By: J.K. Rock
Released: March 26, 2013
Read for Free: Spencer Hill Contemporary
(*Disclaimer: I work for Spencer Hill Press, but I did not work on this book in any way)
”The Camp Kiss That Started It All… Lauren Carlson, a fourteen-year-old expert on the cosmos, superheroes, and science fiction trivia has a crush on her longtime camp friend, Seth. Last summer she’d dreamed about upgrading their relationship to BF/GF status and this year she has a plan… if only her well-meaning cabin mates wouldn’t interfere before she’s ready. She hasn’t even adjusted to her new braces yet, let alone imagined kissing Seth with them. When a dare pushes her out of her comfort zone, will she and Seth rocket out of the friendzone at last? There’s only one way to find out….” (Summary from goodreads.com)
Camp Kiss is the prequel to Camp Boyfriend and I loved this novella! It gave the reader a great opportunity to get to know these characters before Camp Boyfriend comes out next month. Lauren is fourteen years old and spending her summer at camp. She has been crushing on Seth for years now and wants their friendship to become something more. However, a dare from her cabin mates might pressure her into making her move before she’s ready.
Lauren is an excellent character and I already can’t wait to read more of her story soon. She is your typical fourteen year old who finds herself in some awkward and embarrassing situations. I became a fan the moment she wore a Star Wars t-shirt, talked about X-Men, and talked about her love for astronomy. She reminded me a lot of myself as a teenager.
The plot itself was a fun and cute. Overall, I loved Camp Kiss and if anything it has just made me even more excited for Camp Boyfriend! I definitely recommend reading this novella!
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*Note this is a New Adult book
April Showers was a fast paced New Adult story. The moment I started this book, I couldn’t put it down until the end.
April is just starting at Manchester University and quickly finds herself in a situation where she is caught between two guys. There is the gorgeous and mysterious Isaac, but he turns out to be more than she expected. Then there is Lukas who provides her with a comfortable friendship. I liked April because she makes mistakes and isn’t perfect. She gets herself in a complicated situation really quick and makes decisions that aren’t necessarily always the right ones. She is still growing up and learning.
The characters of Isaac and Lukas were also really interesting and I enjoyed getting to know them more as the story progressed. I thought it was great how Lukas and Isaac both share completely different types of relationships with April. They are both so different from what my first expectations were and I liked that both guys took me by surprise.
I liked that I was able to immediately jump into the story. It was a good mix of both drama and romance. The story was paced fairly quickly, so I did wish that there was some more development. However, I did like that the story never dragged. I liked that not every aspect of this book was predictable either. I predicted a few things would happen, but the end still took me by surprise. I’m really looking forward to the sequel now though and I can’t wait to see where Perrin will be taking this story next.
Overall April Showers was an enjoyable story and I recommend it to any fans of New Adult books.
By: Leigh Ann Kopans
Released: June 11, 2013
Source: From Author
Purchase the Book: Amazon
”When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak. It makes you a One. Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover. If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances. Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other. Merrin’s mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub’s internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it’s more important to fly solo, or to save everything - and everyone - she loves” (Summary from goodreads.com)
From the moment that I read the synopsis for One, I was excited for this book. I love anything related to superheroes and sci-fi. As soon as I read chapter one of this book, I just loved the whole concept!
Merrin is a One because she only has one power. To be a Super she would need two powers and if she had no powers, she would be considered Normal. Instead Merrin is stuck in the middle as a One. She doesn’t exactly fit in with the Supers or the Normals. However, everything changes when she meets Elias. Merrin was a great character who I thought was developed well. I just immediately liked her. I liked that she didn’t give up on trying to get her second power.
Then there was Elias who I really liked getting to know. He is a One as well, but when he touches Merrin, their powers are combined. There is definitely chemistry there between Merrin and Elias too.
I loved the whole concept because it was different. It was my favorite aspect of this book and it’s always refreshing to read a different type of story. I loved learning about the Ones, the Supers, and the Normals. I liked that Kopans immediately began explaining it in the beginning. I loved reading about the different types of powers too. Even though Merrin can only hover, I still think that is a pretty awesome power.
The plot was really interesting. For the most part it was exciting and flowed really well. At some parts in the middle, though, it did drag a bit, so it did take me some time to read this book. However, I especially loved the last half of the book. It left me really hoping for a sequel now. Overall though I really enjoyed One and definitely recommend this book to fans of Sci-fi!
By: Cora Carmack
Released: June 4, 2013
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*Note this is a New Adult title
”Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade. Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel” (Summary from Goodreads.com)
I really enjoyed Losing It, but I absolutely loved Faking It! Once I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down.
Max’s parents make a surprise visit to town and she asks Cade to pretend to be her boyfriend. I think the characters were what I loved so much about Faking It. Max is hiding who she really is to please her parents. She covers up the tattoos, the piercings, her hair color, and the truth about her jobs to make her parents happy. However, Max isn’t happy always pretending and changing who she really is for them. Max was just a fantastic character that is strongly developed through the course of this book. I also found her to be a character I could really relate to from the beginning.
Then there is Cade, or as Max calls him, “Golden Boy.” Cade moved to Philadelphia and is trying to escape too. He still has feelings for a girl who is in love with another man. I just loved Cade because he was so sweet, but he wasn’t perfect. Cade may not be the typical guy that Max would go for, but the chemistry was definitely there between them.
The plot was a good mix of drama and romance. I loved that this story alternated between Max and Cade’s point of views. It just flowed really well from chapter to chapter. I also just loved how this story progressed and developed at a good pace.
Carmack’s writing is gorgeous. I found myself writing down so many quotes from this book while reading. I definitely plan on rereading Faking It again soon. I also can’t wait for the next book in this series. Overall, I loved Faking It and recommend it to any fans of New Adult books.
By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Released: May 31, 2013
Source: Won E-ARC
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*Note this is an Adult book
”He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For. Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy. Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something… unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret. Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life…or is it Hunter?” (Summary from goodreads.com)
I loved Obsession! I stayed up so late to read this book, but the lack of sleep the next day was worth it.
Serena doesn’t believe her best friend when she tries to tell her that the senator’s son isn’t human. That all changes though when she sees her best friend murdered. Serena’s life quickly gets put in danger because of what she knows. Serena was a great character. She is thrown into an insane situation that she could have never imagined. She’s strong though and I admire how she wants to do the right thing. She stands up for what she believes is right. Serena also doesn’t like to be bossed around and told what to do.
Then there is Hunter, who is an Arum and sent to protect Serena. Now after reading the Obsidian series, if you ever told me I would love an Arum, I would never believe it. That was before I read all about Hunter though. He is arrogant and bossy, but I couldn’t help but love him. He was just a great and developed character.
I loved this plot and how the story developed! It started off instantly in the first chapter and held my attention until the very last page. There is a lot of action and a hot romance. The action scenes were so exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. Then there was the undeniable chemistry between Serena and Hunter.
I just loved getting to read this world Armentrout has created in an entirely different point of view. First it’s an adult novel, so it’s got much more mature content. However, it also completely takes what the Obsidian series explained about the Luxen and Arum to a whole new level. It was great to learn more about the Arum and how they view the Luxen. However, what’s also great though is that you don’t need to read the Obsidian series before picking this one up because everything is explained so well.
I loved that this story was told in Serena and Hunter’s point of views too. I just loved getting both of their views on the situations that were occurring. Armentrout really does it again with another fantastic book that I already can’t wait to read again.
Overall, Obsession was an exciting story that gave the reader a whole different perspective on the Arum and Luxen. I strongly recommend picking up Obsession to mature readers!
By: Katie McGarry
Released: May 28, 2013
Purchase the Book: Amazon
“If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does…. Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him. But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….” (Summary from goodreads.com)
It’s no secret that Pushing the Limits was one of my favorite books of last year. Therefore, Dare You To has been one of my most anticipated books of this year and it was even better than my high expectations.
Beth will do anything for her mom and hides the truth about what her home life is really like. However, she soon finds herself being forced into a new town with her uncle. She doesn’t exactly fit in her new town and she isn’t giving up on trying to help her mom. Beth was an excellent and developed protagonist. She was one of my favorite characters in Pushing the Limits so I was excited to read a whole book with her perspective. She broke my heart as I learned about her past, but I also admire her for surviving so much. She would do anything for her mother and even though it isn’t in her own best personal interest, I understand why she would do it anyway. I loved her personality from the first moment she appeared on the pages. She is tough to put it lightly, but there is also a vulnerability to her.
Then there is Ryan, the baseball player with his own issues at home. He asks out Beth on a dare, but it eventually turns into much more than a dare. Ryan was a great and developed protagonist too. There is so much expected of him, but he isn’t perfect. He’s beginning to really question what he actually wants for his future. I was also so excited to see some more of Isaiah, Noah, and Echo again. There were some great new characters introduced in this book as well though.
The plot flowed so well from the beginning to end. I read this book in one day because I just couldn’t put it down. There was a great blend of romance and drama. I admit I cried a bit while reading this one too. I especially enjoyed how the whole story of Beth’s past was slowly revealed throughout the book.
The alternate point of views worked great. I loved getting both Beth and Ryan’s perspectives. I think without getting Ryan’s perspective I probably wouldn’t have loved his character as much as I did. I can’t wait for the next book in this series. Overall, I strongly recommend Dare You To, it’s an emotional and beautiful story. I also strongly recommend Pushing the Limits if you have not read it yet. If you are going to read one contemporary series this year, this series is definitely it!