Defying Gravity (Kendra C. Highley)

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Disclaimer: This book contains enough sexual tension to melt snow, the hottest near-kiss in the history of near-kisses, and a sexy snowboarder determined to win the heart of the girl he loves.

Zoey Miller lives for her holidays in Aspen. Her time up on the mountain with the Madison brothers, Parker and Luke, is everything. But for the first time, it’s not enough. This time, she’s determined to win one of the brothers’ hearts.

But the brother she has in mind is a renowned player, with hordes of snow-bunnies following him around Snowmass resort. And the other…well, he’s her best friend and knows she deserves better. Namely him. And he’s going to win her heart.


Once again, I read this book as a buddy read with  Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, so check out her blog in the next few days to get her take on it.

This was my second book by Kendra C. Highley, as I read the first book of this series, Finding Perfect, last year and really enjoyed it – you can check out my review of it here. And once again, I really liked this one :).

The book is told in dual POV, from Zoey and Parker’s points of view, and told in the third person. Though this is not my favorite type of writing, I still enjoyed it a lot, and the 2 voices were clearly distinct. Also, damn, they were funny.

I had liked Zoey by the end of book 1, because she was an awesome friend to Paige, and I liked her even more here. Zoey is always put together while at school, and mostly hides her true self most of the time, except when she’s in Aspen, with her best friend. I really liked that although she was the typical Queen-Bee at school, she was not really like that, and she grows a lot during this book and learns that while she’s hiding stuff, she won’t ever be truly happy.

Parker was dreamy dreamy. He has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, not really having an opportunity to shine himself, but he won’t let Luke get the one thing he loves most of all, his BFF and the girl he loves. I thought it was amazing how each brother had their strongest fields, and that they could both be AMAZING at slightly different things. And it was amazing to see Parker finally get his time to shine.

I loved Zoey’s relationship with Parker. They have been best friends since forever, and they’re always themselves around each other, with no pretense or bullshit (or makeup). The progression from friendship to more had been a long time coming, and they were truly two halves of the same whole – according to their moms… Yeah… their moms were their biggest shippers. It bothered me a bit that Zoey was so adamant to pursuit Luke, though I understood her fear: Luke was just easier, because if it didn’t work out, she wouldn’t lose her best friend. But I still could have done with a little less indecision from her front. I’m still not sure how I feel about Luke, because while I do think he’s not a bad guy, I really didn’t like some of his actions during this book.

The inclusion of Paige and Ben, from book 1, in the story was perfect, and it was so great to see where they stood.

The plot was fun and lighthearted, but with a good message: you have to be yourself to be complete. The dialogues and interactions between the main characters were awesome, and charged. It was a really enjoyable read, and I have to recommend this YA series… it’s so much fun.

September Wrap-Up

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Another month bites the dust! And in September I managed (by some miracle I might add) to finish my proposed TBR. So, here are the books I read (the titles will take you to my review of the book):

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1. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

2. Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi

3. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

4. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

5. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

6.  An Infinite Number Of Parallel Universes  by Randy Ribay

7. Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

8. Finding Cinderella (novella) by Colleen Hoover


All in all, not a bad month, considering that it took me over a week to finish Queen of Shadows, which I only did last night at 2 a.m., and that Ignite Me gave me the biggest book hangover of my life.

Queen of Shadows was also one of the most fun reads I ever had, and that’s thanks to the Buddy Read and the ongoing conversation on twitter with Josie, Erika and Anjie about the book – which given that we are on 3 different time zones, meant that I sometimes woke up to +60 notifications on my twitter… all worth it 😉 – I’ll read any book with you ladies, anytime, because this was fun as hell (even if the book had me crying for a huge chunk of it!).

Also, I ended up reading Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover because Dee @The Bookish Khaleesi wrote about it yesterday and it sounded so interesting that a few hours later it was on my kindle.

I also had slightly less time to post this month, and I ended up with a good number of 65 posts in the month of September… not bad!

Tomorrow I’ll post about my October TBR 😉 .

Finding Perfect (Kendra C. Highley)

How far will you go for perfection? 

For “Perfect Paige” Westfeld, today is “D” Day. As in, she just got one on her calculus test. With her dreams of Stanford, her reputation, and her parents’ expectations at stake, Paige needs to find a way to save face before everything she’s worked for goes up in flames.

Ben Franklin (yes, he’s related) is from the wrong side of town, with the wrong clothes and the wrong kind of life. He also knows an opportunity when he sees one, and he’ll be happy to tutor Paige – if she makes him into the kind of guy her best friend, the hottest girl in school, will date.  

It’s the perfect arrangement. And Paige is determined not even the inconvenient – and utterly imperfect – attraction simmering between her and Ben will ruin it…

Pub Date: September 14th 2015 by Entangled: Crush

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


I wasn’t exactly expecting this book to turn out as deep as it did. I thought it was just about the romance, and I was so happy to see that it was not the case. This book is mainly about being true to oneself, and dealing with the pressure and expectations that others will bestow on you. Peer and parental pressure can be a suffocating thing…

I really liked the writing, and I loved the double POV. I’m a fan of multiple POVs, because it allows you to actually know what’s going on in the character’s minds, and here it worked perfectly, especially during the “get to know you” phase.

I adored these characters. I understood Paige so much, and I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and assure her that everything would turn out ok. And Ben… oh Ben… he’s so great! Smart, sexy, 2 jobs, cute, …?! wow!

I also really liked that although both of them were portrayed was studious, put together, nerdy, and so on, that they weren’t portrait as saints and inexperienced. Paige, even though she saw herself as second best to Zoey, was not shy and she knew very well what she was doing when she got her hands on Ben. That was refreshing and accurate.

The romance was so cute and adorable, and I could read 200 more pages of them together (car washing scene people!!!). The fact that Paige is pretty quick to realize that she likes Ben and still tries to help him get Zoey? I was so proud of her and so sad at the same time, because he liked her too, but was doing the wrong things, because he thought he wasn’t good enough for her… so much miscommunication! But I liked how they eventually came together and were able to get through the difficulties… and by that I totally mean Paige’s mother! What was she thinking?

Zoey really surprised me, and I want to see more of her. That ending made me hopeful that we’ll get a second book about her. And maybe get a glimpse of Ben and Paige?! Wouldn’t that be great???

This book actually made me cry, which was something I was not expecting! Seeing Paige asserting herself and fighting for what she wanted for her life was amazing.

By the way… I started this book yesterday morning on my way to work, and finished it before I went to bed… it was such a fast read.

Rating: 3.8 Stars

3-7

 

September TBR

Oh September, I hope you turn out to be a good reading month…

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This month I intend to read quite a few books, but I’ll only set a few on stone.

          

1. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi – As I said in the August Wrap-Up, I’m more than 400 pages in this already, and I want very much to finish it before tomorrow.

2. Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi – I’ll be reading the novella as soon as I finish Unravel Me, obviously.

3. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi – Do I need to explain this?

                                          

4. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas – I’m gonna try finish this one before Queen of Shadows even get here.

5. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – I’m super anxious to get this one on my hands, although I won’t be in a hurry to finish it, I want to go there at my own pace.

                                  

6. An Infinite Number Of Parallel Universes  by Randy Ribay – eARC, it comes out in October, but I’m super curious to read it.

7. Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley – eARC, comes out this month, so it has to be read soon!


I’ll try to squeeze in a few more eARCs, I’ll be spending a week in Lisbon towards the end of the month, so while home isn’t the best place to get reading done – too many people to see all the time, the plane rides are ideal, and I suspect that it will be all a whole lot easier with the kindle.

August Book Haul

How has August came to an end already?! o_O This month went by way too fast… WOW! So, once again, welcome back to my August Book Haul.

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This month I bought very few books. I was amazed at myself really! But I ended up hauling a lot of them, mostly e-books, given that this was my first month in NetGalley and Edelweiss… So, without further ado, I present the physical books I got this month.

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Funny haul, ah? I bought 3 traveling books for my upcoming trip to Seoul and Japan in October. The first two are for my mom’s collection – we always buy these and in truth, we just open them on the plane… Then I got A Geek in Japan, because I so fell in love with the concept of this book, and I’m a geek and I’ll be in Japan!

Then I got the amazing The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh and after reading Shatter Me, I couldn’t resist and bought the novellas, Unite Me by Tahereh Mafi, and I already read Destroy Me.

I also got the amazing audiobook of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day.


Now the longer part… eBooks! I got my kindle on the first week of August, but I bought a few books even before I got it. The firsts (and so far only) books that I bought for my Kindle were: The Outlander Series 7-Book Bundle – Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes and An Echo in the Bone. I want to get to this series eventually, but honestly I bought it because the price was too good to pass up… a little over 2$ for 7 HUGE books! It was a true steal, and I’m super happy about this buy.

Then I accumulated a few books from NetGalley, Blogging for Books and Edelweiss:

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And that’s it for my August Book Haul! I’ll be doing my wrap-up tomorrow (probably) and my September TBR on Tuesday 😉 .