Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Reading List...

Well crap. *slaps forehead* I've done it again. I let myself get sucked into a vortex of reading and neglected to write ANY new reviews for an entire month. Have I posted giveaways, excerpts, buy links, teasers, author spotlights, book covers, price drops, and everything in between? Sure! But I have yet to write a single new review since June and seeing how this blog is supposed to revolve around reviewing and recommending books, I have come to the realization that I pretty much suck as a blogger and possibly at life in general. 
 

I wish I could attribute my failure to reasons like, "I have been super busy," or "I've been on vacation," but the truth is..... I am a teacher on summer break and have pretty much done nothing but lay on the couch in my underwear reading books all day.... Though I have gotten adventurous a time or two and taken my Kindle poolside (Wild and crazy, I know!) But other than that, I have ultimately been a lazy good for nothing slob all summer long while following the motto....

Now, I am perfectly aware that writing book reviews is not an activity that requires me to get off the couch or put on a bra or pants, but it is very hard to get out of "I'm just gonna lay around and read all day mode" once you've set your mind to that level of lazy. And in my humble opinion, it takes a certain degree of dedication to get absolutely nothing accomplished except reading books, stalking authors on Facebook, adding books on Goodreads, and one-clicking on Amazon all day, and I am nothing if not dedicated. But now that August has come around, and my summer vacation is dwindling down to nothing *wipes tears*, I feel that it is time for me to stop being such a good for nothing sloth and start accomplishing some shiz. 




So without further ado, here are the long procrastinated reviews for my summer reading list.... speed dating style

(PS- I am going to provide the buy links for all of the books on this post, but before you start getting click happy, keep in mind that in an attempt to make up for my summer review writing slump I will be gifting 5 lucky winners with their choice of 1 book reviewed and/or mention on this blog post... the Rafflecopter entry can be found at the end!)

First up...



I am starting out our speed dating book review session with The Fault in Our Stars because it was my favorite read of the summer. The writing, the plot, and the characters were all pure perfection. Yes, the topic of terminally ill teenagers is depressing, and yes, you will absolutely cry your freaking eyes out, but this is one of those stories that HAS to be read and will stay with you forever. Seriously, the writing is raw, real, and hauntingly beautiful. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:





John Green wrote it best,


Do you see what I'm talking about!? His writing literally takes my breath away! I loved the writing, story, and characters so hard that it's not even funny. I honestly have no words. All I can say that y'all have to read this book. It is beyond a 5 star read in my eyes.

Buy links:


Up next.....

Out of Breath is the 3rd and final installment in Rebecca Donovan's Breathing series. If you haven't read these books, you need to make it happen ASAP! This is honestly one of my favorite series and I recommend it highly to everyone I come across. The story follows Emma Thomas on an emotional journey of abuse, heartbreak, loss, and love. The entire series is a gut-wrenching emotional roller coaster that will make you laugh, sob uncontrollably, swoon, and hold your breath in suspense. I was a little worried at times while reading Out of Breath because I wasn't sure where Rebecca was going with the story, and I definitely found myself frustrated with Emma a time or two, but as a whole, I felt she did a brilliant job ending the series. My only complaint is that it ended a little too abruptly for my liking. I just adored the characters and story so much that I wanted MORE and wasn't ready for it to end yet.  Love, love, LOVE Emma and Evan and this absolute 5 star read.

Bookworm Beauties review of Reason to Breathe:

Buy Links:
Kindle--> 
B&N--> Unfortunately this series is only available in paperback at B&N :-(


Book 2 in another MUST read series comes next...
Losing Hope is the companion novel to Hopeless by the FABULOUS Colleen Hoover, who is one of my favorite authors. She seriously slays me with her writing, and the Hopeless books were no exception. The story of Losing Hope is told from Holder's POV (the male lead) and is honestly one of the best male perspective books I have read... it is right up there with This Girl, which is also by Colleen Hoover. (I'm telling you.... the lady can WRITE!) I loved how Holder's story interconnected with the events in Hopeless flawlessly, yet also gave a whole new story that went untold while reading Sky's POV in book 1. These two characters have an incredibly tragic and heartbreaking story to tell, but Colleen's powerful writing leaves you with such a sense of hope regardless of all the pain. I HIGHLY recommend these books and everything else written by Colleen. She is brilliant and everything she writes is a 5 star read in my eyes. In fact, I kind of have a lady crush on her and may or may not stalk... I mean admire her from afar on Facebook daily.

I love you, Colleen!!

Bookworm Beauties Review of Hopeless:

Buy Links:


One more book from a MUST read series....

Thief is the 3rd installment in the Love Me With Lies series by Tarryn Fisher, which is probably one of the most unique (and frustrating) stories I have ever read. Words cannot express how much I loved and at times hated this series. It will make you laugh, swoon, cry, and then make you want to punch a baby out of sheer frustration. I can't really even begin to explain the plot because there is so much... well... freaking craziness. What I can say is... if you're getting a little tired of the same old typical love story that you find in a lot of books... you MUST read this series. It is so completely different from anything I have read in a long time. But beware...none of these books are a hearts and flowers kind of read. They will 100% make you want to pull your hair out in frustration, but they are completely ADDICTING. I seriously couldn't put any of them down. They tell a story full of love, lies, and deceit, and are each written from a different character's perspective. Thief is told from Caleb's POV and carries on the narration of his and Olivia's tumultuous relationship. Tarryn thankfully ended the story wonderfully and the epilogue was perfection! You should all definitely read this series... I gave all 3 books a 5 star rating. Just prepare yourself for torture... sweet, sweet torture. You will probably look like this while reading....


Bookworm Beauties Review for Books 1 & 2:

Buy Links:


And next comes one heck of a stand alone...
When I first started reading Left Drowning I thought it was going to be one of those stories where an emotionally damaged girl meets an emotionally damaged guy (or emotionally damaged siblings in this case) then they all fall in love and help each other grow and heal, and everything is going to be all hearts and glitter and rainbows. But boy, was I wrong. Yes, all of those things are involved, but this story does not at all follow the happy plot I predicted in my head. Sure, everything starts out smooth sailing and you are just a chugging along immersed this great little love story thinking, "Aww aren't they so sweet," and "I just love where this story is going," and then BAM you're 68% in and your whole freaking imaginary world starts to crumble and you find yourself screaming out, "WHY JESSICA PARK!? WHY!?!?!?!?" 
Then you keep reading and things just keep getting worse, and the next thing you know you're holed up in a closet eating your emotions because there is seemingly no hope for the future of your fictional world. 
But I promise you... keep reading, my friends. Grab some wine and chocolate and just stick with the story because it is sooooooo worth it. I adored this book and hope you will too. 4.5 stars! 

Buy Links:
Kindle--> Left Drowning
B&N--> (only available in paperback) Left Drowning


And speaking of Jessica Park... Have you read Flat-Out Love yet? If not, you absolutely need to! It is an incredibly written story with the most dynamic characters I have ever come across, and the next book on my summer reading list is it's companion novel.

Flat-Out Matt is the story of Flat-Out Love told from Matt's POV. I am not going to say much about the plot because I don't want to give anything away, but these two reads should NOT be missed. The characters are so wonderful that I wish they were real and could be my best friends. In fact, I am fairly positive if I met Matt, Finn, Julie, or Celeste in real life, we would become instant BFFs. 


The witty banter, the clever FB statuses, and dialogue throughout the story was quirky, fresh, and heartwarming. Both of these books are wonderfully written and I highly recommend them.  4 stars for good clean fun! 


Buy Links:
B&N--> (only available in paperback) Flat-Out LoveFlat-Out Matt

Moving along to another well executed companion novel...

Falling into Us by Jasinda Wilder is the companion novel for Falling into You. Let me start out by saying that I freaking LOOOOOVED Falling into You. Jasinda's storytelling in that book completely shredded my heart and then slowly and painfully put it back together piece by piece. The plot, the characters, the pacing was spot on, and while I enjoyed Falling into Us, it unfortunately didn't have the same emotional affect that Falling into You had on my heart. I would still absolutely recommend it, but book 1 was definitely my favorite. I give it a solid 4 stars.

Buy Links:

Next up on the list...

Limits is a part of the Lengths series by Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt. The series consists of three companion novels with a fourth in the works, and are all well written, feel good reads that I definitely recommend. I really enjoyed all of them and love how they all interconnect. The series does not actually have to be read in order, as they were all written as stand alone books, but I personally recommend starting with Lengths (book 1). Limits, tells the story of Genevieve Rodriguez and her struggle to find herself and true love. I actually wasn't too fond of her while reading Lengths and Depths, but her character completely grew on me in Limits. I loved watching the relationship between her and Adam develop, and cannot wait to see a little more of them in the next Lengths book entitled Ties that comes out August 26th. I give this series a strong 4 stars and highly recommend them if you are looking for a light and fluffy read.

Buy Links:
Kindle--> LengthsDepths (Lengths)Limits (Lengths)Ties (Lengths) available for pre-order only
B&N-->LengthsDepthsLimits


Now let's move on from the sweet love stories and get to the steam....

And you can't get much steamier than Mr. Gavin Blake (hubba, hubba)...
Pulse picks right back up where the hellacious cliffhanger left us at the end of Collide (book 1).  Before I delve into my review of book 2, I feel that it is imperative to start out by saying that Gavin Blake is probably one of the sexiest and manliest characters ever written. He is seriously the ultimate of ultimate alpha males, and yet loving, caring, and devoted all at the same time. He is super shmexy and I cannot get enough of him. Now Emily on the other hand, drove me absolutely bonkers in Collide. She was wishy washy and insecure, and quite frankly I wanted to smack her upside the head several times, but while reading Pulse my opinion of her completely changed. Her character grows so much throughout the story, and I really enjoyed watching her come into her own and start to feel confident in herself. She changes from a weak and timid girl to a strong and confident woman, and it made me so happy for her. The love between Gavin and Emily is absolutely beautiful and awe inspiring, and it was truly rewarding to follow them on their journey of becoming one. I will really miss their characters and the love they had for each other.

Both Collide and Pulse are must, must, must reads, and should not be missed! 
Super shmexy 4 stars!!

Buy Links:
B&N-->  CollidePulse

Speaking of shmexy....
I read Shine Not Burn on recommendation from a friend and it did not disappoint. Uptight lawyer meets super sexy cowboy during drunken night in Vegas? What's not to like? I was giggling and swooning throughout the whole book. It is honestly just one of those reads that will leave you feeling happy and lighthearted, and maybe even a little hot and bothered. (wink, wink) The writing is witty, the characters are lovable, and the plot is great. I give it a solid 4 stars. Yeehaw! ;-)


While we are on the subject of cowboys....

Girl With Guitar is book 1 in the Kylie Ryans series by Caisey Quinn and is such a sweet and heartwarming read. The story follows Kylie, who is trying to make it big in the country music world after losing her father in a horrible accident. Her character is strong, sassy, and super easy to love. The male lead in the story is womanizing bad boy country singer, Trace Corbin, and Kylie has the rare (and often hilarious) ability to put him in his place. The banter between the two of Kylie and Trace is super adorable and funny, and their chemistry was surprisingly steamy. This is a really charming and lighthearted read that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. The sequel is entitled Girl on Tour and comes out soon. I give it a sweet and sassy 4 stars! 

Buy Links:

Another sweet and sassy heroine can be found in this next book...

I came across this book while one-clicking on Amazon not too long ago, and knew I had to buy it when I saw the quote, "If you loved Wallbanger and Tangled, you will love Stardust." I LOOOOOVED both Wallbanger and Tangled so hard, so my expectations for Stardust were pretty high, and surprisingly it did not disappoint. I giggled out loud nonstop while reading Peaches' inner dialogue, and her encounters with sexy actor, Dalton Deangelo were equally as funny. It is a super entertaining read that is hard to put down once the story gets going. I loved the characters and thought the story was fun and had an appropriate amount of steam. Beware though... there is one heck of a cliff hanger! 4 hilarious stars!

Buy Links:
Kindle--> Stardust
B&N--> Stardust

Just a couple more left...


High Risk Love is a story of loss and love, and I was hooked right from the prologue, which also turned me into a weeping willow. The story revolves around Jasmine and Jet, who are both broken characters with troubled pasts. Jasmine is an aspiring photographer/musician dealing with the heartbreak of losing the people she loves the most, and Jet is a fearless stunt man with an extremely dark past. The two have an instant and deep connection... despite their attempts to ignore it. You could feel the sparks sizzling from the pages, and the steam-factor was quite pleasant and tasteful. This is definitely not an overly sexy or action packed read, but it is a sweet and touching story about two people overcoming their fears and letting love in. I gave it a 4 star rating.

Buy Links:


And while we are talking about dark pasts...

Fear of Falling tells the story of Kami, who is a horribly frightened and broken character living with the memories of an extremely dark and abusive past. Her story is haunting and painful, and I found myself wanting to reach into the book to give her a big hug and assure her everything would be alright. The male lead in the story is Blaine, who is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. I adored his character and loved how devoted he was to helping Kami overcome her past. There are a lot of ups and downs and quite a bit of steam thrown in. All in all, it is a beautifully written story that reminds you how important it is to fight when life gets ugly, and that love truly can conquer all. I gave this story 4 stars and encourage you to give it a shot.

Buy Links:
Kindle--> Fear of Falling

And last but certainly not least...

This is the sequel to The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, which I LOVED!!!! Jessica Sorensen is a phenomenal writer, and Callie & Kayden's story is beautifully done. The Redemption of Callie & Kayden picks up right where the first book left off, and is just as emotional and powerful. I love these characters so much and the pain they both have had to deal with breaks my heart. The supporting characters (Seth and Luke) are just as lovable, and play such an important role in the story. I also really enjoyed how much Callie grew in this book and thought her devotion to Kayden was extremely sweet and endearing. I will say as much as I loved the book, I was a little disappointed in the ending. It was entirely too abrupt for my liking and left some things unresolved. Fortunately, there will be a companion novel released in the future, so hopefully some of those issues will be cleared up. I gave this series 4.5 stars.

Buy Links:

I hope you can find a book or two off my summer reading list that catches your interest! Also, Bookworm Beauties will be taking part in several different blog tours over the next few weeks, so be sure to stay on the lookout for new reviews and giveaways. Until then happy reading, y'all!

Oh and don't forget to enter for your chance to win your pick of one of the books mentioned in this post! 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

And make sure you enter the other two giveaways we have going on right now as well...

Signed Copy of Keep Me Still and Other Prizes from Author Caisey Quinn

Signed Copy of Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino

36 comments:

  1. I new here and so excited to see how you do it!! :) <3

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  2. I like it the way it's because I can read all the book in one post. Thanks for the giveaway

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  3. Hmmm...how would ot work? Book cover then a small blurb about it? Maybe, you should test it out and see what people think. I think it could work.

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  4. So many of these are on my TBR! :) Thanks for the contest.

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  5. I really like the speed dating book reviews because you can get some starting information many books and decide which one you want to read first! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  6. I like speed dating book reviews!!!

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  7. I like them in separate posts because, for me, it is much easier to read and come back to and find later on. : )
    But you are the one that has to write them as well as post. So however you want to do them is completely cool with me !

    Thank you for the amazing Giveaway !<3

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  8. I don't mind the speed dating book reviews. Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  9. OK, will you marry me? I am female, hetero and already married but when you said

    "in my humble opinion, it takes a certain degree of dedication to get absolutely nothing accomplished except reading books, stalking authors on Facebook, adding books on Goodreads, and one-clicking on Amazon all day, and I am nothing if not dedicated. "

    I knew we were soul mates - I thought it was just me that spent EVERY possible moment doing just that

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    Replies
    1. Haha this cracked me up! Great minds think alike! ;-)

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  10. What a great selection of books! John Green and Shannon Mayer are two of my favorite authors. :)

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  11. Speed dating seems like it would be fun. ;)

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  12. I like speed dating book reviews!!! :) Thanks for the giveaway!!!

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  13. I like the speed reviews. I think it is convenient having them all on one page.

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  14. I prefer speed reviews... straight and to the point! :) Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

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  15. I like individual reviews since I read a lot and try to just check reviews of books I haven't read yet :) Just my personal preference though!

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  16. I prefer individual reviews but I also appreciate reviews wherein there are 2-3 or more books that has a short review. I think it really depends if the book is really good then the reviewer will definitely write a long and good review. :)

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  17. I liked it this way, it was pretty cool.

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  18. I like the speed reviewa, but also the individual ones that are more specific. I think a mix of the two methods would be great.

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  19. I enjoy the speed reviews! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  20. I like the speed dating reviews...short and sweet and to the point.

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  21. I like them both... Thanks for the giveaway!!! :O)

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  22. Both are good...but prefer the short speedy reviews. Thx for this FAB giveaway op! :)

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  23. I just found you ladies and I think I'm going to love you!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, and speedy reviews are great!!!

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  24. Thanks for all of the support y'all! It means a lot! ;-)

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  25. I like individual reviews since I read a lot and always looking what to read next....

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  26. I like individual reviews, however, I would read any review...big or small!

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  27. I don't like to much info on book reviews it's equal to spoilers if there is to much info.
    Thanks for the contest.
    SAnn

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