Book Review – The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

hatinggame

TITLE: The Hating Game
AUTHOR: Sally Thorne
PAGES:  384 pages
PUBLISHED: August 9th 2016
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Chick-lit, Rom-Com, Humour

MY RATING: 5/5 birds
rating-5-birdnew
Page Break

SUMMARY:

The story begins with our heroine Lucy Hutton pestering Joshua Templeman. Her mortal enemy at work. She hates him more than anyone and they constantly play passive aggressive “games” to irritate one another while sitting one desk away. Joshua thinks Lucy is annoying and too quirky with her colourful clothes. Lucy thinks Joshua is an uptight jerk.

When a new promotion at work threatens to unbalance the careful hatred Lucy and Joshua have, they both up the game. But at what cost? Especially when the games become confusing and the hatred changes to something more.

Page Break

MY REVIEW:

I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book. There are many 5 star reviews but the words “chick-lit” “rom-com” and “cheesy” got to me. It was also a GR Best Romance book finalist. I was caught between expecting a lot and expecting nothing.

What I found was a book that made a laugh out loud, made me crave Josh and Lucy’s interactions (both crazy and sweet), and the amount of “cheese” was just perfect. The author really captured that wild obsessive-like behaviour you get when you first start dating someone and start to fall for them. It really put a big smile on my face and reminded me of those good ol’ days. I loved how much they were all over each other from day one, using “games” as a way to keep their infatuation with one another, whether it be mentally noting the shirt colour choices or staring into each other’s eyes (the “Staring Game”) for long periods of time.

The chemistry between Lucy and Josh was wonderful. Some of the best I have read in a while. When Lucy stands up for him against (view spoiler) I just wanted to cheer. Josh was so endearing and the character development we get from the beginning of the novel was very well written. At first he is just an asshole who most likely has a crush on Lucy. No, the reader’s aren’t fooled. He is like the little boy on the playground who pulls on the girl’s pigtails to show her that he likes her. But then we really get to know him, as Lucy does, and we learn about this shy sweetheart who is sometimes hurt, sometimes lonely, and he becomes so real. Their highly witty hateful banter becomes even better sexual tension that was so much fun to read. I actually really enjoyed their banter in the beginning. I know some other readers saw it as childish, and it was, but it was also so hilarious. I loved all of Lucy’s jabs where she insinuates that Josh is the devil, and lives “close to earth’s core”.

Yes, this is chick-lit. Yes, it is predictable, it is sometimes cheesy and sometimes silly, but I loved it. I had a big smile on my face at the ending.

Page Break

View all my other reviews on Goodreads!

Top Ten Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would

birds-2Each week The Broke and Bookish hosts a Top Ten Tuesday based on a chosen literary topic. This week’s topic is Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would. I decided to go with books that I loved more than I thought I would. I will focus on books that I felt like, after reading many reviews and looking at the goodreads rating, that I liked more than other readers.

Page Break

10 Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would

1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne –This book had quite a lot of hype surrounding it and I really wasn’t sure if it was going to be my cup of tea because chick-lit can be very hit-or-miss with me. Usually it is too cheesy but this was perfect. You can read my in-depth review by clicking here.

2. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West – Again, this had a ton of hype and Kasie West has quite a following. I thought this was very cute and liked it a lot more than I thought I would. You can read my in-depth review by clicking here.

3. Obsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This series really blew me away and I thought it would be like any other YA paranormal book but it was so well done. After reading many disappointing YA alien books I wasn’t sure if I would like it but it is an amazing series.

4. Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) by Susan Ee – I normally stay away from YA angel novels because I have just read so many bad ones in the past but this completely exceeded my expectations! You can read my in-depth review by clicking here.

5. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare – This book has so much when it was first released that I was really worried I wouldn’t like it. Many people were comparing it to Harry Potter and Twilight so I really did not know what to expect. I am so glad I decided to pick it up though as it is one of my favourite series!

6. Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard – I have a serious love for anything in the ‘space opera’ genre, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it but the premise wasn’t really that enticing to me. I am so glad I picked it up because it was really a great novel.

7. Cut & Run (Cut & Run, #1) by Abigail Roux & Madeline Urban – Ty and Zane have become one of my favourite m-m romance couples and I seriously love this entire series. I was really hesitant to pick it up because I normally don’t go for mystery and crime novels but this book was amazing.

8. Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy – This came randomly from the library one day and the premise looked interesting but I really didn’t know what to expect. I am so glad I decided to read it because it has become one of my favourite books.

9. For Finlay by J. Nathan – I received this book from NetGalley and while the premise looked interesting enough for me to request it I wasn’t really expecting much from this New Adult novel. It was way better than expected and you can read my in-depth review by clicking here.

10. The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark #1) by Kresley Cole – I went into this thinking it would just another fun paranormal-romance read but I actually got really sucked into the world and stories that Cole created. Although the romance was very well done (and very steamy!) the plot also grabbed my interested and this series has been very good.

What are some book that surprised you? Anything you absolutely feel in love with or dislike with a passion? Tell me below in the comments!

Page Break

View all my other reviews on goodreads!

Book Review – Beautifully Broken by Laura Lee

BB.JPG

TITLE: Beautifully Broken
AUTHOR: Laura Lee
PAGES:  326 pages
PUBLISHED: November 15th 2016
PUBLISHER: LAN Fiction LLC
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Forbidden Romance

MY RATING: 4/5 birds
rating-4-birdnew
Page Break

SUMMARY:

The story begins with our heroine Kat, drinking in a seedy bar on her 18th birthday when she meets Gavin. Or “Sparkles” as Kat dubbed him. We learn quickly that Kat has had a tough life. She has been in the foster system since she was a kid, never knew her dad, and has a heroin-addicted mother who is barely present in her life. Tonight she is trying to forget her problems and Gavin seems like the perfect distraction. Their attraction to one another is off the charts and neither of them can deny it.

Kat goes home with him and lies about her age and turns every question he asks –like what she does for work – into a game so he barely knows anything about her. Imagine his surprise when a few days later she is sitting in his classroom and Gavin a.k.a. Sparkles is also Mr. Cooper her English teacher! They both try to deny their attraction and know their situation is wrong even though he didn’t know she was in high school and she is eighteen, but fighting their feelings is harder than they thought.

Page Break

MY REVIEW:

When I first saw this book and all the 5 star reviews I was a little skeptical. The premise of a forbidden romance between teacher and student isn’t something I normally find appealing to read but something compelled me to pick this up and I am glad I did! This book definitely goes down as a guilty pleasure read.

Kat was really an amazing character. Life threw her so many curve balls and she took everything in stride. She was even more mature than Gavin in certain parts of the novel. And even though parts of her were broken, Gavin’s constant reassurance of telling her she is worthy of love and respect helped her feel whole again. It was such a feel good novel in that aspect even though there was a ton of seriously dark drama. This was definitely more real than I thought it would be from the blurb, which was a good thing. The dialogue was very well written as well. Their flirty banter was cute and believable and Kat and her friends acted and talked like real eighteen year olds.

I also liked the non-judgemental aspect of stripping in the novel. Kat described most of her coworkers as being college students just trying to earn a quick buck so they can advance in life. We find that some of the girls that have worked there have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, veterinarians etc. Although I think this is not the case for many strip joints, I think it is still a good lesson that you shouldn’t judge someone for where their life leads them.

I know some readers have a hard rule with cheating and I think this may blur the line….Just a forewarning but (view spoiler). Decide what you will about that. I didn’t mind but I know others consider once the two main characters have had any kind of physical contact another woman/man in the picture is unacceptable.

I was also really frustrated with the ending. I could completely understand Kat’s POV and why she chose what she did but Gavin really had no excuse.

Overall this was a really interesting and angsty read. If you are looking for serious drama but with a HEA then this is the book for you! Thank you Netgalley, LAN Fiction LLC, and the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Page Break

View all my other reviews on Goodreads!

Book Review – Thirst by Jacquelyn Frank

thirst

TITLE: Thirst (The Energy Vampires #1)
AUTHOR: Jacquelyn Frank
PAGES:  279 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: January 17th 2017
PUBLISHER: Loveswept
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Adult, Vampires

MY RATING: 3/5 birds
rating-3-birdnew
Page Break

SUMMARY:

Our story begins when Renee Holden, a tough cop in New York City, is called to investigate a murder. The only witness claims that the perpetrator is a vampire and when she explains the body they find two puncture marks on the victim’s neck. Slightly disturbed by this information Renee goes with the angle of someone who is a delusional vampire-fanatic who pretends he actually is one. Because vampires don’t exist.

But of course they do because Rafe DaSilva is an energy vampire who feeds off of human’s energy instead of blood and he is currently stalking Renee. He knows who killed the victim and he has to make sure Renee is safe and also doesn’t come to discover that vampires are real as she investigates the murder.

Page Break

MY REVIEW:

I just could not connect with this novel. I’ll admit that I had to skim read quite a bit near the end just to finish. The dialogue between Renee and Rafe was so stilted and unnatural. At first I thought maybe the author was trying to make Rafe sound formal because he was so old but it just did not work for me. And Renee didn’t seem to stay true to her character many times in the novel. We establish right away that she is a tough detective that has a strong attitude but then she does so many shy and fearful things later on in the novel that had me scratching my head.

The romance was sweet once they got to know each other better but the insta-love at the end was a bit much. Yes, they had been through a lot together in such a short period of time but it was still plain ol’ insta-love.

The crime/mystery aspect to the story was fairly interesting but the origin story had me rolling my eyes. It is definitely original but it was quite silly. Even the whole idea of e-vamps that don’t actually drink blood, but drink energy, was a bit much for me.

Overall it was an okay read but I won’t be continuing the series. I normally love paranormal/urban-fantasy novel so I would still recommend this to other that love that genre but this just did not work for me!

Page Break

View all my other reviews on Goodreads!

Top Ten Romance Tropes – Enemies to Lovers

Image result for heart iconEach week The Broke and Bookish hosts a Top Ten Tuesday based on a chosen literary topic. This week’s topic is all about romance tropes/types! I decided to chose one of my guilty pleasures, the enemies to lover trope. Really nothing is better than having two characters butt heads with witty dialogue and a lot of sexual tension before they both realise how stubborn they’ve been all along and fall madly in love. *sigh*

It is, of course, Valentines Day today which is a holiday I have never really understood. Who wants to buy chocolate or flowers that are overpriced, or try to book reservations months in advanced at some overcrowded restaurant? This Valentines Day I plan on cuddling with my fiance on the couch in a mountain of blankets, eat cookies I baked and watch ‘You’ve Got Mail’.

Page Break

1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne –I feel like I must start this list off with naming the biggest enemies to lovers book of 2016. The chemistry between Lucy and Josh in this book is amazing.Their highly witty hateful banter becomes even better sexual tension that was so much fun to read. I actually really enjoyed their arguing in the beginning. I know some other readers saw it as childish, and it was, but it was also so hilarious. I loved all of Lucy’s jabs where she insinuates that Josh is the devil, and lives “close to earth’s core”.

2. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West – I don’t want to give too much away, as the love interest is supposed to be somewhat of a secret when you begin this book but you can read my review here.

3. Obsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This was one of those books where you almost can’t explain why you love the male love interest so much. Daemon is a huge jerk towards Katy who already has a tough go of life after being forced to move to a new town after her dad dies. Daemon is just so overly confident and egotistical but somehow makes it sexy and you want him and Katy to get together so badly!

4. Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) by Susan Ee – When Penryn sees a single feather floating in the sky, suddenly everything changes, and with an unlikely partnership with the enemy she fights to get her sister back.  Angels are regarded as the enemy in this dystopian book and Raffe is no exception. Although this is YA and nothing steamy happens I loved reading about Penryn and Raffe’s uneasy relationship. You can read my full review here.

5. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare – Jace Wayland…oh boy. I think he wins the award for the most egotistical and overly confident character in my list. Even more than Daemon! The love/hate relationship between Jace and Clary was so fun to read.

6. Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard – I have a very special place in my heart for ‘space opera-sci-fi-romance’ type books. Add in the enemies to lovers trope and you have a winner. I was really expecting the whole “I fell in love with my kidnapper” Stockholm-syndrome type formula but it didn’t fall into the typical traps you would expect.

7. Cut & Run (Cut & Run, #1) by Abigail Roux & Madeline Urban – Ty and Zane may be my new favourite couple of 2o17! There is definitely no ‘insta-love’ in this novel as Ty and Zane spend most of it arguing and fighting (both verbal and physical!). I have never read a more convincing novel of two characters that absolutely loathe each other and somehow that turns into something more.

8. Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy – The premise of this was just so good. Edie finds herself in another form of servitude when she is “attached” to Finn, meaning that if she dies, he dies. And if she gets too far away from him, he dies as well. He is her bodyguard from then on, protecting her from any attacks, as she is highly sought after for her special ability as a “cyberteck” who manipulates technology with her hands and can create “life” on inhabitable planets.

The romance was a nice slow build. If you are expecting sexy times right away you will be disappointed but the wait is SO worth it. I kept picturing Finn as Tom Hardy from the Mad Max movie. Stoic, calm, with a violent dark inner turmoil, but also a surprisingly sweet side that we see with his interactions with Edie as their relationship builds.

9. For Finlay by J. Nathan – Finlay lived her entire life in the shadow of her older brother, football star Cole Thatcher. When her brother suddenly dies she tries to live his dreams. She moves to a new town to work for the Alabama college football team which means working beside the new quarterback Caden Brooks. She has reasons to hate him for taking her brother’s place on the Alabama team but soon hatred turns into sexual tension as neither of them can deny the strong attraction they feel. You can read the rest of my review here.

10. The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark #1) by Kresley Cole – Ending the list off with this a romantica novel, and holey-moley guacamole this is not for the faint-hearted! The sex scenes are REALLY steamy. Like, really really steamy haha.

What are some of your favourite enemies to lovers books? Or do you have a different romance trope that you absolutely love? Tell me below in the comments!

Page Break

View all my other reviews on goodreads!

Book Review – P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

psilikeyou

TITLE: P.S I Like You
AUTHOR: Kasie West
PAGES:  330 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: July 26th 2016
PUBLISHER: Point
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

MY RATING: 4/5 birds
rating-4-birdnew

Page Break

SUMMARY:

Our story starts off with Lily, an aspiring songwriter, trying to balance her friends, school, and her chaotic family. She wants to enter a songwriting competition but isn’t completely confident in herself. While in her most hated class, chemistry, she sees a note under her desk and starts writing letters to an unknown student who shares her unique taste in music and they both reveal personal issues in their life. When Lily finds out the writer is male she starts falling for the mysterious student and wonders who it could be.

Page Break

MY REVIEW:

This is the second book I have read by Kasie West and I completely understand why she has such a following. This book was super adorable and absolutely perfect for Romance Week on Goodreads.

The guy writing the notes to Lily is very predictable from the beginning which was a bit of a letdown but thankfully the author doesn’t make us “guess” for long and soon Lily must face the real person against the person she imagined writing the letter.

It was a really cute novel and I absolutely loved Lily’s crazy family. I feel like they really made the novel. Her parents were funny with their little competitions, her little brothers were adorable but also realistically written, and their pet rabbit just puts a massively adorable bow on the entire thing.

It had a lot of clichés and wasn’t a unique plot but I like the idea of not judging someone until you really know them. People are complex, and while I don’t condone bullies at all, sometimes people act out for a reason.

The only thing that really made it lose one star was that I did not like the ending. It seemed very abrupt. I wish we could have found out if Lily won the songwriting contest. Her relationship also doesn’t really have a HEA and it felt like a cliffhanger.

Overall it was perfect for Romance Week and definitely a fluffy feel-good read!

Page Break

View all my other reviews on Goodreads!

ARC Book Review – Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally

 cufa

TITLE: Coming Up For Air
AUTHOR: Miranda Kenneally
PAGES:  320 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: July 1st 2017
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Sports, Contemporary

MY RATING: 5/5 birds
rating-5-birdnew

Page Break

MY REVIEW & SUMMARY:

Guys, this was so good.

Like really, adorably, amazingly good!

I wasn’t a huge fan of Catching Jordan, Miranda Kenneally’s first novel in the Hundred Oaks series. When I received this from Netgalley I wasn’t sure what to expect. As someone who absolutely loves swimming, I was hoping this would entice more than football does and I just could not put it down! I seriously read this in one sitting! Although the romance was perfect (who else loves the “best friends to something more” trope?), I was absolutely enthralled with Maggie’s competitive swimming world.

Maggie is trying to qualify for the Olympics. Her entire life is eating and swimming. Her only free time involves hanging out at the local burger place on Friday night with her three closest friends, Georgia, Hunter and Levi. Levi is her best friend and the most understanding of her schedule as he is a competitive swimmer as well. As Maggie lives vicariously through her friend’s lives she realises that she may be missing out of the quintessential high school “experience”. After a disastrous hook-up Maggie decides to ask Levi to help her gain some experience before heading off to college. After he hesitantly agrees the line between friendship and something more becomes blurry.

The healthy sex attitude in the novel blew me away. The way the characters, and especially one of the teachers, approached sex was really well done. It wasn’t something to be ashamed of. It wasn’t this crazy secretive thing. No one pretended that teenagers don’t want to experiment and have sex. It was realistic and healthy and just normal. A real breath of fresh air in the YA world and I have to applaud Kenneally for that.

Even if you didn’t love Kenneally’s other novels, I would still recommend this. Kenneally does an amazing job of showing us Maggie’s intense routine and it was hard not to admire Maggie’s passion and determination. It really does amaze me that there are people out there this dedicated to their sport.

Now I am going to have to go back and read the rest of the Hundred Oak series!

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Page Break

View all my other reviews on Goodreads!