The Accidentals (Sarina Bowen)

Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.

Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.

There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love.

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

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I’m convinced! Sarina Bowen can write anything, and I’ll love it.

The Accidentals is Sarina’s YA debut, and I think she did a wonderful job. 😀 The writing is obviously amazing, that’s not even a point of discussion by now, but it was still so different on this book. I really liked that the book was divided into musical sections, and the themes of each one. But I also really enjoyed the very short divisions within the chapters. It made the book go by super fast, while just giving us snippets of the situations. It made the chapters and the book itself go by super super fast. It also made it feel like the book wasn’t long enough.

While I love a good romance, I loved that the main focus of this book was not the romance itself. This book was all about growing up, facing fears, learning how to stand up for yourself and speak your mind, even when it hurts, when it’s hard, when you’re afraid.

I felt like Rachel was very relatable in some ways, especially on her fears that if she spoke out of turn, or said something, she would lose the people that mattered to her. I loved Rachel, and I thought she was such a good representation of her age, to be honest, I felt like this is the truest representation of an 18 year old I’ve read so far.

The second most important person in this book is Frederick, Rachel’s dad. I like him. Yeah, he screws up a lot, and fails to see a lot that’s right in front of him, but he also has no guidance, and he’s just trying to be there and do the best job he can. He loves Rachel, and that’s clear, even when he’s messing up.

Jake is such a cutie, and I loved the development of their relationship. It was so adorable! I really liked how much he liked, care and respected Rachel, and the fact that he was willing to listen to her at all times.

Shout out for Aurora, who was an awesome friend, and such a stable support for Rachel, especially while she was trying to navigate her tricky relationship with her dad.

I really loved this book, and I wouldn’t mind getting more from it. Maybe a novella about Jake and Rachel in college? Maybe a book about Frederick and Norah???!!! I would read either… I would even take a book about Aurora. I just feel like these characters might have more to show, and I would be all for it.


Excerpt:

After the last course — chocolate mousse — the three of us go tripping back across the cold lawn in the dark, Aurora in the lead. I’m the tiniest bit tipsy and wearing heels. So naturally I stumble on a frozen clod of snow and nearly fall. But Jake catches my hand to steady me. “Thanks,” I breathe.

Curiously, his warm fingers remain curled around mine until we reached the door of Habernacker.

I try not to feel ridiculously excited about it.

He lets go when we all reach the third floor. When Aurora opens the door, he follows us inside until we all collapse on the S.L.O., with me in the center.

“Oh! I forgot to steal my plate,” I realize.

“Me too.” Aurora sighs.

Jake reaches into his jacket and pulls out a plate.

“Well done, Mr. Jake!” Aurora laughs. “The party in the annex starts in fifteen minutes.” She heaves herself off the squishy couch. “I have time to redo my makeup.”

I watch her walk over to the stereo, where my phone is already ensconced, and turn on our Christmas playlist. Then she grabs her makeup bag off her desk and leaves the room.

When the door clicks shut, neither Jake nor I speak for a moment. The low chords of a Straight No Chaser song play through our little speakers.

Suddenly, it’s awkward. We’ve been circling each other for a while now — since the night he was trying to be nice and I wrecked it.

“You’re probably sick of a cappella by now,” I say, just to find something to talk about.

But Jake turns slowly toward me and says something unexpected. “Rachel, I need to ask you a question.”

My stomach does a little flip flop, and I turn to face those blue eyes I love so much. “What?” I whisper.

“Well…” He clears his throat. There is a very long pause, during which I hold my breath. “Will you come skiing some time?”

I exhale. “I guess so?” Another beat of silence passes. “That was your big question?” I ask, feeling like I’ve missed something.

His color deepens. “Well, no. I just…” His brow furrows, as if he’s trying to explain some point of astronomy. I love his look of concentration. I’ve missed it.

Jake’s blue eyes lock on mine, and I see how our own orbits might finally collide. This time, I will not send the moment winging back into space. Instead, I lean an almost imperceptible degree in his direction.

And that’s all it takes.

Reaching up, Jake cups his hand to the side of my face. I’m still processing the sweet touch of his fingers when he leans in farther, his lips brushing the sensitive corner of my mouth. His eyes are tentative, seeking permission. My heart thuds with expectation.

And then — finally — Jake kisses me for real. We come together the way a well-timed drummer kicks into the chorus of a song — swiftly, and without hesitation.

We broke apart a moment later, eyeing each other while I try not to smile. “Can I do that again?” he asks, his voice rough. “That was my real question.”

“Well, since you asked so nicely…”

Jake makes a low noise of approval, then draws me closer. I reach up for the back of his neck, my fingers grazing that golden patch of skin I’ve always wanted to touch. He kisses me again, his arm finding the velvet waist of my dress and encircling me.

My heart flutters, but not from fear. Warm lips tease mine gently apart. And when his tongue tangles with mine, I lose myself.

He tastes like champagne. Everything is wild and sweet, until the moment Aurora’s voice rings out. “Ay, caramba!”

I feel an unwelcome rush of cool air between us as Jake retreats.

“I did say I was going into the bathroom, right? And not on a trip to Fiji?”

Neither of us says a word; we only look sheepishly at Aurora.

“Just to be clear, now I’m ducking into the bedroom for my coat, which only takes a second.” She steps into the bedroom, and I hear the rustling of fabric. Then she peers dramatically around the door frame. “Good listening! Now I’m going to the party. Will I see you both there? Don’t answer that. We’ll speak later.”

Jake laughs. “Sorry, Aurora.”

“I’ve seen worse.” She departs, the door closing behind her.

And now I’m self-conscious. Rising, I decide to fiddle with the music playlist. “Do you want to go to the party?”

“I’ll go. But I’m not great at parties. It’s all shouting over the music, drinking warm beer out of a plastic cup.”

“Then let’s not.” My fingers shake as I adjust the volume. I go back over to the sofa and sit down.

“So.” He clears his throat. “Where are you going for break?” As he asks, he takes one of my hands in his, massaging my palm with his thumb.

His light touch is so distracting that I almost forget to answer. “Kansas City,” I manage. “To meet my grandfather for the very first time.”

“Um, what?” He squeezes my hand.

So I tell Jake the embarrassing highlights of my weird story — that I hadn’t met Frederick until this past summer.

“Wow. I’m sorry,” he says.

“Don’t be.”

“I guess I’m not that offended now that you wouldn’t introduce me. If the normal waiting period is seventeen years.”

My laugh begins with an unladylike snort. Ah, well. “With me it’s just all soap opera, all the time. Believe it or not, a year ago I was really a boring person.”

“I don’t see how.” He regards me with darting eyes. “You look beautiful tonight.”

“It’s Aurora’s dress,” I whisper.

But Jake doesn’t seem to care. He slips his arms around my waist. Scooting closer, he slides his lips from my forehead, down my nose and onto my mouth. And we begin again.


One Small Thing (Erin Watt)

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make — follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.


Hmmmm, I’m not really sure how to review this book. First of all, it was complete surprise to receive this ARC, and it’s always awesome to get review copies from a favorite author. However, this book was not what I expected. And unfortunately, I didn’t really like it.

There is too much drama on this book, and it kind of felt like Erin Watt was trying to recreate the level of drama on The Royals, but it just didn’t work here.

I had a problem right off the bat with Beth, because I felt like the issue she had with her name was silly. She felt like Lizzi was too juvenile? Juvenile was making everyone change the way they’ve always addressed you just because. If the name change had been something related to her sister, fine, I would have gone with it. As it was, it made no sense!

I didn’t like Beth. At all. She was so dramatic. And I couldn’t understand her reasonings and her feelings. But worse than her were her parents and friends. Her friends were all terrible. Her parents couldn’t deal. This girl lost her phone, car and room door several times during the book… I lost count. It was making me so mad! 

To be honest, I only liked one person in this book, and it was Chase! I felt sorry for the guy, because he was surrounded by awful people. And he lived with the weight and guilt of taking someone’s live, and no one was able to support him and make him see that it wasn’t all his fault. But he had such a good heart, and it pissed me off that he was being bullied all the time, and had no support at all.

The writing was engaging, and that is the reason I always end up coming back for more of Erin Watt, but I hated the excess drama, the terrible people and actions. And the romance didn’t make much sense. I don’t know, I didn’t feel it at all. I wasn’t sure if Chase really liked Beth, or if she pressured him so much, and given that she was the only person talking to him, he just kind of went with it?! That’s a terrible thought to have while reading a romance book…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Did you like it? Or was the drama too much for you too?

Blog Tour: Cry Baby (Ginger Scott)

We’re celebrating the release of CRY BABY by Ginger Scott! One-Click today!

Tristan Lopez is loyal to his brothers. He doesn’t really have a choice, born into a gang that has a chokehold on every kid that roams its streets. He gave his life to them willingly, knowing if he did then one day this kingdom, led by boys drunk with power and ruled by fear, would all be his.

He was loyal through it all. Loyal when prison took his dad away. Loyal when his face was touched by the cold metal of the rival gang’s gun. Loyal even though his mom begged him to run the moment she returned home from rehab.

He thought about becoming someone else. It was hard not to crave the life of a regular 17-year-old. It’s the only reason he stayed in school — to pretend. But he always fell back in line.

Loyal.

Riley Rojas didn’t belong in Tristan’s real world. She should have only been part of the fantasy, one of the many faces he got to pretend with amidst rows of metal chairs and desks and whiteboards with assignments. But there she was, moving boxes from the back of an old pick-up into a house Tristan had shot up on a dare with his friends only a few months before.

Tall enough to look him in the eyes and strong enough to fill his shadow, Riley took up space on his streets, her loud mouth fearless in the face of the gang leaders who terrified everyone else. She pushed Tristan around on the hard court, and she balled better than his friends — better than him sometimes. She challenged him. She needed him. He liked it. And when her pale blue eyes stared into his, he quit wanting to pretend.

He couldn’t ask her to leave because she’d only dig her heels in deeper. He couldn’t ask because he didn’t want her to go. She was blurring his lines. She was testing his loyalty.

He was falling in love.

And it was going to tear him apart.

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As you can imagine, this was yet another book I’ve loved from Ginger Scott. Her writing once again is beyond beautiful and compelling.

I loved the theme of this book, because it’s so raw and hard and overall gut wrenching. This book deals with gangs, gang related violence, and the lack of choices some people are born into. I felt like Ginger Scott created such a great character with Tristan. He was so good and it was impossible not to love him, but, it was also impossible to be entirely comfortable with his choices. He grew so much during this book, learning to be his own person, and make decisions he can live with. I loved Tristan, he’s one of my favorite heroes ever.

Riley… I loved Riley, her sassiness and determination, the way she knew what she wanted. But, she sometimes made things harder than they should be, and I know that was part of her personality and all, but given the situation and what was around her, it made her reckless, and I wanted to slap her sometimes.

I really appreciate the huge inclusion of family. Even though both parents on this book worked a lot, they both tried to be there for their children, even if in different ways. And they were huge parts of their lives.

Now, the only thing I’m gonna say that is negative, is that I wanted more relationship development, especially between Riley and Tristan. They spend a lot of time bickering and stuff, but there’s more things that are not said, than the ones that are. They became such integral parts of each other’s lives, that I wanted more development that lead to that.

Like I said before, the plot is amazing, and it’s a story that pulls on your heartstrings. But that ending? That ending killed me… I needed more, and I still can’t believe that that’s how it ended 😦 .

So people, go read this book NOW, you won’t regret it. But prepare the tissues and be ready for the heartbreak.


About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

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Cover Reveal: Cry Baby by Ginger Scott

Check out the cover for CRY BABY by Ginger Scott! Don’t forget to add it to your TBR!

Cry Baby by Ginger Scott
A Contemporary Young Adult Romance
Release day: June 22, 2018
Add it to Goodreads


Blurb:

Tristan Lopez is loyal to his brothers. He doesn’t really have a choice, born into a gang that has a chokehold on every kid that roams its streets. He gave his life to them willingly, knowing if he did then one day this kingdom, led by boys drunk with power and ruled by fear, would all be his.

He was loyal through it all. Loyal when prison took his dad away. Loyal when his face was touched by the cold metal of the rival gang’s gun. Loyal even though his mom begged him to run the moment she returned home from rehab.

He thought about becoming someone else. It was hard not to crave the life of a regular 17-year-old. It’s the only reason he stayed in school — to pretend. But he always fell back in line.

Loyal.

Riley Rojas didn’t belong in Tristan’s real world. She should have only been part of the fantasy, one of the many faces he got to pretend with amidst rows of metal chairs and desks and whiteboards with assignments. But there she was, moving boxes from the back of an old pick-up into a house Tristan had shot up on a dare with his friends only a few months before.

Tall enough to look him in the eyes and strong enough to fill his shadow, Riley took up space on his streets, her loud mouth fearless in the face of the gang leaders who terrified everyone else. She pushed Tristan around on the hard court, and she balled better than his friends — better than him sometimes. She challenged him. She needed him. He liked it. And when her pale blue eyes stared into his, he quit wanting to pretend.

He couldn’t ask her to leave because she’d only dig her heels in deeper. He couldn’t ask because he didn’t want her to go. She was blurring his lines. She was testing his loyalty.

He was falling in love.

And it was going to tear him apart.


Teaser:


About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Youtube | Google


Ryan’s Bed (Tijan)

I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.

I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed — her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…

I didn’t.
I didn’t jump out.
I didn’t get embarrassed.
I relaxed.
And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.

I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.

The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.
He became my sanctuary.

Because — four hours earlier — my twin sister killed herself.


I’ve been meaning to read a Tijan book for ages, and I’m so glad I was approved to receive this ARC. I wasn’t 100% sure of what to expect, and I’ll admit that throughout half of the book I wasn’t convinced, and I wasn’t really sure I was enjoying what I was reading, but then things started to make sense and fall into place and I ended up really enjoying it.

I liked the writing, it was dark and moody and confusing, but again, it fit the story and the theme. I have to say though, that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Mackenzie. The girl was going through hell, but some of her actions and behaviour didn’t sit well with me. She did get better throughout the book, as her stability increased and she started to cope with her twin’s suicide. I was happy with the character growth and development.

But I did love most of the other characters, especially Ryan. He was such a good guy, he saw himself in Mac, and he did his best to help her through hell.

One thing I was a bit afraid of, and I glad it was so well done, was the romance itself. Mackenzie was in no mental position to fall heads over heels in love, but the romance was done slowly and with so much awareness of the situation. It moved fast, but slow at the same time, and the Mac and Ryan were so mature about their feelings and the situation. I loved that!

This story is mostly about finding yourself when you feel like you lost a big part of who you are. Finding the strength to ask for help and admit that you need help in the first place. Then it’s about friendship, family and love. And the ending of this book will make you jaw drop!

So yeah, go read this one. I highly recommend it. And I’ll see what other Tijan’s books I can get my hands on next.

Heartfall (J.B. McGee)

Claire Ross has never been good enough. Not for the girls in the elite group of dancers in her class and certainly not for the approval of her ballet teacher, Mr. Robins. She definitely doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. Simply put, she doesn’t love herself, so how could she possibly love someone else?

After twelve years of friendship, Sebastian Reyes’ adoring gaze holds more. They soon find themselves unable to control their feelings for one another.

When tragedy strikes, Claire finds herself in a very unlikely and unfavorable position. Regardless of the weight of the emotion, she must make difficult decisions that impact the rest of her life.

Will Claire see that her true love has been right in front of her? Happily ever after isn’t just for fairy tales. To get hers, all she has to do is trust, open her heart and fall.


I’ve had this book on my Netgalley TBR for ages… and I mean ages, as in since May 2016, I just hadn’t had time to get to it until now… not the time, or the will. And every time I read one of these old ARCs I have, I always end up disappointed and somehow wish I had just left it alone.

I must let you know though, that I’m going to drop SPOILERS on this review, because there’s no other way for me to speak about some of the issues I had without going into detail about the story. So, guys, if you were intrigued by the BLURB and think that maybe you want to give this book a change, but you don’t want to be spoiled for it:

STOP NOW!

This book is divided in 2 parts, the first one takes place when Claire is 16, and are the events described on the blurb. The second part takes place 3 years later, while she’s in college. My issue with this divide is that it felt choppy, and neither of the parts felt sufficiently developed.


Part 1

But let me tell you about part 1 first. This is when teen Claire and teen Sebastian take their relationship from friendship to more. Sebastian helps her see the beauty within herself, and helps her with her dance. They’re in love. And I wasn’t completely sold. Sebastian felt too controlling, the way this book is written, it didn’t allow me to completely understand the characters, because they’re never truly fleshed out. They never have complete conversations, their actions are sort of implied but never confirmed, which made me feel like some things were coming out of nowhere.

I liked the plot for this first part, most of it at least. Claire was bullied by the other girls at the ballet class, but it’s never really said why. How. What did they use and do? Then there’s the matter of the ballet teacher who belittled her, who was stern and made her self esteem plummet, and my question was “where was her mother?“, because her mother was the one to take her to that studio, so how did she miss that her daughter was suffering like she was?

When Claire and Sebastian start to date, her mother warns her repeatedly about her time alone with her boyfriend, given that she was a teen mom and didn’t want the same to happen to Claire. Sebastian starts to fight Claire’s fights, and stands up to her bullies and the teacher. But he’s also controlling and extremely hot and cold with her. She starts to train a lot, and she looses a lot of weight, so much so that for a moment I thought she was going to have an eating disorder, and so much so that she loses her period. She doesn’t have much money, given that her mom is a single mom, and suddenly her mom gets her a $700 dress for a school dance, because Sebastian has been buying her new ballet shoes, so suddenly she has enough money for a super expensive ball gown?!

Guess what happens next? Out of the blue, Claire tells Sebastian she’s pregnant! Yep, pregnant. Did I even realize they had moved that fast in their relationship already? NOPE, not really, I mean, heavy making out was implied, third base and so on, but nothing that would lead me to think that she was going to end up with a bun in the oven. But what bothered me? There was not a direct correlation between her missing periods and her pregnancy, a long time passes between those situations. It bothered me that those 2 never seemed to use protection, even though she had a good example on how something like that might turn out, and given that they were both so focused on their dancing.

Here’s when tragedy strikes, of course. Sebastian goes into the water to save one of the mean ballet girls, because she jumped in there with the intention of killing herself. Everyone gets out okay, except Sebastian, who ends up brain dead. His death was predictable, the way it happened was weird as hell.

I hated this part, because it made absolutely no sense to me. There’s no explanation as to why the mean girl warned Sebastian BY LETTER that she wanted to commit suicide. Then he goes to her and takes his girlfriend, PREGNANT, with him. He jumps into the water without asking for assistance. None of them do. It was just a mess.

Afterwards, Claire balls her eyes off, she doesn’t tell her mom she’s expecting, Sebastian’s mom finds out and promises to always be there for her. Her mom ends up finding out in a very bad way, and their relationship becomes strained after that.

She ends up having a baby girl, deferring one year in school so she can train and get a scholarship, has a great relationship with Sebastian’s parents, but not with her own mother, and she starts communicating with the family/recipients of Sebastian’s organs… Are you ready for part 2?


Part 2

So, 3 years later Claire is attending college on a scholarship, and she is reunited with a guy she saw when she went to the school for her auditions, Liam. Yes, Liam is the romantic interest of this second part.

I didn’t exactly like Liam anymore than I liked Sebastian. He works as a security guard in the college Claire attends, and he has no issue at all with pursuing a sexual relationship with a 19 y.o. freshman student. Liam’s age is also never revealed, which freaked me out a bit, mostly because it’s sad that he’s been working security for years! Also, he’s way too insistent and domineering at times, which I didn’t feel was well balanced. This contrasted way too much with how childish Claire felt most of the time.

Where’s her baby girl you ask? Well, obviously her grandparents (Sebastian’s parents) adopted her, so Claire could live her life. She’s plagued by guilt, which I understood, but I also agreed that she made the right decision.

It upsetted me how often she kept bringing Sebastian up. I mean, I get it, he was her only love, the father of her child, his death was dramatic, but I hated that she kept comparing both men in her life, and how she kept saying that Liam was exactly like Sebastian.  It made me think that he was some sort of replacement, and I hated that.

I also didn’t quite see their connection. Much like the first part, the writing informed us that something happened, instead of showing us, and the characters say they’re in love with each other, but I missed the whole process, and I felt very disconnected from their relationship.

Predictably, the drama comes, and it’s related to Sebastian. Liam feels like her whole life is still around her dead lover, which is kind of true, but he also feels like she’s somehow taking advantage of him, because she found out that he was the son of the organ recipient she was communicating with anonymously?! And he’s also super rich?! o_O This was weird as shit, because he was the one pursuing her, and not the other way around… but whatever…

They sort it out, she has a brilliant idea on how to make money and they live happily ever after. No kidding. It happens. With 2 kids and 1 on the way.


Random Thoughts

I need to talk about a character though, Audrina. She’s the main mean girl from the first part, the one who wants to commit suicide, and who Sebastian is trying to save when he has the accident that causes his death. She’s the most pointless character ever, she’s only there to create stupid conflicts that are never truly explained. She keeps doing it in college too, trying to create wedges between Liam and Claire. She’s pointless, and she’s flat, she’s not developed at all. She makes no sense.

But what makes even less sense is how the author tried to create a link between Audrina, Sebastian and Mr. Robins (the ballet teacher) at the end. In the epilogue it’s explained how Mr. Robins is Sebastian’s biological father, but he gave him up for adoption after he was born (which is hinted at several times during the book). But then, AFTERWARDS, he had an affair which resulted in Audrina. This makes no sense, because it implies that these 2 character have at least 1 year difference, but during the book I always felt like the teens had all exactly the same age. But I could have misinterpreted it. Either way, this whole thing doesn’t bring a thing to the story, because it doesn’t excuse Audrina’s behaviour, or Robins. It’s just a massive WTF at the end, that doesn’t even make much sense.

Robins was a character that I felt deserved much more time, and deserved to tell his story, but that never happens.

Claire doesn’t ever bother to understand her teacher, or confront him for his treatment of her, so that relationship is never settled. She also never actually talks to her mother, saying until the end that their relationship is strained for something her mother did because she was worried sick about her daughter. Even her relationships with other characters like Sebastian’s parents, are never fully developed.

While I liked some of the themes of this book, it was overall a disappointment for me. I couldn’t connect with the writing or the characters, and a lot of the book didn’t make much sense to me. I wanted more development, I think there was just too much going on, so a lot fell through the cracks.

Personally, I don’t recommend this book. But I’ll also admit that it had its moments of brilliancy, and those were the moments that made me shed a tear, and rate this book a little higher. 

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.