Summer Wrap-up, I know I’m late but I am back!

Okay, guys. I am the worst.

Now that we have stated that, we can proceed to my Summer wrap up. Because flash news, Summer is over. And this are not tears okay? I am fine with it. Totally fine. Even if the first of September knocked me down on my a… behind with a wave of wind and rain. Not cool, guys, not cool. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that I have not set foot on this blog since July. Anyway, here we are, second half of September and wrapping up my Summer reads. Which by the way, were not spectacular. But ah well, at least they were hot. Somehow. Just come in and have a look. But this was so not totally cool, 2017, you ripped me away from Summer and left me all like

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S u m m e r  H i g h l i g h t s :

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Genre: Romance, contemporary, chick-lit

Rating: 5/5 | “Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game – and you have to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.” This book deserves nothing but 5 BIG FAT STARS. For me, one of the highlights of the summer and one of my favourite reads this year. To be honest, I don’t even know why it took me so long to pick it up. The Hating Game is fun, addictive, refreshing, sexy and STRAWBERRY SWEET. The banter between the two main characters was absolutely hilarious at times and terribly sweet toward the end. The title gives away enough for you to guess that we are dealing with one of my favourite romance tropes: from hate to love. The rest, I encourage you to discover on your own. Go and pick up this book NOW.

*I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Bookdepository – Goodreads

Until it Fades by K.A. Tucker

Genre: Romance, contemporary

Rating: 4/5 | “Life is too short to do what other people think you should do.” This book has all the ingredients necessary for checking all the swoon-boxes. The only problem? The sometimes great, sometimes dreaded slow-burn romance. I raved about Until it Fades on my instagram after weeks of anticipating the release of this book. Silly me, I basically built a wall of anticipation and expectations so high, I could barely climb it and get to the other side afterwards. You know, that side where all the swoon and all the oh-my-goodness-me feels await. So, all in all, I found the pace of the romance a bit too slow and I was not completely swept off my feet. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the read; the story was beautiful, the main characters grounded and the love interest perfectly swoon worthy – just how I like them. AND, I must admit, this one didn’t feel like any of Tucker’s previous books I’ve read. This one was more mature, settled, thoughtful, and I just loved that about it.

Bookdepository – Goodreads

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Genre: Romance, contemporary

Rating: 3.5/5 | “In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance – when you least expect it – sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never imagined.” Ah, Mr. Sparks. Crowned king of the romance, emperor of the love stories that hit you where it hurts the most. Allow me to be frank here, my dear Nicholas, I am slightly disappointed. The Lucky One has everything I need in a book for me to be moved and emotionally kicked (always in a good way, of course). But there was something missing, I seriously feel like there was a good chunk of pages missing from my copy. And it’s a shame, really, because Sparks plotting lives up to all the hype. And the way he builds the characters relationships, slowly but carefully, tied me to the story in the matter of a few seconds. Okay, and maybe the fact that I loved Thibault since page one. But the main issue is that you would expect from the King of the cheese something BIG on the romance, and I am not talking about sex, no. But rather than show the awaited moment where these 2 main characters finally give up to the sparks (pun intented), he just tells the reader.

Bookdepository – Goodreads

Carrie by Stephen King

Genre: Horror, paranormal

Rating: 4/5 | “Sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. It’s what you say when you spill a cup of coffee or throw a gutter ball when you’re bowling with the girls in the league. True sorrow is as rare as true love.” I have been meaning to read a Stephen King book for a while. I am not sure exactly why I went with Carrie, even after being advised not to. I wanted spooky and entertaining, and I got something completely opposite to that. Contrary to what I expected, this book was more on the emotionally intense side. The unfairness of how the world treated Carrie left me with this heaviness I try so hard to avoid. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading Carrie. Now I absolutely understand why Stephen King is considered a classic horror author, and I will definitely pick up another of his books in the future. His narrative grips the reader in a way that I have experienced only a few times. I can only imagine how actually horrific any of his other books can be.

Anyway, most of you know what this story is all about so I will not go into the plot details. But I’ll tell you this: I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t rooting for Carrie to kick ass, because I was. High School can be a scary place and teenagers can make each other’s lives a f*cking nightmare. If you were not popular, you know where I’m going. So from here, I’d like to remind you to be good to people. Unwarranted cruelty is not okay, and a joke, a comment or a mean word can really affect someone’s life in a way we are not aware of. We have the power to hurt each other so easily and that’s terrifying. So please think about this, sympathy and empathy cost literally nothing and being nice to each other even less.

Bookdepository – Goodreads

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Y O U N G  A D U L T :

Trust by Kylie Scott

Genre: YA, contemporary

Rating: 3/5 | “All of the crazy, risky, wild, dangerous, irrational things I’d been doing, like rushing through my firsts. I’d been wrong, desperate. Just waiting for the end.” I’ll be completely honest with you, I only requested this ARC because the female MC was described as chubby, curvy or not-the-typical-skinny in some reviews. Or in other words, the female MC, Edie, was fat. Oh man, how much I dread that ugly ugly word. Anyway, it’s not that often that the heroine of the story is curvy and the story itself doesn’t revolve around that fact in particular. I’ve got to say, it was quite refreshing that she wouldn’t put up with any crap regarding her weight, that she wasn’t going on and on about diets, or that she was not constantly thinking on how to lose that weight to get the hot guy. She had complexes, yes, but the author dealt with them in a very natural way. And to be frank, Edie had other issues to occupy her mind with.

[Blurb from goodreads] After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

This book starts right away with a kick. The first few chapters are action packed, and not only I absolutely loved them but they got me instantly hooked and glued to the story. The robbery changes the way Edie sees life, and ultimately, changes her. I loved her character in the first quarter of the book, she stopped allowing bullies to get to her, she stood up for herself and she didn’t put up with any crap. The problem is that things go downhill from there. After changing schools she crosses paths with John – the guy that saved her in the robbery incident – and they sort of become friends. And I say sort of because John’s character was so unreadable, I find hard to say what he thought of Edie or basically anything about him. He starts right off with this stay away from me I am no good for you pitch and from there, Edie decides she doesn’t care and proceeds to basically drool after him while repeating time and time again how much he gets her or how he’s the only one that understands how life has changed. But still, John barely gives her anything a part from the word “Right.” which was his favourite reply to literally anything she says.

So the special emotional connection after that night, I can understand. What I didn’t see anywhere was chemistry, or anything else deeper than friendship. The author was so concerned about creating this mysterious and whimsical but protective character, that she forgot to actually give the reader a reason to care about him.

*I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Bookdepository – Goodreads

Secondborn (Secondborn #1) by Amy A. Bartol

Genre: YA, fantasy, dystopia

Rating: 3/5 | “I want to write the story of my life to suit me. I want to see the world without restrictions. I want to use my mind to obtain freedom, like she had.” I was a huge fan of Bartol’s Premonition series. And when I say huge, I mean that it is probably one of my all time fave paranormal series. There is just this thing about Bartol’s writing that is compelling and addictive. From how she plots her stories to the way her characters are layered and keep surprising you page after page. AND THE LOVE SUBPLOTS – super twisted and all tangled and jumbled – are always painfully delicious.

Now, contrary to how easily I fell into the Premonition’s universe, in the case of Secondborn that took quite a bit of time. Honestly, it felt like I was dropped in this dystopian world with no manual, dictionary or instructions for that matter. Everything felt too foreign, having to reread some parts more than once. Then, if I may add, the development pace of the relationships between the main characters dragged a little bit too much, the connections between them hatching too slowly. Which brings me to the MC, Roselle, who reminded me enormously of Katniss, but only in everything I would point as unrelatable. Let’s be honest, Katniss was like a treasure locked in a box, inside a safe, thrown into the ocean and covered by years of sand and coral and probably a few sharks swimming around. Or in other words, really hard to find, recover and crack open. Anyway, it seemed that Bartol didn’t really gave me anything to build a connection with Roselle, or sadly, she didn’t do so soon enough. And that goes as well for the relationship brewing between Roselle and her love interest, who was all swoony but all too perfect.

So, all in all, Secondborn is not perfect. It has flaws. But it also has some strong points, such as the world building, once you get into the flow of the story. Or the fact that the plot moves forward quickly and the story line is action packed since chapter one. My advice is, give it chance but there’s no need to put it too high on your priority list.

Bookdepository – Goodreads

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R O M A N C E

Beautiful Broken Rules by Kimberly Lauren | Rating: 3/5 | Goodreads

Recommended? Only if you are looking for a college romance with high levels of angst and a strong heroine that is far from helpless or inexperienced.

Negative points: frustrating heroine.

The Goal (Off Campus #4) by Elle Kennedy | Rating: 3/5 DNF 30% | Goodreads

Recommended? If you are a follower and lover of the Off Campus series or if you are into romances that start with a one night stand (which I am not).

Negative points: not interested.

Good Boy by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen | Rating: 3.5/5 | Goodreads

Recommended? If you are looking for a zero angst and extremely light romance.

Negative points: hero talks about his parts in third person and says things like CHEEZUS – I know, I know.

Captured by Jasinda Wilder | Rating: 4/5 | Goodreads

Recommended? For fans of the military that are looking for something highly intense, emotional and erotic.

Negative points: too intense at times.

Protector by Michelle Horst | Rating: 3.5/5 | Goodreads

Recommended? If you are into dark, suspensful and emotional romance.

Negative points: the ending stinks of unnecessary drama.

Sweet Love and Sweet Haven (The Sweet Series #1 and #2) by KC Lynn | Rating: 3.5/5 | Goodreads

Recommended? For fans of KC Lynn and her alpha males.

Negative points: at times silly, at times too much drama. Too many f-bombs.

Until Novemeber (Until #1) by Aurora Rose Reynolds | Rating: 2/5 | Goodreads

Recommended? No.

Negative points: ridiculously instantaneous insta-love, alpha male so alpha is manipulative and controlling.

Until Trevor (Until #2) by Aurora Rose Reynolds | Rating: 1/5 | Goodreads

Recommended? No. (Yeah, don’t ask me why I thought this one could be any better than the first).

Negative points: waaaaay too possessive, waaaaay too controlling and waaaaaay too aggressive. Yikes.

As you see.. not that good of a summer.

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