Friday, May 31, 2013

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon


“Someone told me once that to create true art you must be willing to bleed and let others watch.”

This book is simply a work of art...


This review is hard for me. This book was so freaking AMAZEBALLS that I am having a hard time to really put into words just how incredible this book really was. I am going to try and do this book justice without giving anything away because I wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone.

Description:
Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.

My Thoughts:
Have you ever had a book that completely left you raw with emotions and you came out on the other side of the book exposed and bleeding?? 
This book did that to me. 
It left me raw and bleeding (in a good way). 

In the beginning I was completely thrown off because I had no idea where this book was headed. It was like a big history lesson but it was taught in a way that added character to the book and eventually everything fit together and by the end you were sitting there saying 
"Ahh Amy Harmon, I see what you did there".
 I can't say more than that because it will give away the magic of the book. 

Blue Echohawk had no past, she was living in the present with only distant memories of what happened to her when she was younger. She was placed with her "aunt" and all she knew of her mother was that she abandoned her when she was two and the only father figure that she knew was a drifter who raised her to the best of his ability. When her father was found dead she was sent to live with her aunt who let it slip that the drifter was not her real father and her "aunt" had no idea who her real family was. 

Blue Echohawk was alone with no idea who she was. 

SO when her entirely hot British teacher, Mr. Darcy Wilson (OH pride & Prejudice reference swwooonn), asks the class to write about their past for a year-long assignment she had no idea what to write because she didn't KNOW who she was, she didn't know her REAL name, she didn't even know her real birthdate. All she knew was what she had been told, so how could she write about a past that she has no clue about??

“Once upon a time . . . there was a little blackbird,” I wrote. I stared at the page. “. . . pushed out of the nest, unwanted.”

I could relate to Blue, I never knew my mother so there are things about my own past I am a little sketchy about but at least I knew my real name, birthday, and the name of both of my parents. But regardless of the knowledge that I know, there are questions that only a mother can answer and it sucks to not know who you are completely. 
Probably why this book tore into my soul and exposed feelings that I long left buried inside.. 

Again.. I was bleeding and raw

As the book continues you see Blue open up a little bit, you see the real Blue inside the girl who puts on a mask around other people. She isn't this big slut that other people think she is. She is smart, sweet, caring, resilient and very artistic, especially when it comes to wood-carving. Her father taught her all about carving wood since she was able to hold the tools herself and she has been doing it ever since. 

It's her escape and her therapy. 

As the school year progresses Mr. Wilson and Blue form a friendship that develops throughout the year. He pushes Blue just enough to get her to respond and then leaves it up to Blue to figure it out on her own. You see her change, you see her WANT to change herself and her ways. By the end of the year Blue is a different person than she was in the beginning and Mr. Wilson is to thank for that, but she still had room to grow. 

"But as the waves crashed over me, I was not consumed, I was swept up, washed, my soul blanketed with blessed relief. Hope rose within me like a buoy. And with the hope, came peace. And the peace calmed the waters and quieted the storm, until I sat, spent, bled out, done." 

You think their friendship would end there but after Blue leaves school she is met with life obstacles that she has no idea what to do about them. From there you see Mr. Wilson become just Wilson, Blue's once teacher but now friend and companion. He offers her part of his home that she can live in for cheap and a place where she can do her wood carvings in solitude. Wilson becomes Blue's one friend that she never knew she needed. He continues to push her to find out who she is, where she came from, and to put the pieces of her life back together so she can be whole and know her whole story. 

She goes on a journey figuring out who she is and what happened to her and her parents. This journey comes complete by the end of the story and you get a full-circle affect that you don't (or maybe you do) expect. 

"Beneath my wounds I was still whole. Beneath my insecurities, beneath my pain, beneath my struggle, beneath it all, I was still whole".


While on this journey, you see the romance build with Wilson and Blue. I thought it was going to creep me out when Blue started to see Wilson as a romantic interest because he was her teacher to begin with but it was anything but creepy!! Their love is endearing, frustrating, hopeful, lustful, and enchanting. Their love is what true romance novels are all about. It wasn't rushed (it was almost painfully slow), it was heart breaking but oh so swoon-worthy. You are left in a puddle of pure DELIGHT just reading it.

"I was spent without compromise, sated without sacrifice, completely and totally head-over-heels in love. And it was delicious."

"He tasted like black licorice and snowflakes. Simultaneously forbidden and familiar. Hot and cold. Sinful and safe."



The other supporting characters were just as amazing as the main ones and they gave the book so much more depth. They were incredible.

There was one part of the book, in particular that left me a blubbering mess and that was when Blue was in the hospital after the hurricane and Wilson's sister and husband came to see her. By the end of that whole chapter I had to put the book away and get myself together because it was so beautifully raw, painful, heart-wrentching that I felt like I was there in that room. I felt Blue's emotions and I could only picture what that wood-carving she made afterwards looked like when she was done. Of course people who have read this book know what I am talking about and if you have not then when you do, you will understand.

There are books out there that rarely speak to my soul and this book did just that. It was amazing, brilliant, incredible. It pulled me in, told me stories like I was around a warm camp fire listening to nature and then gave me history lessons that left me thinking long after I finished the last page of the story. It made me FEEL and it made me want to become an even better person by the end.

 I swear people search forever for a book that can make you feel the way this one made me feel, I don't think I will ever be the same. 

I would also like to point out the phenomenal details that were added to this book. The Native American tales, the references to the Greeks, the poems, the history within the book added so much richness that it made the book so smooth to take in and adore. Amy Harmon did her research and you could tell that she put her whole heart and mind into this story. 

I give this amazing book 5 fantastic/amazing STARS and if you have not read it by now, I suggest you do that RIGHT NOW!!! 

Here is the link to it for Amazon and its on sale right now for 99PENNIES!! How freaking fantastic is that?? I would pay more so even if it raises in price, BUY IT ANYWAYS, it's totally worth it and YES this book is THAT GOOD!!.. 


Friday, May 24, 2013

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

I should say this book should have been named FLAT OUT CRAZY But AMAZING!!

“Normal people can become very annoying if put in annoying situations.”


Description:
He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy.

So, that was Matt. Who Julie Seagle likes. A lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.

Complicated? Awkward? Completely.

But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother's? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn't supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she's never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.

But here's the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.

My Thoughts:

This book gave me the ultimate book boner with all the psychological aspects that were present. 
As a future counselor I sorta guessed from the very beginning what happened BUT the ultimate test with any author is even if you SUSPECT/GUESS/KNOW what is going to happen and they are still able to make you portray the emotions they wanted you to experience, then they are an A+ author. And Jessica Park did that and more. 
I seriously had to put the book down and cry in a corner for a minute to get over all the heartbreak and emotions that I was feeling. Ok maybe it was my bed and not a corner but you get the point. 
This book made me FEEL and I came out on the other side in a mixed bag of emotions. 

Just call me emotionally unstable!!

This book starts off with Julie, who is just starting college and she gets ripped off by an online ad for a room for rent. Not only is there not a room for rent but she also lost a lot of money in the process. Julie calls her mother and her mother contacts an old college roommate that offers Julie a room to stay in while she is at school.
This is where she meets the ever-quirky Watkins family.
 I loved each member of the family because of their uniqueness, especially the old Celeste and the new one that was present by the end of the book.
Celeste was carrying around a cardboard cutout of her older brother Finn because he was away from home and the whole family missed him terribly. Flat Finn, which he was appropriately named, went everywhere Celeste went in the home. She was a hermit, only staying confined in the walls of her home while being socially awkward at school. The psychology student in me was naming all kinds of scenarios that happened with Celeste to make her that attached to her FF because it wasn’t normal and it drove me crazy that the Watkins family refused to not only talk about the huge elephant in the room but to also ignore how awkward Celeste was. It wasn’t until Julie started to work with Celeste that you started to see a change in Celeste. She started acting like a quirky-“normal” teenager like the other girls in her school. It both terrified and thrilled the Watkins family. 

Julie also spent a lot of time with Matt and online Finn. Since Finn traveled all over the world the only communication he had was through the internet. You begin to see a little love triangle type thing form between them and you are not only falling in love with the nerdy Matt but also the adventurous Finn.

Matt was fun, creative, smart, driven, determined, but also had a humorous and sweet side. The banter between Julie and Matt was funny, flirty and borderline explosive. When they argued it was still funny and even if Julie was aiming more towards Finn, I felt that she belonged to Matt!

“I’m guessing by the suitcases that you must be Julie? Or else I’m about to kidnap the wrong girl.”


Finn was adventurous, sweet, kind, and was there to give Julie advice when she needed it the most. But he couldn't physically be there for her since he traveled all over the world and never came home, the only communication was through FB and emails so while Julie felt emotionally attached to Finn, she couldn't be physically attached.  

The ending is what I figured out from the very beginning but I didn't know all the details to what happened and the who, what, where, how, when etc so when it finally came time for the big plot twist I was OH MY GOSHING and crying buckets. The reveal wasn't what made it emotional it was the pain and sorrow that was depicted that made me weep. 
I was a goner! 

But I was also disappointed in the very end as well. Of course I have not read Flat-Out-Matt yet so I might get more information in that book and will have to change this review. But I wanted to find out more about Julie and her father's relationship and her mom kind of dropped off after being a big part of it in the beginning of the book. Also we never figured out what her major was going to be. Lastly, the ending with Matt and Julie was kind of anticlimactic, I thought it needed to be more exciting because of everything that happened but thats just me and it didn't deter from the story in anyway and I still loved it!  It was just little things but it left me wanting more!! 
Then again I LOVED the characters so much that I probably would have wanted more no matter what!

I give this book a 4.5/5 and I hope every ONE of you LOVE this book as much as I did

Snippets from the book:

“I see a maniacal-looking guy with brightly colored candy in one hand, and he’s waving a bloody sickle with the other. Oh! He’s beckoning me to the car. This must be my ride.”


"But that’s what love does to you. Gut-wrenching, overpowering, crushing, fulfilling, complex, bring-you-to-your-knees love."

"The cockroaches are a nice bonus. I’ve always wanted to live with animals. And I can make extra money working as a hooker. Those girls outside looked really friendly, and I’m sure they’d take me under their wing and teach me the tricks of the trade. Pardon the pun.”

YOU WANT YOUR OWN COPY OF THIS BOOK FOR YOUR KINDLE SO GO HERE AND GET IT:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vain by Fisher Amelie

So at first I fought reading this book because I was afraid I wouldn't like it and then be disappointed that everyone was raving about it and I was disappointed. BUT I am happy to say that this was not the case with this book. I actually LOVED it and I was so glad it was different from the other books I have been reading lately. 

Description from book:
If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

My Thoughts:

Sophie Price goes through the ultimate transformation in this book. 
She goes from rich, spoiled, brat to a human being. 
It starts off with Sophie being arrested and the judge orders her to help an orphanage in Africa
She hates the idea of having to go to a third world country and possibly risk her life when she rather be in CA shopping and doing the things that she does everyday.
But a small part of her does hope that this experience could change her into something human, with a heart.
When Sophie arrives in Africa she meets the lovely Ian who takes one look at Sophie and already cannot stand her because of everything she represents. 
But ohhh how similar their past lives happen to be.
When she arrives at the orphanage Sophie is in for the biggest culture shock of her life. Where she used to have an abundance of cash and clothes she now has an abundance of bugs and hard work. 
She is introduced to Charles and Karina who were the founders of the orphanage and also the ones that were in charge of it too. She immediately loved Karina because she was the type of woman who loved with her whole heart no matter the circumstances. 

".. she tossed me into her arms for the kind of hug I’d never once 
gotten from a woman but was so desperately in need of. It was the kind of hug a mother gave her daughter. I know, I’d seen Sav’s mom give her them many a time".

 Sophie didn't have that at home, the only time her parents paid any attention to her was when they wanted her to make an impression on potential clients. Her mother was cold and not the nurturing type while her father was a controlling rich man who wanted everyone and everything to be under his control and do what he says. 

As time progressed Sophie worked in the orphanage teaching children, mending fences, and pretty much doing whatever Charles and Karina asked her to do. As she worked she got closer to Ian and the attraction she felt from the moment she met him was only intensifying.
 She knew that he would never be interested in a girl like her because most days he seemed to be completely annoyed with her presence but you know what they say about wanting things you can't have and Sophie was no exception to the rule. 
She was so used to having people worship the ground she walked on that it was odd to not have Ian act the same way, even if she was enjoying it a little bit. 

"You want to stick with what’s easy for you. You foresee the amount of work it would take to transform yourself and you’re too frightened to embrace the challenge. Now, that, Sophie Price, is a real weakness.”

Ian actually starts to see the real Sophie that she hid behind the superficial one and he started to be just as enamored with her as she was with him. But how could they have a relationship in the middle of chaos and tragedy? What happens when Sophie's sentence is done? Does she give up her life and move to Africa permanently? Or has she had enough of the constant danger and heartache? 

This story is an absolute must read! 
The only criticism I give the book is we never find out if the relationship between Sophie and her mom change or stay the same?? But other than that the book is really amazing and it is definitely different from the other books that are out there.

"I’d come to Uganda to fulfill a mandatory sentence but was being fulfilled in a completely unexpected manner and happily, with my full consent. I’d come to help teach these children but instead they were teaching me."



If you want to read a book about growing up and becoming a different kind of person, love, forgiveness, heartache, vanity, and danger then I suggest you get started on this book right now! 
It's different, fun, but very moving! 

I give this book a 4.5/5 and if you want to check out yourself go here:


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TEASER TUESDAY


Here is how this works:
  • Grab your current read. 
  • Open to a random page. 
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, post the page number or location.
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so you do not ruin the book for others. 
  • Make sure to add the title of the book and the author so others can enjoy the book as welll...
  • Remember it is meant to TEASE not 

I just finished this book the other day but it was too amazing to not leave you guys a little teaser from it before I can review it..

This is from: A Different Blue by Amy Harmon 
“God? If you love me . . . take it away. Please. I'm asking you to take it away. I don't want to feel this way anymore.”

Can't wait to start my review on this book!!

If you want a copy for your kindle go here:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Deeper We Fall by Chelsea Cameron

"Remember; Elizabeth fell for Mr. Darcy, Beauty fell for the Beast and Scarlet fell for Rhett."

I was given the opportunity to review this book from Netgalley and I am so very appreciative of it!!!
I could not PUT.THIS.DOWN. 
I stayed up until 2am reading more than 60% of it, woke up and read another 20% and then came home from running around and HAD to finish the rest of it...

Description:

Two years after her best friend was involved in a car accident that caused a traumatic brain injury, Lottie Anders is ready to start her freshman year of college. Ready to move on. Ready to start forgetting the night that ripped her life apart.
Her plans come to a screeching halt when not one, but both brothers responsible for the accident end up back in her life again.
Zack is cruel, selfish and constantly rubbing what happened to her friend in Lottie's face.
Zan is different. He listens to her awkward ramblings. He loves "To Kill a Mockingbird" as much as she does, and his dark eyes are irresistible. His words are few and far between, but when he does speak, she can't help but listen.
The trouble is, Zan was the driver in the accident, and now Lottie's discovered he lied to her about what happened that night. Now she must decide if trusting him again will lead to real forgiveness, or deeper heartache.

My Thoughts:

I don't know where to begin with this review. From the very beginning I was hooked because the characters were captivating from the very first page of the book. There really wasn't anything special that happened other than the accident but my attention was enthralled from the very beginning to the very end.

Lottie is an amazing character full of sarcasm and wit that made me love her from the very beginning. She was also a twin with her brother Will. They made the perfect little package along with their gay friend Simon. 
Lottie was also a fellow book lover that made me completely gush over her character.

 The book starts off with the night that her friend Lexie was in the car accident and the event that lead up to it. After that it fast forwards to the first day of college and Lottie and Will setting up their rooms. Once Lexie meets her roommate Katie she knew she was in for a long year because the squeeing pink loving girl was a little too much for Lexie to handle.

"Wow, it really is awful. It's like she murdered a Muppet and made pillows out of its pelt"

BUT that is not the worst of it, Lottie soon finds out that Katie's boyfriend is someone that she thought was still back at home and not on the same campus as her. 

Zack and Zan end up being in the same college as Lottie and she doesn't know how to feel. She thinks Zack is the biggest creep she has ever had the misfortune to know and she always thought Zan was a little weird but never got the creep out vibe from him. 

This story goes back and forth from Zan's and Lottie's POV. 
You understand Lottie's pain and sympathize with her but you also feel that Zan has had enough turmoil in his life and you want Lottie to give him a break. Zan has always loved Lottie since he started to really realize girls existed and you see how much pain he endures knowing he irrevocably shattered her life with just one night. With the help of a kick-ass, don't take no shit social worker, Zan realizes that he is worth more and starts applying himself in school, life, and trying to get Lottie to forgive him. 
When Lottie starts to see the real Zan from the fog of hate and pain she realizes what the real Zan is all about and you are rooting for them to accept one another and to forgive and more forward.

Even though Lottie's mom wasn't really present in the book I did find it funny when she would give Lottie advice about life by giving her books to read. That sounds like a good parenting tip I'll have to remember when my daughter is a raging hormone riddled teen. 

"Great. I'd insulted To Kill A Mocking Bird and made mom mad. It was worse than if I't take the Lord's name in vain" 
"For when I liked a boy who didn't like me back, she handed me Jane Austen. When I was all moody and hated the world, I got Poe and lots of other dark poetry to soothe my angst."

As Lottie learns to forgive Zan and his part in the accident he falls even more for her while Lottie keeps a distance because she just can't fall for the guy who caused so much pain in her life..

""That was before I knew what it was like to lose you." 
"In all fairness, you never really had me.""

But forgiveness is a powerful thing and once it is truly accepted, maybe anything can be possible... 

If you like books about forgiveness, the power of friendship, love, redemption, and acceptance then you will love this book as much as I did. It's powerful and you realize that sometimes things aren't always as they seem.. 

I give this book a 4.5/5 and I recommend it to anyone.. 

Here is the link to purchase from Amazon:


Friday, May 17, 2013

If You Stay by Courtney Cole

This book was recommended to me by several people and I can say in all honesty that I am glad I got to read it, it was such an inspirational book that by the end I was overwhelmed with many emotions that I couldn't decipher which one was more prominent. 
This book had every emotion under the sun and you come out the other side in tears, whether they are good tears or bad depends on you...

Description:

He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
But he’s got his reasons.His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect fa├žade.So he slipped far, far from it.Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?Wrong.And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.He knows that. And he’s working on it.But is that enough to make her stay?


My Thoughts:

This book starts off so dramatically that I had no idea where it was going to go or how it was going to keep my interest after the most dramatic start of a book, I have ever read. 

But if I thought I saw the last of the drama I was sorely mistaken.

In the beginning, Pax is in his car in a rather promiscuous position with his booty call of the night doing lines of coke. While doing this said coke he overdoses and this is when Mila comes into the picture. She sees Pax in his car unresponsive and not breathing, she eventually gets his heart started again and then the paramedics show up and escorts him to the hospital. 

After Pax becomes lucid he finds out that Mila saved his life and comes face to face with her at the hospital when she stops by to check to make sure he was still alive.
Pax is immediately enamored with her but he can't figure out why.. Yes, she did save his life but why was she standing out in his mind more than any other woman ever has?? 

Mila thought Pax was beautiful, with his tattoos and masculine body but there was something else in him that she was attracted too and she couldn't explain it either. Save for the near death experience this guy seemed genuine and confident so she could not figure out why he would turn to drugs. 
Although, she sees the confident man on the outside she still sees the sadness and vulnerability in his eyes that tears at her heart. 

After Pax is discharged from the hospital he starts finding ways to get Mila's attention because he just HAS to know her. Mila tries to keep her distance because if one thing she knew it was bad boys were a very bad idea for her heart. 

No.  I can’t let you break my heart.  I don’t have much of it left.”
 (p. 114)

When Pax finally persuades her to be with him, you see the beautifully broken people become a beautifullyUNbroken love. 
They make so much sense, they are perfect for each other, even if they are not perfect by themselves.

Of course even perfect relationships have their downfalls. Pax finally uncovers the truth of his mother's death and it tears at your heart and soul to see through the eyes of the little boy who had to live through that. 
Pax becomes closed off and Mila can't even reach him.
What happens when the one thing Pax swears to do, try not to hurt Mila, happens and she leaves?

This book was so emotionally raw and covered everything from drug abuse, to suppressed memories and everything in between that pulls you in from the very beginning to the very end. 

I give this book a 4/5 stars and recommend it to anyone and everyone.. 

Quotes from the book:

“You must be talented.  Sometimes, the past doesn’t want to sleep.” “That’s true,” I admit.  “You’re right.  Sometimes, at the least opportune times, the past is an insomniac, alive and well.”
 (p. 47) Kindle Edition. 




“Love never fails, Mila. That’s what your parents believed.  And because of you, it’s what I believe now, too.  You stuck by me and loved me when I didn’t deserve it.  All I want is a chance to prove that I can be worthy of it.  Your parents were sort of fucked up in their own way, like me, and they never got the help that they needed. But I will.  I promise.  I will put the work in.  I will learn how to cope with painful things and I will never leave you again.  Just tell me that you’ll stay with me.”
 (p. 315) Kindle Edition. 


“I love you.  I love how you are so sweet and innocent and kind to people, but you are such a vixen in the sack.  I love how you look at me.  I love your smile.  I love everything about you.”
(p. 254)Kindle Edition

If you want your own copy for your Kindle go here: