Contemporary · Romance · Young Adult

Faking Perfect

Faking Perfect – 4 Stars

By Rebecca Phillips

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Faking Perfect – when your imperfect self might just be the most perfect version.

Lexi is what all teenagers are: selfish, self-centered, self-conscious.

     “Yes. I thought the first time I’d walked down the hall with the acclaimed Emily Manning and her friends. I have arrived. This is where I belong.”

I didn’t expect to like the story, but I found myself hopelessly rooting for the bad-boy, the arrogant stoner, the wrong guy, from the beginning.

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Fantasy · Mature Adult · Romance · Science Fiction

Star’s End

Star’s End – 4 Stars

by Anna Hackett

A Space pirate adventure loaded with suspense and romance? Yes! I’m in!

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Of course I had to read this book, space-pirate addict here, and Star’s End was good. But, can we talk about the elephant in the room? What is with the cover?! Luckily this book is short because I literally waited until I had less than a handful of days to return it to the library before I even cracked it open. The cover looks straight out of the 80s even though Star’s End was only published three years ago, in 2014. I don’t usually fancy myself a cover snob, but apparently, I am. Now if you can ignore the graphics and focus on the writing, you’ll find yourself a pretty decent read.

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Fantasy · Romance · Young Adult

The Forbidden Wish

The Forbidden Wish – 4 Stars

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By Jessica Khoury

Synopsis: Aladdin steals a jinn ring from the prince and is led to Zahra – Curl-of-the-Tiger’s-Tail, Smoke-on-the-Wind, Girl-Who-Gives-The-Stars-Away – Jinni of the lamp. This is not your Disney’s Aladdin. Yes, Aladdin is a thief. Yes, Aladdin finds a jinni. Yes, Aladdin wishes to be made a prince. That’s it. There are no other similarities between this book and Disney’s Aladdin, and that’s only part of why The Forbidden Wish knocked me sideways.

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Fantasy · Mature Adult · Romance · Science Fiction

The Coalition Rebellion

The Coalition Rebellion – 4 Stars

By Justine Davis

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Due to my recent space-fantasy addiction, I decided to go old school and read Lord of the Storm and Skypirate. Anything that promises space pirates is a definite read for me. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I got, wonderfully, was not it. I enjoyed the two very different books for similar reasons. First of all, the characters are so very intriguing. The books are fast-paced, loaded with suspense and dark romance. The books are not cut from the same cloth, but there are similar themes, and the characters hold the same mold of not-being-who-you-expect-them-to-be.

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Contemporary · Mature Adult · Romance · Suspense

After the Dark

After the Dark (Killer Instinct #1) 

3 Stars

by Cynthia Eden

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After the Dark had all the makings of a 4 Star review from me: complex characters, romance, suspense… But I just didn’t really like it. I didn’t connect with Samantha or Blake. I felt like I missed a few important chapters and was flung into the middle of the book…maybe I should have read The Gathering Dusk, but I don’t think a novella should be a significant prequel to the first book.

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Contemporary · Romance · Young Adult

Rusk University

Rusk University – 4 Stars

By Cora Carmack

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This series was a bit out of the norm for me, but I was feeling a little nostalgic and checked out the University chick lit. I was pleasantly surprised by the characters and think the book ranks 4 stars for the genre. I personally wouldn’t label this young adult, only because I don’t think novels geared towards this age group (I’m thinking teens here) should have so much sex. The best audience might be true ‘young adults’ – college age-ish. The writing is a bit cutesy, but what chick lit isn’t?

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Contemporary · Mature Adult · Romance

Six Pack Ranch

Six Pack Ranch Series – 3.5 Stars

by Vivian Arend

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Look, life can be rough. If you’re in need of a light-hearted, flirty, cutesy romance filled with hard times brought upon good people, then this series is for you. I was in one of those moods where I needed the happy ending for everyone-type book. No cheating, no seriously disturbing content. The stories are not the most original. The setting and characters are pretty run-of-the-mill (something I usually detest), but somehow Arend makes them still worth reading.

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Dystopia · Fantasy · Romance · Young Adult

The Winner’s Trilogy

Winner’s Trilogy – 5 Stars

By Marie Rutkoski

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Marie Rutkoski’s writing is beautiful. Every sentence has been arranged into perfection. I am in awe of her ability to craft such stunning narratives. The plot is riveting. The characters are complex. There are unexpected turns, and a distinctly original setting. I love the Valorian and Herrani cultures, both unique, both realistic, both one-of-a-kind. The juxtaposition of the artistic, tan, and grey-eyed Herrani people compared to the Valorians – full of fare, blue-eyed, soldiers – makes for an extraordinary story line that can easily evolve.

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Fantasy · Romance · Science Fiction · Young Adult

Starbound

Starbound Trilogy – 4.5 Stars

By Amie Kaufman

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The world building in Kaufman’s Starbound Trilogy is phenomenal. I couldn’t put These Broken Stars down.

Most of the setting in These Broken Stars takes place on a late-stage terraformed planet that has been abandoned by humans due to some other mysterious intelligent life that inhabits the territory. While the book is a romance, it’s a slow-burn second-tier plot feature. What takes center stage is this unbelievably intricate world Kaufman constructs. Luxury spaceliners, hyperspace, terraforming planets equals big-business, and distinct class divisions. The young lower-class is forced into war as rebels fight against corrupt corporations and their fraudulent promises. At least until the end, and then it’s all about Lilac and Tarver. This is not a bad thing. The adventure is definitely not concluded until the third book Their Fractured Light. When you commit to reading These Broken Stars you’re committing to the entire trilogy. What I found particularly intriguing about These Broken Stars is the interrogation of Tarver that concludes each chapter. This foreshadowing had me hook, line and sinker.

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Fantasy · Mature Adult · Paranormal · Romance

New Species

New Species Series – 4 Stars

By Laurann Dohner

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World Building – 4 Stars: Human DNA is spliced and diced, combined with animal blood to create the New Species. While they share some of our DNA, the New Species are very much not human. They’re stronger. Faster. They can jump higher, climb further. They are possessive. Passionate. Aggressive. They have broken free from their cages and demand respect, or, at the very least, solitude.

Yes, yes, yes! I loved this wild, passionate, fierce, and sometimes heartbreaking world Dohner constructed.

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