This Chick Read: Places We’ve Never Been by Kasie West

Norah and Skyler used to be best friends until his family moved away. They tried to stay in touch but over the last couple of years their friendship was reduced to an occasional comment on social media. When their mother’s (also best friends) plan a three week RV road trip Norah is thrilled! Finally, she and her once best friend can pick back up where they left off only Skyler basically ignores her when their families see each other again. Now it’s looking like this is going to be the road trip from hell.

When Skyler moved away Norah floundered not knowing her place in the cliques at school and having to make new friends. She finds herself a new best friend, Willow, who helps this awkward gamer girl find a place in “the popular group” at school. A place she’s not very comfortable inhabiting. This trip is a chance for her to be herself and not “play” at being this cool girl she really isn’t. Skyler has also changed a lot. His once gawkiness has now changed into a buffer more attractive guy. Facing each other as they are now, or who the other believes they are, isn’t the easiest relationship to navigate. I liked how this novel took the ‘everything is not as great as it seems on social media’ approach and made them face that head on. They both have misconceptions that they’ll have to overcome before they can become friends again, and maybe something more.

One of the things I love about Kasie West’s novels is that they are so truthful and her characters are easy to identify with and like. Places We’ve Never Been was so easy to read and our two main protagonists were so easy to like. Heck, their families were awesome and the dialog was so witty I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. Skyler’s little sister especially had some great one liners. This novel isn’t all LOL’s though, there is quite a lot of teenage and adult angst but this author has a talent for portraying life very accurately without being overdramatic. I bought into the story 100%.

Are you looking for a book you can dive into? Do you like an occasional young adult novel? Places We’ve Never Been is a clean, easy to read, very enjoyable escape. I highly recommend reading it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Places We’ve Never Been

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: Sunkissed by Kasie West


Every summer Avery’s parents take she and her sister on a long vacation in order to bond and have “family time”. This year is no different and she finds herself at a family camp for two months without wifi. This year’s trip comes right after she finds out her best friend betrays her with her ex and the lack of wifi gives her a little time to decide how she really feels. On the day she arrives she meets Brooks, a moody, cute, staff employee who plays in the resort band but there’s a firm policy against staff-guest relationships. Her love of music and writing poetry draws them together and their friendship helps her come to terms with the difficulties she left behind at home.

My first impression of Sunkissed was that this was a fan fiction rewrite of Dirty Dancing. Two sisters, one outgoing and loud and the other quiet and kind of introspective. The quiet girl meets a good looking guy at a family camp who seems at first like he might be from the wrong side of the tracks. Girl has a talent for writing poetry and singing, boy has a contest coming up where he needs a song written for his band. Lead singer gets hurt and can’t compete, quiet girl overcomes nerves to sing. Boy and girl fall in love and have to overcome daddy’s objections. They only thing missing was a pregnancy and some raunchy hot time in the sack. As this is a Kasie West novel, everything is PG-13 and seen through rose tinted lenses, but the similarities were hard to not see. Despite the parallels I did like this story and Avery’s character.

We learn some interesting things about Avery as the book goes along but the most pressing is the fact that she has terrible stage fright and a bit of an anxiety problem. She’s known for going with the flow and that’s mostly because she’s trying to avoid anything that makes her anxious. It’s only when her dad seems to admire her younger sister for her cleverness in starting up a podcast that Avery see’s that maybe she’s been playing life a little too safe and she wants to make some changes and spread her wings a bit.

I always like the novels where the shy girl has a hidden talent that makes her shine and Sunkissed has exactly that kind of story. If you like these same traits then I suggest you give it a try. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase! Sunkissed

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

Friday YA: Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Working for the local florist, Sophie knows she’ll be at all of the large events her small town will throw in the coming year. Her best friend’s family owns the local catering company and usually she and her BFF work them side by side. This year, their catering company has hired a celebrity chef to help them with a makeover. When Sophie meets that celebrity’s son Andrew she takes an instant dislike to him and isn’t looking forward to working with him over the next year. A year is a long time to carry that hate, will her feelings change?

Kasie West is one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. I know exactly what I’m going to get, how long it will take me to read it, and am almost guaranteed I’m going to like it. Maybe This Time didn’t veer from that winning format. Sophie was a small town girl with big town ambitions. Having grown up in a small town myself, I know the feelings of wanting to get out, and Kasie West capture’s those feelings very well. Sophie’s frustrations with trying to achieve her goals, her dissatisfaction with her family life, her bickering with her best friend, all felt so real. I really liked how meeting Andrew changed her. He had the experience of living in different places, including NYC, but maybe the things she was trying to get away from are the things she’d miss.

I liked Andrew a lot. A guy who has to move around from town to town with his celebrity dad, doesn’t get a lot of chances to make friends. I felt bad for him when Sophie shot him down from day one and anticipated that day when she’d give him a shot. Despite his GQ airs, he wanted the experiences and family that living in a small town gives you. He and Sophie actually were the perfect pair and I loved the moment when they figured that out themselves.

Maybe This Time got the formula right. A simple premise that we can all apply to our own lives. We don’t have to look too far to find happiness. It may be right in front of us the whole time.


Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Overall, this was a cute contemporary that I really enjoyed. I flew through this book and although it’s not my favorite Kasie West, I would still definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for something short and sweet.” Page Procrastinators

Maybe This Time is a cute summer read that takes place over the course of nine different events. I loved both the main characters as well as the side characters, and the theme of family adds more meaning to the book. I would definitely recommend this one, or any of Kasie West’s books, to those looking for the perfect contemporary.” The Candid Cover

Click this link to purchase!* Maybe This Time

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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

Friday YA: Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

Do you ever start off reading a book thinking it’s about one thing, but your own experience with the words on the page make your experience something entirely different? That’s what happened to me with Kasie West’s Love, Life and the List.

Abby is seventeen years old and in love with her best friend Cooper. As if that’s not bad enough, she is trying to enter her art into an exhibit to help her chances of getting into art school but her mentor tells her that she hasn’t lived through enough life experiences to portray art with feeling. Abby is pretty destroyed, but determined to live life to the fullest by following a list she creates. What’s on the list? Things like facing your fear; watch a life end; experiencing unrequited love, etc. and her painting changes as she does with each life event she faces.

I think we’ve all lived through Abby’s emotion of loving her best friend and not having that love returned. Although mine was at a little bit older of an age, those feelings came rushing right back as she tried to deny the importance of her feelings. Thankfully she had some other things to check off to keep her busy and as she did I realized I should make my own list because even though I’m older, there is still a lot I need to experience. Kasie West’s point about your life becoming 3D by living through different experiences was poignant, and even though sometimes I’m human and want to avoid heavy emotions, reading this book made me think I may be missing something by not living them. (OK, I am mostly thinking about my avoidance of movies and books that make me cry, but even so, I may be missing something!)

Cooper was a charming leading man. He was a typical teen in that he didn’t think that far into the future and so in making a joke of Abby’s feelings he actually hurts himself as much as he hurts her. He was a really fun character to read and I enjoyed their sparring, but was thankful to see his character growth because it gave him dimension and the story more impact. I enjoyed experiencing life through Abby’s character and loved how quickly this plot moved. If you are looking for a one hanky lighthearted romance, I think this is the story for you! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Love, Life and the List

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Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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Friday YA: Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Kate Bailey doesn’t really like people. OK, let me clarify. She doesn’t dislike them, she’s just kind of a loner. She’d rather be out on the lake then with a group of people, unless they are lake people. When her best friend Alana talks her into taking a podcast class at school, she agree’s half-heartedly. Their first assignment is to offer one suggestion each for the topic of their class podcast that year. Surprise! Kate’s topic, an advice podcast is the winner and Kate finds herself co-hosting, which is completely at odds with her loner personality. Suprisingly, she finds her caustic sense of humor plays well on air and their podcast becomes a hit and one day a young man calls in asking for advice on a crush….

Our young heroine has a lesson to learn, and in Kate’s it was that there is more out in the world to discover beyond lake life. Even though Kate is kind of loner, she isn’t really because her family is huge. Her parents, aunts and uncles all live on a block together so she’s surrounded by family, cousins et. al at almost all times. So for a loner, she surprisingly is pretty social. When she drives her cousin to her weekly tutoring sessions she gets to know Diego, the boy her best friend is crushing on. As she gets to know him, she develops her own crush. Due to the girl code and first dibs, she doesn’t do anything about it.

I didn’t think this was the best Kasie West novel I’d ever read, but it wasn’t the worst either. I did really enjoy the podcasts, and the supporting characters were energetic and fun. Which was good because Kate was not a ball of energy. She did have a good heart though and in the end, she did learn her life lesson, having fun with the podcast and expanding her horizons. Listen to you Heart was a quick read, so if you have a few hours on a rainy Saturday it will be the perfect book to spend your time.


LIsten to Your Heart

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Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side surprised me by the depth hidden behind what I thought would be cotton candy fluff. A last minute potty break as the library is closing and Autumn Collins finds herself on the wrong side of the locked doors. Having put her bag in a friends car she is without a phone and has no way of letting anyone know where she is. She thought she was alone but is surprised to discover that Dax Miller, mysterious boy from the wrong side of the tracks is locked in the library with her. Autumn, not used to indifference tries really hard to break down Dax’s walls and succeeds. Up to a point.

Autumn, who seemed to be your average teenage girl, was hiding a secret from her friends. She has a severe anxiety disorder and takes medication to control her panic attacks. I thought these panic attacks were an interesting way to spotlight what would be pretty normal high school drama. Semi popular girl has a crush on a popular guy that is just starting to like her back. The panic attacks put more emphasis on if he was the right guy for her. Her working through those thoughts while holding panic at bay added tension to what would have been a banal plotline.

Dax was your typical misunderstood teen. His being locked in the library wasn’t an accident, he was actually “taking a break” from his foster family. His character didn’t seem to be so unusual. What was unusual was his self sacrifice for Autumn. That sacrifice and his willingly becoming her safe harbor placed me firmly on his side.

This type of novel is not my usual choice but I really enjoyed the surprise of liking these characters and enjoying their love story. For those of you much younger than myself, I think you’ll identify with these characters even more than I. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click link to purchase! By Your Side

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You is a straight up young adult romance.  If you follow my blog, you know I like YA books, but usually they are in the fantasy genre, or historical.  This book is a contemporary romance set in high school, which I will admit, was a long time ago for me.  However, I received this book in my Uppercase Box book club of the month and cracked it open yesterday. I listened to the author, Kasie West’s video where she talked about her idea of writing a romance without all of the technology available to them today.  No texts, email, video, etc.  I thought, ok, that is like how it was when I was in High School.  Back in the good old days, when you passed notes and wrote letters. (Gasp!). Continue reading “This Chick Read: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West”