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Estelle: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: September 30, 2014 Publisher: HarlequinTeen Pages: 304 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: historical fiction, 1950s, segregation, LGBT, family Format read: Paperback ARC from HarlequinTeen. (Thanks!) Summary: Sarah is one of the first African American students to enter a predominately white Virginia […]

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October 8, 2014 - 11:05 pm

Alexa S. - I haven’t quite gotten around to reading Lies We Tell Ourselves. It definitely came across as a very ambitious book, considering everything it wanted to tackle! But I’m pleased to hear that you felt it was handled really well and really authentically; that makes me more inclined towards picking up this book soon!

October 6, 2014 - 8:18 am

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert - Beautiful review Estelle! I agree that this is an important story and well-done. And I thought Linda’s through process and how she slowly started forming her own opinions was very realistic. However, I do think it was a little too ambitious having a dual focus on racial segregation and LGBT romance and that it held both stories back a little bit. But nevertheless, this was a strong book!

September 25, 2014 - 3:04 pm

Brianna - This sounds really good. Thanks for sharing your review.

September 25, 2014 - 11:39 am

Cassie @ Happy Book Lovers - I’m so glad to see you loved this one. This is one of my most-anticipated books, and I had no idea there was a love storyline in it! But I’m excited to see it didn’t affect anything. I love books with tons of discussion opportunities so I can talk (or tweet, let’s be honest) with other people about them. And it seems like a super relevant book with what’s going on in the world today (sadly). I wish it weren’t relevant, but I’m glad people are talking about it.

Estelle: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: July 29, 2014 Publisher: Harlequin Teen Pages: 304 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: road trip, strangers, vignettes, connections Format read: ARC Paperback provided by Harlequin Teen. (Thanks!) Summary: Leila’s road trip to see the Northern Lights is peppered with chance meetings with […]

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August 3, 2014 - 10:05 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - I have heard such good things about this and I didn’t realize it was so good! A few great reviews recently made me realize that I was overlooking this one. I really need to bump it up on my list! Thanks!

July 21, 2014 - 12:34 am

Erin - I want to read this book, now! I saw it on NetGalley, but I didn’t request because I wasn’t sure if it’d be good or not. I should have, though, the cover alone looks fantastic.

July 18, 2014 - 1:03 pm

Alexa S. - Honestly, I had so, so much love for Let’s Get Lost! It definitely awakened my wanderlust, and had me raring for a new adventure. But at the same time, it made me think and feel. I definitely fell in love with it!

July 17, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Christianna - I reviewed this one today and also loved it to pieces! It’s so unique and awesome! Great review!

July 17, 2014 - 1:19 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I know, road trip books are so popular in the YA blogosphere. I’m actually not huge on road trip books. It’s not that I dislike them, but I’m not drawn to them either.

I have this book, though, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I definitely need to make the time to read it soon.

July 17, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Jen @Fefferbooks - Yayyy, so looking forward to reading this! Love your review. <3

July 17, 2014 - 10:35 am

Meg - I’m all about road trip stories in the summer, and this sounds like a good one! Like that the main character — and common link — is rather mysterious, and the story structure sounds very interesting!

Magan: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me On by Katie McGarry (twitter | website) Previously Reviewed: Pushing the Limits // Dare You To // Crash Into You Publication Date: May 27, 2014 Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Pages: 544 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: mixed martial arts, job loss, family injuries, fighting and kickboxing Format Read: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley. (Thank you!) Summary: After swearing she’d never date a fighter again, Haley […]

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June 12, 2014 - 11:17 pm

Ellice Y - Great review, M! I just finished writing my review for Take Me On, and I really found it difficult to explain my thoughts on it! Like you, I felt that the book was a bit too long. Not only did it drag in places, I thought that the dialogue between West and Haley was VERY repetitive. I understand that it’s necessary to prevent an “instalove” situation, but at the same time, it slowed the pace of the story down a little too much.

Other than that, I loved Take Me On. It may beat Pushing the Limits as my favorite of McGarry’s books. I especially love the family dynamics in this book despite the few horrible and unlikeable family members that Haley and West have. The relationship between Haley, Kaden, Jax, and John was my absolute favorite– I love that they shared a special bond not only as family but because of MMA, and I really loved that the guys respected Haley’s talent as a fighter! I did get mad at them at first because, like West, I wanted them to beat the hell out of her uncle (he SO deserved it), but I also understood the bad situation that it would put Haley’s family in.

Anyway (I could go on and on about this book!), I really enjoyed your review. We share a lot of the same feelings about Take Me On! 🙂

June 10, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Danielle @ Love at First Page - I am a huge fan of this series, with Ryan’s book being my favorite, followed by Isaiah’s, but I liked this one a lot too. Katie McGarry is so good at writing complex family issues and swoony romance. Like you, I think this could have been cut shorter and I wish the second half didn’t have so many ups and downs in West and Hayley’s relationship. Otherwise, I thought the build up was perfectly done – the type of slow burn I love, filled with lots of tension – and I’m really hoping we’ll get stories for Abby and now Jax!
Great review, Magan!

June 6, 2014 - 3:21 pm

Alexa - I’m glad you ended up liking this one. This book is a chunky book and I’m sure there are a few parts that drag on in such a long story. I really can’t wait to read this one though because I do like this author and her books.

Thanks for the great review!

June 5, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Alexa S. - My favorite thing about Take Me On? Getting to know West Young. I already found him interesting in Crash Into You. But I totally fell for him because of this book! There’s just something about his personality (and his story) that really wormed its way into my heart. While he hasn’t quite eclipsed Ryan, he’s vying with Noah for second place. Other than that, I thought this was a solid McGarry book. A little long, a little too dramatic, but otherwise, a very good read!

June 5, 2014 - 4:01 am

Sue - I read Pushing the Limits recently and loved it. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

June 4, 2014 - 8:28 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I am a huge Katie McGarry fan. I’ve read everything she has written and enjoyed all of them. That said, Take Me On is my least favorite. I agree that things seemed slow at times. And I had a difficult time connecting to Haley and West, which is surprising because I’ve been able to connect to McGarry’s other leads so easily. I mean, I did care about Haley and West, but I just didn’t have that amazing connection to them that I usually do with McGarry’s characters.

I’m glad that you ultimately liked this one, though. Have you read McGarry’s other books besides Pushing the Limits?

Estelle: Played by Liz Fichera

Played by Liz Fichera ( web | tweet ) Part of the HOOKED series / companion novel. Publication Date: May 27, 2014 Publisher: Harlequin Teen Pages: 352 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: racial discrimination, brothers/sisters, unrequited love Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley. (Thanks!) Summary: At a teen leadership retreat, Sam and Riley are unluckily paired together. Sam’s hope […]

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June 2, 2014 - 9:50 pm

Alexa S. - I must say that Played sounded a whole lot better than Hooked, and I was nearly convinced to give this author another try. However, it really sounds like there was something missing in this story, like potential that went to waste. I still do think the romance sounds pretty cute though, so I have to give her that!

May 27, 2014 - 3:22 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - UGH! There’s nothing worse than when a book is made to sound really good in the synopsis only to let us down overall. I’m sorry this one didn’t live up. It doesn’t sound like I’d have a good time reading it either with the issues you had with it. :/

Harlequin Teen Double Feature: Two Reviews

Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin ( web | tweet ) Published 12/1/2013 from Harlequin Teen Pages: 304 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: music, summer after high school, breakups Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley (Thanks!) Summary: Despite the strength of her feelings for budding musician Jared, Claire decides to break […]

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January 28, 2014 - 6:54 am

Judith - Another Little Piece of my Heart sounds good! The fact that you stayed up all night finishing it really does say enough. I love it when books do that. As for Anything to Have You, I totally understand that the dual POV didn’t work out. I rarely like it when there’s more than one POV in a book, because it’s just so hard to get right.

January 21, 2014 - 7:51 pm

Alexa S. - I absolutely adored ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART! It was such a cute contemporary read, and I really enjoyed watching Jared and Claire’s story play out. I haven’t read ANYTHING TO HAVE YOU yet, but it sounds pretty good too.

January 21, 2014 - 6:57 pm

Ellice - Oh, E. Another book you’ve made me want to buy. Another Little Piece of My Heart sounds like it will be right up my alley! (I’ve also got the Janis Joplin song stuck in my head right now.) So happy to see that you loved it. I haven’t read Audrey Wait yet, but I think I may just have to add that one to my radar. Great reviews.

January 20, 2014 - 11:00 pm

Amy @ bookgoonie - You’ve got me excited about Another Piece of my Heart & excited about Paige having another book out.

January 20, 2014 - 3:51 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - When I first heard about ALPoMH, I immediately thought of Audrey, Wait! And since I adore that novel, I was hesitant on reading this one. You’d think that would make me WANT to read it, but in this case, I was very, very unsure. It’s good to know my hesitations can be ignored and that this novel turned out to be something you really liked. I’ll definitely check this one out (without reservations, hehe).

January 20, 2014 - 3:28 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - Hi E! These both sound like really fun books and I agree – as soon as I started reading your thoughts on Another Little Piece of My Heart I was thinking AUDREY WAIT!!! But you mention differences aplenty. I’m like you, though, I would want the same things at the end.

I actually haven’t heard of Anything To Have You but it sounds really interesting. I love the books with the drama sometimes (not always) and I’m curious about Aiden’s role in everything. I haven’t read anything by Paige Harbison but I’ve heard good things! Great thoughts on both of these!

January 20, 2014 - 2:23 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - How have I never even heard of Anything to Have You? I don’t even remember seeing it on Netgalley. It sounds interesting, based on your review I’m not running out to read it, but I’ll keep it in mind. I liked Another Little Piece of My Heart, not as much as you did, but I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the story and by how well rounded the characters were.

January 20, 2014 - 1:27 pm

Alexa - Another Little Piece of my Heart sounds like such a great story. I do like when authors make the characters take time to be with one another and I do enjoy the tension. I’m sorry the ending was a little fast but it still seems like a good book.

Thanks for the great reviews!

January 20, 2014 - 12:26 pm

Kris (Imaginary Reads) - Eek! Another Little Piece of My Heart sounds like an amazing read!! Anything to Have You also sounds interesting, but I really don’t like when scenes are replayed for us even if from another character’s perspective. It gets old fast. Also, Brooke doesn’t sound like a cool character. Lovely reviews, Estelle!

Estelle: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: January 28, 2014 Publisher: Harlequin Teen Pages: 304 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: parental death, grief, step-parents Format read: ARC paperback reviewed at BEA in May 2013. Summary: When her pregnant mom dies suddenly from a stroke, Emma is completely distraught, and even more […]

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January 28, 2014 - 7:02 am

Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott | wrapped up in books - […] Estelle at Rather be Reading: “I do think Heartbeat is a very discussion worthy novel because of all the shades of gray it presents. Was Dan right in his decision? Is Emma being selfish? How do you figure out what the deceased wanted without second guessing yourself? There’s so much that’s intriguing here and the chemistry between Emma and Caleb is great but, in the end, Heartbeat just didn’t have the emotional impact I was expecting.” […]

January 21, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Ellice - I requested Heart Beat on Netgalley, but I’m such a mood reader and so far I just haven’t been in the right frame of mind to start this one. Poor Emma. I can’t imagine a teenager waking up every morning, knowing that she will have to face that situation. So heart wrenching!

January 19, 2014 - 7:04 pm

Bookworm1858 - I can see this being a great discussion novel specifically because of the question of if Dan should have left the mom on life support. I loved it and am looking forward to others getting a chance to read it once it’s released! (I’m a huge Elizabeth Scott fangirl.)

January 15, 2014 - 10:11 am

Liz (Along for the Read) - I definitely agree, I didn’t connect quite as much as I was hoping, but it was such an interesting moral issue that it made up for that. Definitely a unique book, worth reading, but not one that I would re-read. Great review, as always!

January 11, 2014 - 9:13 pm

brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Oh my god, I actually had no idea what this book was about!!! I picked it up at BEA too but I didn’t realize the subject matter. Holy cow. I think I’ll be able to pick it up soon and hopefully I’ll enjoy it and appreciate the book! Curious to see how the read goes!

January 9, 2014 - 7:38 pm

Alexa S. - I still haven’t read this one, despite having an early copy of it in my hands! But I am very intrigued by the story. I think the whole subject matter that this book presents is definitely worthy of discussion. There are so many people and feelings and “ifs” involved, and I just feel like it would be interesting to unravel it all. It’s a little sad to hear you weren’t able to connect well with the main character though!

January 9, 2014 - 12:37 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - I know we’ve already discussed this book, since we read it at the same time, but I wanted to comment on your review. Mine will be going up next week and it mirrors a lot of your same thoughts & feelings. I did not connect with this MC and that had a lot to do with my disconnect from the book. I, too, felt the “break through” was rather rushed.

Side note: I read yesterday in the news that a story very similar to this situation is going on right now near Dallas (I think?). Anyway.. there’s a huge legal controversy regarding it because the family says the hospital doesn’t have rights to keep the Mom alive while the baby is still inside her, growing.. yet the hospital says they do? I’m not sure on the details, but when I read it I immediately thought of this book.

January 9, 2014 - 12:12 pm

Rachel - I adored this book so much, but your feelings make COMPLETE sense. Emma is definitely not a likable character (I mean this in a good way. Not all characters should be ‘likable’), and while she was very selfish, I understood where she was coming from and was able to look past her behavior for the most part.

January 9, 2014 - 11:43 am

Tara - I’ve heard that this is a really heavy story and your review just solidified that. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to get into the right mood/frame of mind to give it a solid go…and I’m really nervous about it. I love E. Scott’s writing so much that I’m afraid of what I’ll think. Basically I need to suck it up and read it 🙂

January 9, 2014 - 10:22 am

alice-jane - The synopsis for Heartbeat reminds me so much of Priscille Sibley’s The Promise of Stardust, which is an adult fiction novel. In Sibley’s novel, the MC’s pregnant wife has an accident, leaving her brain dead and left to deal with the religious, moral and other reasons for keeping her alive.

While Heartbeat didn’t seem like it had the extra oomph-factor that it could’ve had, I do agree that it is an incredibly discussion worthy piece. So many different factors to be considered when something like that happens.

Also, The Promise of Stardust is absolutely amazing and I think it’s a great book that has a lot of emotional impact, so maybe it can make up for Heartbeat? 🙂