Monday, June 18, 2018

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

e-ARC, 336 pages
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Published by: Berkley
Read from: June 8-14, 2018
Source: Publishers
Tags for this Book:  Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Adult, Mental Disorders, Diversity, Own Voices Authors, Debut Authors, Recommendations, 

     A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.
     Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
     It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...
      Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...


*This book is part of the adult contemporary romance genre! It is much more mature than YA. I have featured it in Take Me Away... After Dark as a way to feature the few Adult and New Adult titles I am beginning to read!"  


     I was a bit late to the party on this one since its an adult title, but as soon as the reviews started coming in about how amazing it was and how sweet, I KNEW I had to get my hands on it. And I'm so glad I did!
      Stella is not one for romance. She thinks math is the only thing in the universe that makes things right. Her mom is pressuring her to get a boyfriend (or something) and she hates not giving her what she wants. But her Asperger's creates different problems (like French kissing). So she calls on a pro. Enter Michael. But before she knows it, Stella begins to find that Michael's lessons are too good and maybe she should try to convince him to stay around.
      Starting with the characters, Michael was amazing. I loved how sweet he was to Stella and how understanding he was. And Stella was an amazing character as well. She was so intuitive and well written. And of course that means the two of them together were gold. And let's not forget the spice level of this off the charts! Those lessons were a lot more spicy than I was expecting and I hope there's more in the next book of the series.
      And then there was the writing style. I found myself getting lost in Hoang's words. I found myself not wanting to stop listening to this. I listened to it everywhere, including at work..... In a crowded workroom. (I had to fan my face a few times and turn the volume down, but it was TOTES worth it!) Hoang has a way with words that will make you put everything else on hold. Or she definitely did for me. And I can't wait to see what else she comes up with.
      As for the plot, it was a contemp romance so it was a bit predictable. It fit directly with the romance troupes, but still was unique enough to keep me entertained. And being able to see from both of their POV's was such a nice touch. It was great to be able to know what they both were thinking. It was a great, quick read.
      I really love seeing this diverse romance getting so much warranted attention. A great writing style, a great plot, and great characters all make for a great contemporary romance. After getting so lost in this one, I can't wait to see what Hoang does with the rest of this series.
Overall, I give this

There will be no quotes because this was read via audio. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #273 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From the Library: 
Onyx and IvoryThe Wife
Anger Is a GiftBruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas, #2)
The BrightsidersSummer of Salt

From Publishers: 

A HUGE thanks to Turner Publishing who saw me expressing interest in this one on Twitter and reached out to me. I wanted it to pass on to my work teens because it's set in Tx (where we are) and they think its so cool! Now, my plan is to read this one and review it and let them pass it around amongst themselves! 

The Weekly Wrap-Up!

Monday 06/11/18: No Post. 
Tuesday 06/12/18: Top Ten Eleven Books that Gave you the Travel Bug! 
Wednesday 06/13/18: Waiting on Wednesday: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
Friday 06/15/18: Book Blogger Hop: Book Lottery!

Me on Instagram

As I mentioned, the theme for the summer reading program is Libraries Rock. So, for oneof my programs, we decided to hold an intro to guitar lessons. The teens had so much fun and many of them wanted to continue with lessons! (The paper was just a fun game I gave them to play while they waited on the instructors. They had to match the artist to their guitar. I was 1000% impressed they knew who Van Halen was lol Some of the parents didn't even know! 

What went on at your blog this week?
Anything exciting happen?
Leave me a link in the comments! 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Hardcover, 325 pages
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Published by:  Speak
Read from: N/A
Source: Library
For fans of:  Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, YA

     Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.
     But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet–yes, that Juliet–in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. No–a disaster. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script.
     Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen–thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to play the lead in her own love story?


   When I first saw the cover at TLA, I was smitten! I hadn't heard of this one, but they had one on display and I remembered I wanted it so bad because the cover was gorgeous. It looked like a nice, sweet contemp, which is my favorite kind. Unfortunately, that’s where the goodness ended for me.     
Megan can’t keep a boyfriend. And once she loses them, they go on to someone else. And that someone else always turns out to be the love of their life. So she’s become the school flirt. And it just so happens, in the midst of rehearsals for the school play, she decides to write her own love story.

     Although I was really excited about this one, unfortunately, I didn’t get very far. As a character driven reader, this one wasn’t great for me because I did not connect with the characters. They seemed like immature to me. And then I felt even more disconnected from them when I realized that there was some sort of weird love triangle thing happening. For example, Megan’s ex is now dating her best friend. Although that may not bother some people, it bothers me and I couldn’t do it. And it didn’t make it better that although they said it didn’t bother them, it still did. They lied to each other about the situation and it made me uncomfortable.

   This isn’t the way I wanted my review to end up, but unfortunately, this is what it came down to. Although this may not be for me, I’m sure someone else will love it. Someone read it and let me know if Owen ends up as the love interest and if he’s as swoony as he was weird lol

DNF @ pg. 75

Friday, June 15, 2018

Book Blogger Hop: Book Lottery!!

You have just won a $100.00 Visa gift card. Will you spend the entire amount on a rare collector's edition you have always wanted, or buy several newly-published books? Explain your choice.

I'm going to go with the newly published ones. I haven't found a rare edition that I want quite yet. And plus, I'm almost positive that there wouldn't be enough for shipping internationally anyways lolol

What about you? 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi

e-ARC, 256 pages
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Published by:  HarperCollins/ HarperTeen
Read from: June 9-12, 2018
Source: Publishers
TW: Physical and Emotional Abuse
For fans of:  Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, 

     When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Betts already knows the two of them are infinite. Inevitable. Destined to become an us.
     Betts has only ever kept one secret from her best friend, Jo, but suddenly there’s a long list of things she won’t tell her, things Jo wouldn’t understand. Because Jo doesn’t see how good Aiden is for Betts. She finds him needy. Possessive. Controlling.
She’s wrong. With a love like this, nothing else matters.


     For the most part, these types of books are usually hard for me to read. But knowing that some teens out there may be experiencing these things, I try to stay in the loop to know what to recommend and what not to recommend. And this one, though it has its faults, I would still find myself recommending this one. 
"The way to a girl's crotch is through her taste buds," I advised."
     Betts and Aiden meet by chance at Betts' job. They are drawn to each other like a moth to a flame. But Betts has been keeping a huge secret about him. But her friend Jo sees right through him... She sees what kind of person he really is. It's up to Betts to show Jo that he's not needy, possessive, and controlling. 
"Eric looked at me. "What happened to your face?" "What? Oh." I touched my chin. "I scraped it." He squinted. "On what?" Jo turned back around. "On her new boyfriend's tonsils."
    One thing I wasn't a fan of was the writing style. For the most part, it was ok, but at other times it felt a bit choppy. There were a couple scenes where she was mad with him and didn't want to be around him or anything like that, but then a sentence later she was wanting to be in his arms again without anything happening to change her. I'm sure someone going through this may have a similar thought process, but I don't feel that Rissi did a great job of portraying it. She did a lot of telling vs showing, if that makes sense.This hurt me getting to know the characters as well. I felt like I never got to know Betts and Aiden, and the main focus of the story was on them. It just seemed like it skimmed over the top of them. There was so much backstory to Aiden and we never saw any of it. 
"The storm had blown over, but I still felt the wreckage from the winds."
     As for the message in the book, I was happy that someone actually tackled this subject. It's a bit of a taboo, but after Bad Romance came out and everyone (including myself) loved it, I was happy that more authors are opening up and helping people see that things like this do happen in real life. (I've heard a parent say that these things don't happen anyway so why should their child be reading it...) 
"I couldn't let myself think of the future. I couldn't let myself think of our past. I was spinning in the now, now, now of endless questions my brain didn't want me to ask."
    For the most part, this was an interesting story. It played on my emotions and I swear it was like reading a train wreck- it hurt the more pages I turned, but I just couldn't stop reading it. This is one book that I hope to see people reading for years to come! 
Overall, I give this