IF I STAY By Gayle Forman

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

IF I STAY By Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #1
Published by Speak on 4/6/10
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family

Short and Sweet

After a devastating car accident, Mia wakes up only to find herself out of her body. Mia is caught between a choice of staying alive without her family or passing on. Mia witnesses how her remaining loved ones deal with the loss of her family, and weighs the decision of leaving versus the decision of staying behind. Ultimately, the choice is up to Mia and this choice is a matter of life or death.

What I Liked

~ The flashbacks, it gave the book an interesting tone.

~ The Music, I love that there was so many different kinds introduced in this book. I loved how it brought people together and drove people apart as well.

~ I also loved Mia she was easy to connect to.

What I Didn’t Like

~ At some points I found myself getting disinterested.

Quotes

~ “I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

~ “But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow.”

Overall

If I Stay was such a moving and captivating read. This book is incredible. It’s a short read and wonderfully written. But I did have to push through sometimes, because I did get a little bored. Otherwise everything was great and it had me guessing up until the very end what Mia would choose to do.

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WILD SWANS By Jessica Spotswood

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

WILD SWANS By Jessica SpotswoodWild Swans by Jessica Spotswood
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 5/3/16
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

The summer before Ivy's senior year is going to be golden-all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad's intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives-and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy's ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past...

Short and Sweet

Ivy plans on having the time of her life before her senior year starts. But things don’t always go as planned. Ivy is struggling trying to find her calling in life and feeling the pressure of the Milbourn legacy in her family. Ivy’s mother left when she was young, so she was raised by her Grandad. When her mother returns, with two young children or Ivy’s half sisters, her life is turned upside down.

What I liked

~Ivy, she wasn’t perfect (who is?) but she was a strong character and stood her ground.

~Connor, he’s Ivy’s love interest and he was honestly so sweet and supportive.

~I liked how most of the issues in the story were resolved.

~Ivy’s best friend Claire she’s funny and a feminist who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. (Look at the quote below)

~Also liked getting to know the background on some of the characters like Ivy’s mom and some of the other Milbourn women.

~ It touches on gender identity and feminism and body image.

What I didn’t like

~The ending I mean it was good I just wish we got to know more. An epilogue would have been nice.

Quotes

“When it comes to the family legacy – that it’s a gift, not a curse; that the Milbourn women were extraordinary, not doomed.”

“And that better be the only wiener you put in your mouth. We do not give blow jobs so that boys will like us!” Claire roars, and Connor nearly chokes on his beer.

Overall

Wild Swans is a  feel-good book with realistic friendships, romance, and family. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA coming of age stories and contemporaries.

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THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS By Marieke Nijkamp

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS By Marieke NijkampThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 1/5/16
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This Is Where It Ends follows four characters; Sylv, Autumn, Claire, and Tomas. It’s the new semester of school at Opportunity high school and when the principal finishes her speech everyone is expecting it to be a regular day but they realize they’re locked in the auditorium and the terror begins. What I really liked about this book is getting to see the four POVs because Sylv and Autumn were in the auditorium but Claire and Tomas were outside of the school and getting to see how each character is going to deal with the situation was interesting to me. We also get to see text, tweets, and blog post from kids who were either in the auditorium or at home. I didn’t like the shooter I thought there would be more of a motive there but there wasn’t.

In the beginning I had a hard time keeping track of the characters in this book mainly because their were four of them. After I got into the book I figured out the connection between the characters. The book is short and easy to read. The ending was okay but not what I was expecting, so I was caught off guard.
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BITTERSWEET by Kimberly Loth

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

BITTERSWEET by Kimberly LothBittersweet by Kimberly Loth
Published by Createspace Independent Pub on 3/14/15
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 200
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Every Sunday Savannah Ray gets an email from her dead dad. She doesn’t know how the emails work but she’s finally ready to start looking for answers. To find those answers she has to go to the one place she swore she’d never set foot in after he died—Haunted Valley, the amusement park. Once there and on the hunt for answers she is distracted by the charming Dallas and falls hard for him. When the answers she finds aren’t what she expected and Dallas betrays her, Savannah must make a choice—succumb to the insanity that destroyed her father or find the strength to rise above it.

“Every Sunday Savannah Ray gets an email from her dead dad” Because that’s not creepy at all. Savannah’s dad took his life two years ago on a rollercoaster ride and since that moment she’s stayed away from something they both loved: amusement parks. When the summer of her 18th birthday comes, she still feels numb, her dads death left her empty. So her mother decides to send her to work at her uncle’s amusement park, hoping Savannah will learn about responsibility and maturity. But Savannah doesn’t want anything to do with her uncle and doesn’t care about her mother’s wishes. All she care about is her passion for European chocolates and not breaking the connection with her father that somehow is keeping his promise with sending her emails every Sunday. It sounds like a good premise, right? How is she going to deal with her father’s death? Where are the emails coming from? Wrong!
The synopsis leads you to think that she is going to the amusement park to find who’s behind those emails when actually she doesn’t want to know it because she’s afraid it’ll stop. Its not a mystery which is what I was hoping for you find out who’s sending those emails in the beginning of the book. I wanted to like this book because of the premise but I was left feeling pretty disappointed. It was hard for me to like Savannah she was mean and she whined a lot. This isn’t a book I would reread or recommend to my friends.

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BURN FOR BURN by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

BURN FOR BURN by Jenny Han and Siobhan VivianBurn for Burn by Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian
Series: Burn for Burn #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on 8/6/13
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

With an alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently...” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

The sweet smell of revenge is in the air! I loved this book I couldn’t put it down. I loved the plot and the characters. Mary, Kat, and Lillia all have different personalities but it was so fun to see them come together and how these different personalities came together because of one common goal. We get to learn more about each girl through their POVs I felt connected to each girl but I like Kat more than Mary and Lillia. Honestly I think I liked this book because of the acts of revenge. Who doesn’t like a good revenge plot? I can honestly say the revenge plots were pretty good and the targets had no idea what was coming. The only thing I had a problem with was the ending I’m not entirely sure what was happening. I felt like a Carrie vibe going on but it was just weird and hard to describe. I would read the rest of the series, I ended up loving this book more than I originally thought I would.

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ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ALL FALL DOWN by Ally CarterAll Fall Down by Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row #1
Published by Scholastic Press Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Young Adult
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyMiranda

A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her -- so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can't control Grace -- no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Ally Carter’s first Embassy Row novel All Fall Down is rife with political intrigue, snarky teenagers, a murder mystery and a possible romance that may unite or ruin nations.  Phew, that is a lot to pack into one novel but Ms. Carter does it well.  Grace Blakely is a smart-mouth army brat who has been around the world but now she’s back with the grandfather she hasn’t seen in three years.  Her grandfather is the United States Ambassador to the foreign nation of Adria.  As soon as she arrives in Adria, Grace is bombarded with memories of her deceased mother.  Everyone is convinced her mother died in a fire but Grace believes she was murdered and is determined to find the killer.

I really enjoyed Grace. She made me laugh and I felt empathy for her.  Of course, I could not get enough of her and the Russian Ambassador’s son Alexei.  There are some serious sparks between them! I liked most of the secondary characters especially the friends Grace met quickly upon arriving in Adria. At times I felt the memories were too much. The mystery as to the murder of Grace’s mother ended surprisingly, which doesn’t happen often.  I was a bit disappointed with the ending but I still would like to read book two in the series.

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HEARTSICK by Caitlin Sinead

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

HEARTSICK by Caitlin SineadHeartsick by Caitlin Sinead
Published by Carina Press on 02/16/15
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, New Adult
Pages: 224
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Quinn is looking forward to her senior year at Poe University. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend, flirt with a certain boy genius, party at her favorite dive bar and figure out what she's going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major. But that's before she meets Luke, a hot townie who's moved back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it's before a weird epidemic sweeps across campus, mysteriously turning people's eyes purple.
Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug?
Is it a rogue virus developed in a campus lab?
Is it the mark of the devil?
Soon the town starts blaming the university and the student religious group becomes frighteningly aggressive in their on-campus accusations. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle—until a tragic accident forces Luke to reveal the one part of himself he's kept carefully hidden. That he's so much more than the happy-go-lucky boy next door Quinn had believed him to be isn't a surprise…but this truth might be too dangerous for her to handle.
Something strange is happening in and around Poe College, the town and students are quarantined, no one in and no one out. Why? Because someone or something is infecting people with violet eyes! Purple Eye Disease is spreading and doctors think it is carried through bodily fluids. There are other side effects, too, that are not exactly bad, just unexplainable.

Caught in the middle of this is college student, Quinn, a carefree college senior, looking to have fun with her friends. When events in town get nasty, as the fear of the purple eye disease grows, the college is blamed and anyone associated with or having purple eyes becomes a target for violence and even death. Through it all, Quinn becomes involved, she always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to help, but causing more trouble and coming under the scrutiny of the law. Quinn also meets a love interest, Luke. But when Quinn finds out he has secrets of his own she wonders if she can still trust him.

Quinn’s character took some time for me to warm up to, but when the story started getting deeper, so did Quinn’s character. Although there was danger from the unknown and the cult, Quinn was determined to find out the cause of the illness. Half the campus is in quarantine and not allowed to leave but Quinn is constantly breaking the rules and finding more and more clues. She meets Luke right before the epidemic and is constantly ignoring his wishes. She is determined to help her friends and others.

Luke is a loveable character. He is handsome, sweet and caring. Luke is keeping a secret, which when it came out I am not sure why, but it does add to Quinn’s confusion. Neither Luke nor Quinn were looking for a relationship but the epidemic brings them together. Rashid another possible love interest is a scientist. I didn’t really see the connection. Luke was true to his character throughout the story. His interest and concern for Quinn’s safety and those who took ill never wavered.

When we finally dive into the mystery illness, the author gives readers danger and suspense. There are twist and turns that I did not see coming. I would have liked to had more of Quinn and Luke too, but the story is fast-paced. Overall I think Heartsick was a good book.

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MY SECRET TO TELL by Natalie D. Richards

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

MY SECRET TO TELL by Natalie D. RichardsMy Secret to Tell by Natalie D. Richards
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 10/06/2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

One promise changed her life. One confession could end it.
There was blood on his hands. Where was the guilt in his eyes?
Emmie's had a crush on her best friend's brother forever. Deacon is the town bad boy who's always in trouble, but she sees his soft side when he volunteers with her at the local animal shelter. She doesn't think he's dangerous…until he shows up in her bedroom with blood on his hands. Deacon's father has been violently assaulted and Deacon is suspect number one. Emmie's smart enough to know how this looks, but she also knows Deacon's biggest secret—he's paralyzed by the sight of blood. She's sure he didn't do this. Or did he? Because even Deacon's own sister thinks he's guilty…

Well to be honest I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this book because I didn’t enjoy Gone too Far by Natalie D. Richards but the premise of the book intrigued me so I decided to give it a shot. I can defiantly say I liked this book more than I thought I would.  It took me a while to get into it, like halfway through the book. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Emmie she was bossy, whiny, and indecisive. She just kept changing her mind, “Is Deacon guilty or not? Should I help him or not?” things like that.  If I was in this book and my friend was in this situation I would trust them because they’re my FRIEND! What are friends for right??? I liked the whole whodunit aspect because when I found out who it was I was pretty shocked.  Emmie’s parents also got on my nerves.  They were smothering her so much that even I could feel it. I think the first half of this book was pretty slow at least for me but it started picking up towards the end. What’s really funny to me is the fact that the ending was like a game of clue “I think you did it because you’re just really suspicious to me.” Anyway the other characters were sub par, I was over them. Get some better friends would be my advice haha. In the end I would say this book was good enough that I’d read Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries and if you’ve read other books by this author.

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THE NIGHT WE SAID YES by Lauren Gibaldi

I received this book for free from Owlcrate in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE NIGHT WE SAID YES by Lauren GibaldiThe Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Published by HarperTeen on 6/15/15
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Source: Owlcrate
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ReviewedbyDani

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.

I really liked this book! Lauren Gibaldi’s The Night We Said Yes was perfect for me because I was kind of in a slump.  It was just the right length and interesting enough to keep my attention. The Night We Said Yes goes between the past and the present and that usually bothers me but this time it didn’t. This book had such an interesting premise. Ella is at a party and Matt her ex-boyfriend comes out of nowhere and decides he wants to relive a night from their past, the night they said yes. This story was genius!  I mean who wouldn’t want to relive a night where they said yes to everything.  I also liked learning more about Ella and her friends and also her relationship with Matt through the flashbacks. I honestly would love to do this with my friends one night just saying yes to everything that’s reasonable and we can’t say no it just sounds like so much fun. This book was short, sweet, and I loved the characters. This is a great book to read especially in the summer. I would recommend this book to my friends, all of my friends! Everyone should just go buy this book hahaha.

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BETWEEN THE NOTES by Sharon Huss Roat

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

BETWEEN THE NOTES by Sharon Huss RoatBetween the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat
Published by HarperTeen Genres: Contemporary
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ReviewedbyDani
Ivy Emerson used to live in a wealthy neighborhood, but when her father’s investment went wrong, she was forced to give up everything – including her beloved piano – and move to Lakeside, the wrong side of town, with her family. She was ashamed of this and she made up lies.  However, as time goes on her lies begin to unravel. Here, Ivy learned to embrace what has happened to her family and live with it.
Between the Notes is a gripping and very relatable.  The way was written is just great!I loved how this book was not only about romance, but also about family, friendship, and learning more about oneself. At first Ivy was bitter and created lies, but she still took care of her family, especially her special-needs brother. Later on, Ivy learned to embrace her situation and had the courage to tell the truth to those who were judgemental of her. I also loved Ivy and Reesa’s friendship because it showed how in every friendship, there are fights, but if you’re really friends, it will all work out in the end.

I also loved the relationship Lennie and Ivy had. She was unsure of him because of his reputation but as the book progressed she really got to know him and realized you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.

 

This debut novel by Sharon Huss Roat is amazing and I’d recommend it!

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