A Messy, Beautiful Life by (Sara Jade Alan)

Life is funny sometimes.

And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer.

I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom.

And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he seems to want so much more. But I won’t do that to him. He’s been through this before with his family, and I’m not going to let him watch me die.

So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.

I haven’t been in the mood for YA in a while, but this book… WOW, it just blew me away. I loved it to bits. I loved the characters, and the story. The theme, the friendships and the romance. I loved the pacing and the humour.

This was my first book by this author, but surely it won’t be the last, because the writing is fantastic. Sara Jane Alan infused an amazing personality into Ellie’s voice, she made her real, and again, WOW.

The theme of this book is not by any means lighthearted. It’s cancer! But it’s not dramatic. The way the theme, the diagnosis, the dealing with the issues were approached was heartbreakingly beautiful, and funny, so messy and beautiful. The use of humour to be deal with such a hardship is amazing, and it fit so well with the characters.

Again, I obviously loved this book, and it is dear to my heart. So, if you’re feeling brave, and you want to read something that will pull at your heartstrings and make you laugh while crying, this is the book for you.

A Mess of a Man (A.M. Hargrove & Terri E. Laine)


From USA TODAY BESTSELLING authors of Cruel and Beautiful, A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine bring the next book in the Cruel and Beautiful series. It is a new full-length standalone New Adult Contemporary Romance.

Womanizer, Man Whore, Player, Heartbreaker are all familiar names to Ben Rhoades. He prefers Money Man or Sex God, but he doesn’t let other people’s opinions rule him. And he’s only gotten worse without his compass, his best friend, whose devastating death at a young age has taught him a valuable lesson about not getting too close to anyone … ever. Until one smart and stubborn woman with eye-catching curves throws him for a loop and refuses to be tamed.

Samantha Calhoun has her life on track even after the shattering break-up with the guy she’d thought she’d wanted to marry. With her chin held high, she focuses on her career, building her business and making a success of it all. Only a chance meeting has her lost in a set of alluring steel gray eyes that have her steps faltering and her heart leaping out of her chest. Forewarned by not-so-flattering rumors plus his no-holds-bar rules, she tries desperately to play his game while guarding her heart.

Only they have no idea of the journey they’re about to undertake when their lives collide. Ultimately they’ll tackle the biggest test of their lives because she is his game changer. The one, who through the ensuing wreckage, can domesticate the mess of a man that he is.

Once again, I read this book with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, as buddy read, so check her blog soon to read her review of this book.

I don’t know what’s happening here… I honestly don’t know if I just had a bit of bad luck and read two bad books in a row, or if I’m just not in the mood and judging too hard. But I don’t think so, I’m honestly blaming the books here.

I couldn’t connect with the writing AT ALL. I’m very easy to please in terms of writing, but this one just didn’t do it for me. The speech and way of narration was too curt and blunt, there wasn’t enough dialogue, the transitions were weird. Also, and again, not picky here, the sex scenes were weirdly written… I just couldn’t connect and that took away a big chunk of my enthusiasm about this book. Also, I found it kind of crass?! I never thought that about a book before… and I read a lot of dirty dirty books.

I haven’t read book 1 of this series – and now I’m pretty sure I won’t – but I was expecting this book to be a tear jerker. It wasn’t… not really, even though it deals with very VERY important subjects, such as loss, cancer and the importance of an early diagnoses. I felt like this very important issues were a bit lost in everything else in this book, and that was a shame.

About the characters… yeah… no… I was kind of liking Sam until a point when she gets all weird about sex, does a bit of slut shaming, and then proceeds to give false hopes to an ex she has no interest in. I mean, what the hell Sam?! I could sympathize with her a bit, which was easy when a certain someone was being a jerk, but she was just too much of a push-over, even when she tried not to be, and she let a lot of people have a say in her life, while she didn’t quite assert herself… I don’t know… it was a bit weird to me. Now onto Ben… yeah… no! Ben had his moments, especially when he was opening up to Sam and actually doing some talking that didn’t involve boobs, but he is a jerk several times, and I honestly couldn’t get past some things that he did and said.


The plot of the book was a bit meh for most of the time, though I did like the main conflict, even if I didn’t like what was said and how it was resolved. Some things were dealt with very conveniently and the resolution itself was a bit weak in my opinion. I needed a lot more talking and a lot more “getting to know”… but well… I wasn’t a fan of all the side characters either and their respective roles in the plot, and I’m still not sure how Karen and Nick were important for the story.

Ultimatly this was a very meh book to me, the characters were frustrating, and I couldn’t connect with the writing. There’s a moment in the epilogue that kind of made me cry, so I’m giving it an half a star because of that.

This one just wasn’t for me, but it does has some great reviews on goodreads, so it obviously appeals to a lot of people. If you’re interested, check those out, ok?! 😉

An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes (Randy Ribay)

As their senior year approaches, four diverse friends joined by their weekly Dungeons & Dragons game struggle to figure out real life. Archie’s trying to cope with the lingering effects of his parents’ divorce, Mari’s considering an opportunity to contact her biological mother, Dante’s working up the courage to come out to his friends, and Sam’s clinging to a failing relationship. The four eventually embark on a cross-country road trip in an attempt to solve–or to avoid–their problems.  

Told in the narrative style of Akira Kurosawa’s RASHOMAN, AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES is at turns geeky, funny, and lyrical as it tells a story about that time in life when friends need each other to become more than just people that hang out.

Pub Date: October 16th 2015 by Merit Press

I received an eArc from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This book is written in a very interesting way… for about 40/50% of the book, we follow the exact same week from the perspective of our 4 main characters: Archie, Mari, Dante and Sam. I found this so interesting, it was amazing to read what each of them thought about the exact same event and situation.

For the rest of the book, the narrative is a bit more complicated and there is some alternation between the POVs, though it sometimes takes a bit to actually understand which view you’re getting at a time. I guess it’s some kind of  third person omniscient narrator thing, though I’m still not sure (sorry). Although this is the part where the story actually gets interesting like hell, with all our characters together in the same space, it’s the one that I found harder to read.

“If only leveling up in real life were as simple as in a game. Complete a few quests. Gain some experience. Develop special abilities.”

About the characters… This is definitely the most diverse group of characters in the book that I’ve ever read. And their problems? WOW! I have to admit that the only character that I didn’t connect with was Sam, although I understood his problem, he was just being a prick for most of the book… This book deals with such important themes though, sexuality, homophobia, adoption, racism, religious beliefs, cancer, heartbreak, …, wow, right? A lot of important and heavy themes for an YA book.

The plot, I really liked the concept and idea of it. They all embark on this giant road-trip for Sam, but really because they’re all running away from something. They eventually stop running and become better friends in the process, the kind of friends that are worth having.

I had a couple of problems with this book…

I struggled a bit with the alternating POVs in the second half of the book, but nothing major.

That road-trip was crazy! EVERYTHING that could go wrong did, which while amazing in terms of plot, wasn’t really believable…

I also had a tiny problem with the fact that we don’t actually get any resolution to any of their problems and struggles. SPOILERS! When the book ends, we only know that Sam finally woke up and realized that Sarah was not good for him, and Archie and Mari are together, but we don’t know what will happen between Archie and his dad, whether Mari will contact her birth mother, or if her mom will beat cancer, we have no idea what it’s waiting for Dante when he gets back home… And I wanted to know!

All in all, it was a good read, and I would highly recommend it. 🙂

Rating: 3.8 Stars