactly the biggest fans of humans and their mood can change in an instant. As it goes, there was an incident that forced Robyn's parents' hand. Thus, Robyn had been betrothed to McKale since infancy. And although she has been aware of the arrangement since childhood she does not know the full story of McKale and his clan. Much to my surprise, Robyn has never been against the arranged marriage or the the fact she has ever had contact with him (not even a letter) or has no idea what McKale looks like. In fact, she usually fantasized about the mysterious McKale of ancient magical blood and cute Irish accent and living in Ireland. However, being human, she did allow herself to imagine horrible scenarios now and then:


"Of all the truly frightening things worth worrying about, I held one selfish wish. Please . . . don't let McKale be too much shorter than me" (page 14).

But can you blame her? It is not easy being girl 5'11 tall.

Freshly graduated from high school and all set for her new adventure in Ireland, Robyn and her family make their way. But what is a story without a plot-twist every now and then (hehe)? Her mother drops a bomb on Robyn concerning the boy she is to marry. A bomb that total freaks her out. A bomb that Robyn's parents conveniently failed to warn her about all these years. Good thing they were all thousands of feet in the air in a plane, to late for Robyn to find in her bedroom back home.

Fate only cackles at her more when Robyn arrives in Ireland and meets the Fae Princess for the first time. Spoiled beyond repair, and deadly to boot, the Fae Princess has set her claws in McKale and does not intend to let him go so easily. She wants him as her plaything and an arranged marriage ordained by the Fae King's Consort will not stand in her way.

In See Me, Robyn must meet, get to know, fall in love with and marry McKale within a month's time all the while fend off the evil Fae Princess' advances in her betrothed . . . *without offending the Princess* or pay dearly.

Character Breakdown:

Robyn Mason - Ever since reading Rift (Creamer) and The Hunger Games (Collins) I have been on the Badass Girl Power bend. As such, I am more easily annoyed by female characters that fall into the "damsel in distress" role. Luckily, even when the odds were and although she wasn't a full out rebel, Robyn stood her ground. Robyn is a "real" character. She is relatable and I sympathized with her. The quote below really hit home with me, not because of what Robyn said but how she said it. It reminded me of my teenage years and the new, and exciting and the frustrating feelings I experienced.

"I was torn between wary of getting closer to him, and wishing he would seek me out and bare his soul. The inner turmoil made me grumpy" (page 126).

McKale - Hmm . . . I don't want to say too much about the mysterious McKale so you experience him entirely on your own -- trust me, you will thank me. I will only say that he is different from the normal stock of book boyfriends. Not the usual cup of tea (or hot chocolate in my case) but he is endearing and likable. I was skittish when I first met him but it was all for not ;)

"I suddenly became aware of his presence close behind me. I felt my ponytail lift and I stopped cranking. A slow turn of my head caught McKale letting the hair fall from his hand. He'd been smelling my hair. And now he wore an expression like a boy who'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar" (page 56).

Cassidy Mason - Cassidy character is genius and by far my favorite character. She was freaking hilarious! Her personality was exuberant, making her presence jump of the pages. Not to mention she was a great sister to Robyn (which I adored). I also appreciated that Higgins gave Cassidy her own little side story -- one that I pray she continues in the future.

If you are a magical lore fanatic who enjoys romance and humor, See Me is definitely for you. Even if you aren't ... See Me is still for you. Give the book a try and I promise you will not regret it. I swear that on a Bookiedeeds Warrior's Oath!

*** Check out Wendy Higgins' website for more information about her and See Me: HERE 

Happy Reading!