Friday YA: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

Olivia thinks that she has her life all figured out until her boyfriend ghost’s her, her summer internship falls through, and her guardian gets a new job that means they’ll be moving across country for her senior year. When she gets a job at the local outdoor company she gets to know Aidan, the golden boy pitcher on her high school team who quit suddenly at season’s end. They become unlikely friends who help each other learn to find a new brand of happiness, a happiness that includes each other.

Olivia has definitely hit a rough spot! She has imagined her future as part of her boyfriends family as a kind of replacement for what she’s lacked in her own life. She was abandoned by her mother and that fear of being alone makes her forgive a lot of things in her boyfriend that she might not have forgiven otherwise. When she and Aidan start their friendship they have so much in common. Although Aidan has a great family life, his own life is changing drastically due to his failing vision. He find solace in his art, and she finds solace in her writing. They have that creativity in common, and together they challenge each other, which is a big contrast to the safe relationship Olivia had previously. Their relationship felt real and was one I could easily buy into.

Aidan was a great YA hero. He was slightly tragic with his failing eyesight but was a truly wonderful guy. You really wanted Olivia to get over that old boyfriend and give Aidan a chance to win her over. Jessica Pennington’s style of writing is so comfortable and easy to read. While this story didn’t give me any extreme emotions I did really enjoy reading it and would recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of YA contemporary novels and wants a great book to read for the summer.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I loved how the characters complemented each other; as the reader, I ended up rooting for them. They deal with their issues in their own way, and I liked how they tried to make the best of their situation despite everything. They were inspiring.L.M. Durand

“Olivia and Aiden are two different characters who fit together perfectly. They each have did so much growing through out the book. I love the friendship that blossoms between them and the relationship that eventually develops. If you’re impatient like I am, I’m warning you that I found this to be slow-burn romance and literally every time I read it I was like “JUST GET TOGETHER ALREADY I DONT HAVE TIME FOR THIS.” Kayla Reads and Reviews

Click this link to purchase!* When Summer Ends: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chick Read: Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker

To director Luc Savage nothing will compromise his new West End production. Even when one of the board members tries to pull rank and cast soap opera star Lily Lamprey as Elizabeth I. After viewing one reel of her Marilyn Monroe-esque acting, he refuses to consider her for the part until his casting director asks him to take another look. When Lily tries out in person he see’s a glimmer of Elizabeth and is intrigued, despite her breathy delivery.

Pretty Face could very easily gone the way of My Fair Lady with Luc trying to re-make Lily into his perfect Elizabeth. He does get her a voice coach and he is reluctantly attracted to he ingenue but thankfully that is where his Henry Higgins likeness stopped. Once Luc decided that he was going to stop fighting his attraction to Lily he went all in, despite what getting involved with her could do to his reputation and career. He, in fact, put love first before what had been the most important things in his life. You’ve got to love that attribute in a man!

Even though Lily had the body and voice of Marilyn Monroe, her personality was anything but Monroe-like. She knew her soap opera background didn’t do her any favors and she worked hard to overcome those expectations. I really enjoyed Lily’s sass and fire and in fact was pleasantly surprised at the depth to her character. I shouldn’t have been though, as Lucy Parker gives her characters great back stories which make them jump off the pages in 3-D and put her readers through a riot of emotions. Pretty Face was no different, I was caught up, hook line and sinker!

I think I wrote on Goodreads that I am now obsessed with Lucy Parker novels. I really am. Her stories could so easily be fluffy romances, but they aren’t! They are well written, her characters are rock solid and the build up in the romance is riveting to read. Her dialog isn’t too shabby either, it’s actually really fun! Growing up in Southern California, I love the London West End playhouse setting and the fact that these are also slow burn romances. The build up from enemies to friends to lovers has you gripping your book until your fingers hurt, the tension only unwinding when the characters deliver their HEA. Yeah, Lucy Parker is a new favorite and I will be recommending this book and series to everyone I know. Consider yourself recommended. 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Pretty Face (London Celebrities)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Slight Spoilers ahead!

Darcy Barrett has spent her life traveling the world running away from her feelings for her brother’s best friend Tom Valeska. Tom was “adopted” into her family and was attached at the hip to her twin brother Jamie since they were kids. He was the peacemaker between the two very dramatic siblings always saying the perfect thing to bring the tension down and smooth out their foul moods. Now in her mid 20’s Darcy is living in her Grandmother’s home while working as a bartender in a biker bar. One evening she arrives home to find Tom sitting on her doorstep, ready to start construction on the home she and her brother have inherited. He’s newly single and Darcy is determined to make him 99 percent hers.

I really, really wanted to love this book. The Hating Game took me by surprise and delivered a powerfully snarky love story that was incomparable to any other. 99 Percent Mine, following that amazing debut had the burden of living up to that great first novel, and well, it paled in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, it was totally readable, but there was just something missing. Darcy had the snarky attitude, the brash personality, and the emotional neediness of a great heroine, but she never felt three dimensional. She was a black and white sketch that needed color and warmth to flesh her out. Her brother Jamie was the same. What saved this novel from being bad was Tom, yet he had his issues too.

The biggest problem was that I really couldn’t connect with Darcy and found her to be pretty unlikeable. If she is unlikeable, why would I root for she and Tom to get together? She does have a heart problem, and this will sound a little weird, but I liked that. It made her more human, but she fought so hard against appearing weak that she builds a shell that is almost unbreachable.

There were a few plot points that if explained could have rounded out the story and provided depth with back story. For example, there was this scene from when she was eighteen years old and Tom had declared his love for her. She is immature and brushes off his declaration and although she regrets her action she doesn’t try to make amends. She runs to her grandmother for advice and her loving grandmother gives her money and sends her off to travel the world! What was up with that? Darcy does look back on that and wonder why her grandmother did that but the plot point was never resolved. Did grandma know Darcy would eat sweet Tom up and spit him out and was trying to protect him? I really wanted to know! This is just one example and I really think that if some of these questions had been worked through in the book, it would have helped me like Darcy just a little bit more. Why was she she so messed up? I really couldn’t tell you except that she had a heart problem.

Tom was a prime male specimen. That fact was relayed in description after description that in my head I pictured he was a Viking god. Yet, his personality of the peacemaker was kind of an underwhelming trait as was his skills as a head contractor. This guy just kind of fell apart. I liked that he was sweet and sweet on her (but couldn’t really see why he’d pick her!), but other than his height, musculature, and size of his package he was.. and here’s that word again… underwhelming!

There was a lot of tension surround our main characters, but that tension fed each of their jealousies and insecurities instead of amping up towards a big release of that tension. There was one, but it seemed a bit rushed which diminished the importance of their finally getting together. So, Surprise! I was disappointed in this one. It fell into the solid good, but not great category and I really think this author just mailed it in. I really hope she puts more into her next effort. ❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Overall, unless 99 Percent Mine goes through some major editing it will be a flop. It lacks spark, characterisation and just overall consistency. This book is not something I would recommend to anyone in the state that I read it and it is disappointing to say that. There are just so many flaws and it is so hard to look past them when it is the entire book.” Ambsreads

“I have to say that while I enjoyed 99 Percent Mine, I was a little bit disappointed. I went in expecting to have found my new favorite book, and that was my fault. I really should know better than to hype up books so much in my mind.” Sara –The Bibliophagist

Click this link to purchase!* 99 Percent Mine: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? (4/1/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

First Sentence Read: “Mae wakes, as she does each morning, to the sound of a train.”

JUST STARTED

Devil’s Daughter: The Ravenels meet the Wallflowers by Lisa Kleypas

First sentence read: ” Phoebe had never met West Ravenel, but she knew one thing for certain: He was a mean, rotten bully.”

I love starting a new book! What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

Friday YA: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Lacey Barnes has landed her first big role in a movie opposite a big name teenage heart throb. Wanting to focus 100% on doing her absolute best acting as the love interest/zombie she is foiled by her father who wants to make sure she is keeping up with her school work and not working more hours than an underage performer should be. He hires a local high school student, Donavan Lake to tutor her. When someone starts sabotaging her chances on set, Donavan becomes the one person she can trust to help her find out who is behind these pranks.

I liked Lacey and her drive to succeed quite a bit. She is charming on set and that charm carries over to the reader very well. She and Donavan have some great dialog and I liked him overall, but I thought their romance was a bit contrived. Yes, he was her tutor and they were thrown together but I thought the story would have been stronger if they stayed friends. I don’t know, I guess I have mixed feelings because I did really like each characters on their own. I thought the movie plot was cute and kind of liked how each chapter began with a scene that they’d be working on in the next chapter. It tied the movie to the plot really well.

I really felt let down when it came to the relationship between Lacey and her father. I would’ve like to have seen the relationship grow a bit more than it did. He and her mom are divorced and this was his chance of living with his daughter and their relationship didn’t have enough depth and because of that his scenes felt flat. I didn’t feel the emotion that the scene was trying to build towards which was disappointing.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss is a stand alone novel set in the same world and with the same characters as in Love, Life, and the List. Lacey’s best friend is Abby from the previous book, which would make this the second book in a series? BUT, it can be read as a standalone since Abby and Conner show up towards the end and don’t really need more explanation than what is given to the reader. I do think reading Love, Life and the List first would be helpful only because you learn a little of Lacey’s back story and without that the reader is thrown into the story. Overall, I enjoyed reading Fame, Fate and the First Kiss, but it was not my favorite Kasie West novel. Funny enough, that title goes to Love, Life, and the List. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“This is the perfect escapist read. It’s got enough suspense and intrigue to keep you hooked, but it’s delivered with in such an airy tone that it’s just a pleasure to read.” YA & Wine

“Overall, Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss was a knockout YA romance for me—it was cute, fun, a quick read, had enjoyable characters, didn’t rely on overusage of tropes, and the main character is acting in a horror movie, which was such a fun detail to the story.” Howling Libraries

Copy this link to purchase!* Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Act Like It (London Celebrities #1) by Lucy Parker

When Richard Troy’s temper makes him front page news again, his team wants him to fake a romance with one of his leading ladies, golden girl Lainie Graham. Lainie has had her share of bad press after her most recent romance with another actor was played out in the headlines, so agreeing to “play” leading lady to Richard’s growly leading man, umm no way! When his team offers to make a donation to her favorite charity she shrugs off her misgivings and gives in, then is surprised that underneath his surly facade is a not so bad person, and their chemistry catches fire.

Act Like it takes place in London’s West End theater district which is a fun change in scenery for a slow burn romance. There is plenty of great dialog and I really enjoyed Lainie’s sassy personality. She isn’t the pushover either Richard or I were expecting! When he gives her a tough time she gives it right back and he comes to respect that he can’t push her around. As the story progresses their chemistry ignites yet it isn’t just their hormones that get involved. They come to actually like each other and I really started to root for them to get past the pretend relationship and get down to the real thing.

This could easily have played out like a cheesy Hallmark Channel romance movie, and I’m not really sure why it didn’t strike that chord with me. Maybe it was their fun dialog, the villain to root against in Lainie’s previous boyfriend (who is also a star in their play), or Richard’s lone wolf persona. I do really like that Alpha male attitude! This one hit all of my triggers and I just really enjoyed it while I was reading it. It’s a simple as that! So, if you are looking for a fun romance with great characters then I recommend you pick up Act Like It. It’s the first in the series and I bet, like me, you’ll immediately pick up the second! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“As a through and true theatre kid who has always been obsessed with British pop culture, this book may have been written for me. I adored the characters and their gradual, effortlessly written romance. ” Flying with Books

Click this link to purchase!* Act Like It: A Slow-Burn Romance (London Celebrities Book 1)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Because I’m Watching (Virtue Falls #3) by Christina Dodd

She was known as Mad Maddie in her neighborhood because of her past. She was the lone survivor of a stalker/murderer in her college dorm which resulted in a nervous breakdown and internment into a mental facility. As she moves on with her life, her fiance is murdered in their home while she is upstairs. Due to her background she was a suspect. Now, living in a new neighborhood in Virtue Falls, Maddie meets her neighbor Jacob by driving her car into the living room of his home. Jacob survives the incident and continues to live in his demolished home where he can see and hear clearly the goings on across the street. Not everything is as it looks…

This novel had me hooked right from the first scene! There was something about Maddie and Jacob that drew me in. Whereas she was nicknamed Mad Maddie by her neighbors, Jacob was actually crazier than she. He was an ex-soldier with PTSD who had delusions of death. He was actually mad that Maddie had missed him with her car! Watching the two of them navigate into a friendship, or really a co-dependency, was really interesting. Seeing this mystery play out was even more so.

I have read all of the Virtue Falls novels, including the Woman Who Couldn’t Scream which follows this novel in the series. I’ve enjoyed them, liking the continuing story of the town and it’s inhabitants. There are subplots in each novel that moves the town’s story forward. Even though I read the fourth book before the third, I don’t think I messed up the story’s sequence too much.  This novel was still my favorite so far. Each piece came together in the perfect package of psychosis, mystery, and romance.  Well done, Ms. Dodd! May I have another? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Watching

Click this link to purchase!*Because I’m Watching: A Novel (The Virtue Falls Series)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (3/25/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Polaris Rising (The Consortium Rebellion #1) by Jessie Mihalik

Last Sentence: “Tomorrow I would endeavor to win a war I wanted no part of, bur for right now, in this one perfect moment, I was exactly where I wanted to be.”

JUST STARTED

When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

First Sentence: “I’ve been stabbed in the chest.”

Now that you know what I’m reading, what are you reading this fine Monday? Let me know in the comments below!

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Ashley @Ashes Books & Bobs

OK, this is going to make me sound weird, but when I hop over to Ashes Books & Bobs I just love the organization and general feel of her home page. I can scroll through blog posts, just like on a newspaper website and pick and choose based on the headline. Also, the pictures feel so literary and make me feel like I’m on bookstagram instead of a website. I can get caught up in surfing the pictures as much as the content. Ashley and I love some of the same authors so believe me, I do get lost in that content too. If you haven’t jumped over to check out Ashes Books & Bobs please click the link below, but come back and take a look at her answers!

Ashes Books & Bobs

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

I live in the USA. Texas to be more specific.

What is the view outside your front door?  

My neighbors’ houses. I think the view from my backyard is much better. 🙂

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.


Ashes Books & Bobs is a play on the British saying “bits and bobs”. I was looking for a way to incorporate my love of British things into my name. I started blogging over 2 years ago with a good friend and decided to branch out on my own in October of last year. This name fits who I am and the theme I wanted to stick with.

Describe where you write your blog.


I write anywhere I can find a quiet place. Usually on my couch, at the kitchen table, or in bed.

Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack?


I have a huge stack this year because I’m trying to catch up on all of the unread books I own with the Beat the Backlist Challenge. I’ve already read some of these this year, but I still have to cross of The Shining, The River Widow, The Proposal, and more.

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?


R.S. Grey’s books are a great way to lift my spirits. She’s the queen of ROM-COM!


When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?


I’m a stay-at-home mom and homeschool my children, so I’m usually spending my time with them. I also enjoy working out or occasionally watching tv shows or movies with my husband.


What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?


It may be slightly controversial to discuss but I was really proud of my post discussing politics in fiction: https://ashesbooksandbobs.com/2018/11/08/modern-books-and-political-agendas/.

Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?


Yes! I met Tarryn Fisher almost exactly a year ago. I wrote her a letter telling her about the impact her books made on me because I knew I’d be too nervous to say anything in person. I’m glad I did because she messaged me on Facebook later that day telling me my letter made her cry, which in turn made me cry.


If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question,  who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?


I’d love to have a nice chocolate cake with Amy Harmon! She’s one of my very favorite authors and I’d love to discuss how she’s easily able to transition from one genre to the next with each book release.

I’d like to thank Ashley for her answers and some great book recommendations. Tarryn Fisher’s books might scare me a little but the synopsis look fascinating. I am also a fan of Amy Harmon, she’s a great writer!

If you’d like to be featured on Blogger to Blogger, please reach out and let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deborah

Friday YA: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Megan is the girl who will be voted Biggest Flirt in the year book, and she’s OK with that. Her last boyfriend dumped her for her best friend, and she’s ok with that too. In fact, every guy she’s ever hooked up with has left her and immediately found THE one. She thinks that’s what her role in life is supposed to be, but then Megan unexpectedly lands the role of Juliet in the school play and she discovers maybe she does have it in her to be the leading lady.

Always Never Yours seemed like a lighthearted romp through a high school romance, but Megan was actually a lot more complex a character than I thought I was getting from reading this synopsis. By having flirtations instead of relationships, Megan was protecting her heart. Her parents split and her father’s new family had done a number on her belief in love and truthfully, her taste in guys was pretty bad, so they were always cementing her belief that love was just not for her.

If it wasn’t for Owen I’d wonder if these authors had never met a teenaged boy who wasn’t driven by their hormones. OK, yeah all teenage boys are driven by their hormones, even Owen, but at least he had a brain as well as some morals. He was inspired by Megan’s being so casual about being “the girl before”. The comparison to Rosalind, Romeo’s “girl before” Juliet, I thought, was inspiring. How does that girl go on to find her own love story? Well, if you read Always Never Yours, you’ll find out.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I guess, in the end, I’d recommend this book if you were a theater kid and you want a nostalgic look back at those days. I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend it as a romance, but you could certainly do worse if you’re looking for a quick summer read.” The Bibliophagist

“Always Never Yours is a cute YA contemporary story, and while there’s more to this book than meets the eye it is still a little predictable in places. Still this is a perfect read for an afternoon when you have nothing else to do (or read) and Megan is a character you can’t help but root for.” Reading Every Night

Click this link to purchase!* Always Never Yours

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate