ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken

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Synopsis

They’re serving up some red-hot revenge. A sizzling series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel van Dyken.

Blaire has never quite gotten over Jessie Beckett, the ex–NFL star whose kisses were hot enough to ignite the entire Eastern Seaboard. When he chose work over her, Blaire was left brokenhearted. Why else would she have married a skeezy two-timer, just to divorce him less than a year later?

Now Blaire is getting even by becoming one half of Dirty Exes, a PI firm fully committed to humiliating cheating jerks. If only the new jerk she’s been hired to uncover wasn’t Jessie Beckett himself.

Exposing Jessie isn’t going to be easy, especially when she still daydreams about his sexy smile. Further complicating matters is Colin, Jessie’s best friend. He’s gorgeous, a little bit cunning, and willing to help Blaire get the inside scoop on Jessie—for a price.

Now caught between two men—one totally right and the other totally wrong—Blaire will need to decide just how much she’s willing to risk…and whom she’s willing to risk it for.

My Review

*Thanks again to Skyscape for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

When Blaire finds out that her husband cheated on her with her best friend, she’s devasted. By chance, she meets Isla who’s also just found out she has a cheating husband. They become friends and decide to start a company called “Dirty Exes Private Investigation”. On behalf of wary wifes and husbands they investigate their partners and try to catch them cheating or try to seduce them themselves. But then they get a new request which turns out to be a lot more complicated for Blaire than she thought at first. The husband accused of cheating is none other than the guy she calls ‘the one that got away’.

“Dirty Exes” was an amazing book and I really enjoyed reading it. It was so much fun and overall, the story was super entertaining. I pretty much flew through the first half of the novel in one sitting and then through the second half in another one. In fact, it’s been several months since I’ve last read through a book in such a short period of time, so this definitely speaks in the book’s favor.

I also really liked the characters in this book; especially Colin was amazing and so much fun to read about. Furthermore, I even enjoyed the love triangle in “Dirty Exes” even though I’m not the biggest fan of them. But this love triangle was really well done and for a long time I wasn’t really sure which of the guys I wanted Blaire to choose which only made the book even more interesting to me.

So all in all, I really loved this novel and just need to give it five out of five stars. I also feel like Rachel van Dyken is slowly becoming one of my favorite authors. So far, I’ve really enjoyed most of her novels I’ve read and I already can’t wait to read “Dangerous Exes”, the sequel to “Dirty Exes”, which will come out in October of this year.

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ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Nowhere Else But Here by Rachel Cotton

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Synopsis

“He was reckless. He was exciting. He was Theo.
And he was a breath of fresh air in my otherwise extremely dull life”

What if the missing person is your missing piece?

Rose has always played by the rules – now it’s time to break them.

Life’s easier when you stay away from other people. Rose Valentine knows that. But some people are impossible to ignore. Take Theo Lockhart. He’s handsome, funny and beyond intriguing. He’s a mystery; one that Rose dreams of solving.

Then one night the mystery deepens. Theo turns up on Rose’s doorstep, desperate to hide out at her house. He’s keeping secrets, and Rose has a million questions. Not least – why did he choose to run to her?

If Rose lets him in, she’ll be going against everything she holds true. It’s reckless, risky – and definitely not in the rulebook. But Theo makes Rose long to break the rules After a whirlwind week of brat-pack movies, midnight snacks and non-stop chat, where do Rose and Theo go from here? 

My Review

*Thanks again to Ink Road for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

“Nowhere Else But Here” tells the story of Rose and Theo, two students from England. The book starts shortly after Theo has run away from home and shortly before he turns up at Rose’s house, asking her to help him which she decides to do. And so she keeps him hidden in her room while everyone else keeps searching for him but they both know he can’t stay hidden forever. 

First, I want to get everything that bothered me about this book out of the way. As I’ve said, Theo has already run away from home prior to the start of this book but I felt like the beginning was a little abrupt. I would’ve liked it better if the story had started a few days earlier and we would’ve still experienced Theo in school and had gotten to know him through his own actions. Since he had already disappeared by the time the story began, you only get to know him through descriptions from Rose’s point of view and thus I didn’t really have any interest in him at first and didn’t really feel bad about him having run away from home.  

Another thing that happened very early in the book and bothered me was the fact that Rose mentions how she actually never really had a lot to do with Theo and they didn’t even talk to each other except when they were in Chemistry class since they were lap partners. But despite all of that, she very quickly agreed to help him and just let him stay in her room and that decision felt very random to me back then.

Furthermore, it took me more than half of the book to begin liking the Rose. I don’t think she’s a bad character or anything, I just felt like she was acting way too juvenile during the first half of the novel. Her age is never specifically stated but since they’re living in the UK and she’s already driving her own car, I’m guessing she must’ve been at least 17 years old. But especially at the beginning of the book she was often acting like a 13-year-old. There’s one scene in which Theo says that he actually prefers sleeping in his boxers when she offers him tracksuit bottoms and she pretty much freaks out about it. And then there’s a scene in which her brother uses the word “freaking” and she literally starts scolding him for using “bad language”. There were a few other scenes similar to those and I have to admit that it began annoying me after some time but thankfully, she mostly started acting her age during the second half of the novel and I began liking her a little better.

But even though there were a few things I didn’t like about the beginning of “Nowhere Else But Here”, I didn’t lose interest in the book and ended up enjoying it even though it definitely wasn’t a book I would ever give full stars to. It was a cute story and once I’d warmed up to the characters and had gotten into the book, I pretty much flew through it. I also think the book was quite well written, especially considering it’s the debut novel of a 17-year-old writer. Her first book wasn’t perfect but I’m sure she’ll improve with each book she’s going to write in the future and is headed in the right direction. 

So overall, this was a cute and quick read which also dealt with some heavier topics like domestic abuse or what it feels like when parents constantly choose work over their children. It was an okay novel that had its flaws but nevertheless, I mostly enjoyed it which is why I decided to give it a three out of five stars.

 

Reviews

Review: Busted by Gina Ciocca

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Synopsis

Catching cheaters and liars is a lucrative hobby—until you fall for one of the suspects. Perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, this new novel from the author of Last Year’s Mistake will steal your heart!

Marisa never planned to be a snoop for hire. It wasn’t like she wanted to catch her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. But as her reputation for sniffing out cheaters spreads all over school, Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

And her next case? It’s for ex-frenemy Kendall. She’s convinced her boyfriend, TJ, has feelings for someone else and persuades Marissa to start spying on him. But the more Marisa gets to know sincere and artistic TJ, the more she starts to fall for him. Worse yet, the feelings seem to be mutual. Marisa knows she needs to give up her investigation—and the spoken-for guy who may just be the love of her life. Then she uncovers new secrets about Kendall and TJ, secrets that take “cheater” to a whole new level…

 

My Review

*Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!* 

In “Busted”, Gina Ciocca’s newest novel, the main character Marisa coincidentally catches her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. Actually, she didn’t plan on ever catching a cheater again but when her ex-frenemy Kendall asks her to spy on her boyfriend, Marisa just can’t say no. But what happens when she realizes that she’s slowly but surely falling for the guy she’s spying on and that he’s falling for her as well?

When I first read the synopsis of ‘Busted’, I was immediately intrigued by it and knew that I definitely had to read this book. It’s a beautiful young adult romance book and if you’re looking for a quick and enjoyable read, you should definitely give this one a try.

The novel has a very entertaining plot and there were no unnecessary, protracted parts that could’ve bored me. I also really liked the characters and Gina Ciocca’s writing style. This was the first one of her books I’ve read, but I’m sure it wasn’t the last one.

The only “negative” think I can say about “Busted” is that it definitely reminded me of some other young adult books I’ve read and so it’s probably not a book that will absolutely blow your mind. But like I said, I still really enjoyed reading “Busted” and I decided to give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviews

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

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Synopsis

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

 

My Review

“Would you rather live one perfect day over and over or live your life with no perfect days but just decent ones?” 

I started reading ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ because I felt like a reading slump was heading my way and a couple of people told me that this would be the perfect book to read in such a situation. And it actually is because this was such a quick read and I finished it in less than a day. It’s also a perfect summer read that you can enjoy while spending your time on the beach.

But even though it was a cute book, it was also very cliché and often quite predictable. But that wasn’t the worst thing about this book because it’s something I can usually live with. The worst thing was definitely the main character, Belly. She was such an annoying character and such a whiny little brat. I know that this is a coming of age novel and many girls that age might tend to behave like her but in my opinion, she was just way over to the top. She was complaining so much, she literally made me want to rip my hair out at some points.

Belly was constantly going on about how badly the boys were treating her, how they were always treating her like a child (though she was the one that constantly acted like a 9-year-old) and how they never asked her to come along when going somewhere. She literally made them responsible for everything she didn’t like, for example how she didn’t know anyone in the town they spend their summer breaks in because it would’ve been their job to take her to parties … like seriously though, what the hell? She can walk and talk, she should’ve left the house herself and made her own friends in that town instead of spending all her summer sulking because the three boys just preferred doing their own things.

She was literally such a pain in the neck, I think she was even more annoying than America from the Selection series and I actually thought that was impossible.

All of this just made me feel like I was way too old for this book and I really don’t know if I’ll actually continue this series even though I liked the other characters. I loved Conrad, Jeremiah and Steven and I also think that this book was generally very well written. But because of the main character and the fact that I felt a little too old for the entire story, I can only give TSITP 2.5 out of 5 stars.

(PS: I’m sorry about the fact that half of this review is just me complaining about the MC but she was literally driving me insane!)

Have you already read ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ and did you like it? 🙂

Reviews

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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Synopsis

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

 

My Review

“I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?” 

When I first saw that this book would be about Josh and Isla, two characters that have first been introduced in AATFK, I must say that I wasn’t too excited about it. He just didn’t seem to be a very interesting character in the first book but I think I had that impression because you just didn’t learn a lot about him in the first book except that his girlfriend and he spend almost every free second together.

But his girlfriend isn’t there anymore which allowed him to get into a new relationship and quite early in the book, you actually realize that Josh is quite an interesting character. I really liked how you learn a lot about his past and also about the time that was written about in AATFK. You get to learn a little more about Anna and St. Clair’s relationship from his point of view and you also learn the entire story of Josh and Rashmi’s relationship which was very interesting. I also loved his passion for art and really hope this book will one day be made into a movie just so that I can see someone draw what Stephanie Perkins described in this book.

Sex also played quite a big role in this book. In AATFK it was only mentioned once or twice but in LATBND it was already a bigger part of the story, so it only made sense that it would play an important role in this book even though it isn’t often discussed in YA books.

I also loved that this book’s plot was different from the plots of the first two books. In AATFK and LATBND we had one person who was in a relationship while the other person wasn’t and over the course of the book, they slowly realized that they’re more than friends. But in IATHEA they get into a relationship at an early point of the book and so you get to read about how their relationship develops and what problems they have to face.

Another thing that I loved is that we got to see Anna, St. Clair, Meredith, Lola and Cricket again. I just love how all three books in this series are connected with each other and the scenes with those characters almost made me cry in happiness. If you haven’t read the book yet, go read it and you’ll exactly know what moment I’m talking about.

But there were also two things that annoyed me a little and made me not give this book all five stars. For one, Isla was a little annoying at some points of the books even though she was by far not as annoying as Lola sometimes was. Furthermore, the ending of this book was incredibly cheesy. It was just way too much for me and even though I really like Josh and Isla, I just couldn’t enjoy the last scene of this book even though they’re a cute couple.

All in all, this was once again a cute and quick read and I really enjoyed it. I still love Stephanie Perkins’ writing style and she remains one of my all-time favorite contemporary authors! 4 out of 5 stars for “Isla and the Happily Ever After”.

Have you already read ‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’ and did you like it? 🙂