Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published May 28, 2013

 Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

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...

     "Living is like being chained at the bottom of a shallow pond with my eyes open and no air. I can see distorted images of happiness and light, even hear muffled laughter, but everything is out of my reach as I lay in suffocating agony. If death is the opposite of living then I hope death is like floating." 

I usually don't like books that are more "mature" than the Young Adult genre. I know, coming from someone with teens of her own, it seems pretty crazy. I really prefer clean books without f-words, a lot of sexual situations, drugs, alcohol... etc. But this series has captured my heart. Honestly, Dare You to is better than Pushing the Limits, in my opinion.

Beth seemed to be dealing with a lot of demons in Pushing the Limits and I was right. I have always thought the people who come across as hard core, intimidating, and rough are the ones with the least amount of self-esteem and confidence. They try to appear unmoved by everyone around them, when in reality they are affected by their environment and what people think. Beth was all those things.

Ryan was putting up defenses the opposite way. He was appearing to be the perfect son, pitcher, student and social status when in reality it was all falling apart around him, especially his home and family. In real life there are so many parents so concerned at what everyone will think of their family and name, they will do anything to cover up all the secrets and real problems at home. Ryan was a good example of this. He struggled to stand up to his peers, and parents just to be himself.

I have to give it to Katie McGarry, she can take the most messed up people and make them work. Crazy kids, drug addicts, gang members, high society, family break-ups etc. and not only get them together, but make it beautiful. So much so, I almost read it all in one sitting!

I can't wait to read the next installment and learn more about Issac. He broke my heart in Dare You to, but I honestly didn't think he and Beth were good for each other. Their common thread was doing drugs to forget about life and their problems, they needed someone who would bring them out of that.

Like I said before, this book is a more Mature YA, or even a New Adult. Language, sexual situations, abuse, drug and alcohol use were throughout the book.

Thanks to Harlequin for allowing me to read an advance e-ARC via Netgalley.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bloglovin Book Blog Hop

Bloglovin Blog hop

Bloglovin Blog Hop: find new blogs and get new followers. Inspired by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read hosted by Brandi from Blkosiner's Book Blog

1. Make your own post, grab the icon if you want
2. Link back to this post
3. Hop around. Visit as many or as few blogs as you'd like, but make sure if someone leaves a comment saying they followed you, visit and follow them back. 
4. This is a once a week event for now, on Sundays at 1pm she may make it once a month down the road. You are only making a commitment to participate for one week. She would love to see you back next week, but that is your choice. You can make your post on whatever day you wish, and if you chose to host a giveaway, run that as long as you'd like. 
5. Make sure to add the link to your post not your homepage so people can find it easily in the link tool below.
6. This isn't a giveaway hop, although you are free to host one. This is a follower hop. 
Thank you so much for participating!

Please leave a comment if you are a new follower on my Blog.  GFC is going away so don't miss out on following me via Blogger!! If there is another way you want to follow me, feel free to follow me there, just make sure you let me know in my comments!!  I look forward to seeing your blog and following you as well!  

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The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Release date:  June 4th, 2013

Summary:   Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

I was just blown away by this great read! The dystopian explosion has caught my attention, but there are only a few I have given this high of a review, this one is up there!

Cia is honored she has been chosen for the testing which determines who is able to attend University. Those who attend, go on to work and help recreate their world after the apocalypse. No one from their colony has been chosen in 10 years. Her older brother resents her because he was not chosen and her father went through the testing but doesn't remember what happened during that time.

As the testing begins she befriends a boy from her colony Thomas and joins forces with him to survive the testing. Cia is far from prepared for what is placed before her during the trials. A love triangle seems to begin, but is not resolved in this book.

Riveted by the fast paced world building, it was difficult to put down. Cia's character comes out strong and instantly likeable. After her fathers warning to trust no one, she can't help but trust certain people, but the doubts come. The pressures to succeed and pass the testing are undoubtedly high, because those who have failed disappear. This book brings to front what young teens/adults would do to achieve social standings and goals. By the end of the book, there are many questions left unanswered which hopefully will be answered in the next installment.

I would suggest this book to all the Hunger Games fans. Like it, there is violence between teens. Other than that, it's a pretty clean read. Some romance, kissing, and no bad language that I can remember. I will definitely be looking forward to the next installment!!!

Thanks to Netgalley and Publisher for the ARC and the opportunity to review this book. 

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sweet Mercy Blog Tour!

Sweet Mercy
Stunning coming-of-age drama set during the Great Depression and Prohibition
When Eve Marryat's father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve's uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.
Eve can't wait to leave St. Paul, a notorious haven for gangsters. At seventeen, she considers her family to be "good people," not lawbreakers like so many in her neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a "safe haven," Eve soon forms an unlikely friendship with a strange young man named Link, blissfully unaware that her uncle's lodge is anything but what it seems.
When the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. Does she dare risk everything by exposing the man whose love and generosity is keeping her family from ruin? And when things turn dangerous, can she trust Link in spite of appearances?
Ann Tatlock
Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy-Award winning novel Promises to Keep. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.

My Review
I haven't read many YA historical booksIt was certainly different than everything paranormal I normally read.  It was a great jump in genre for me, especially going back to a time I used to hear about from my Grandparents.  Of course they weren't in the big cities where the gangsters ran ramp id, but it was a difficult time for our country. 

I realized this was a Christian book, but to the point where it didn't stand out completely.  The main character, Eve, being seventeen and naive about life has to learn there is no place for self righteousness, especially during a time of great turmoil and loss. Where people we love and care for may not be who we thought they were or maybe certain times call for certain measures.
This is a quick clean read with some action and even a little romance.  Definitely something that teens and adults (like myself) can all enjoy.   


From Chapter 8:

Jones pushed his hat back a notch and looked over his shoulder after the two boats. “The Little Miami meets up with the Ohio River not too far from here,” he said. “That’s probably where they’re headed.”
“Funny that they’re taking a bunch of castor oil down the Ohio River.”
Jones turned again to look at me. I couldn’t see his eyes but somehow I sensed they held amusement. My suspicions were confirmed when he shook his head and laughed. “Castor oil, nothing,” he muttered. “They’re hauling moonshine.”
For a moment I was speechless. I frowned and wondered whether I had heard him right. “Moonshine?”
“Sure. People like them are up and down this river all the time.”
It can’t be, I thought. This was Ohio, after all, birthplace of the Temperance Movement. I knew; I had done the research; I had won first place in the essay contest. “Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure.”
“Don’t they know moonshine is illegal?”
Jones laughed again, louder this time. “You’re kidding, right?”
“I’m not kidding, Jones. I can’t believe they’re hauling that stuff right out here in the open. They could be arrested and go to prison. They should be arrested.”
“Yeah? And who’s going to turn them in? You?”
  Tour Giveaway 1 winner will receive a copy of 3 of Ann's Books Sweet Mercy, Travelers Rest and Promises to Keep Open to US & Canada Only Ends 5/21/13

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