Reading is my number one passion in life. I am a humble book blogger and I *always* have something to say about books!
He was big. Not bulky and heavy, but tall with broad shoulders, long legs and that air of self control that made him seem in total command.
Since the last book comes out on Tuesday, I feel like it is a good time to finally dive into this series. Sooo many people have recommended it to me. Excited to meet Professor West. <3
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
6+++ captivating, obsessively readable, perfectly imperfect stars.
I am almost at a loss for words after finishing this book.
It has been sitting on my Kindle for so long, and I honestly have no idea why it took me this long to read it.
Over the last several months, I have been unable to read much YA fiction. I'm not sure if i was burned out on it, or if I just attempted to read too many books with similar storylines, but my list of YA books i haven't been able to finish is ridiculously long. But in much the same way that Colleen Hoover knocked me on my ass with her ability to blow the YA/NA genre apart with amazing characters and stories that captivate the imagination, Katie McGarry has given us Pushing The Limits. Hands down one of the the 5 best books I have ever read in my lifetime. Period.
I could sit here and go over every aspect of the book that I loved. Tell you all about the plot and the brilliant way that McGarry made this world come alive. But so many others have done a far better job than I ever could at expressing how much this story means on an emotional level. This is not your typical story of teen angst with cookie-cutter characters that everyone knows all too well. This story is dark and edgy. And raw. The pain and loneliness that both Echo and Noah feel...it's real and I felt and breathed every last bit of it right along with them.
When i write reviews I usually try and give an overview of how the book made me feel, and what I was thinking as i finished it. But, to be honest...this book had me feeling so incredibly emotional by the end that I would sound like even more of a sappy fangirl than i normally do when discussing a book that made this much of an impact on me. So...instead i decided to just go for stream of consciousness this time around.
In Echo and Noah, McGarry has given us two of the most beautifully and realistically brought to life characters that i have come across in a long time. They are both far from perfect, and neither one of them always make the right choices. But, they are strong and passionate, and deeply devoted to each other and their own unique versions of 'family'. Echo is one of the most inspiring and strongest female characters i have seen...especially in YA...in years, and I loved her to pieces. And Noah was the perfect blend of cocky 'bad-boy-who-really-isn't-bad, and sweet and vulnerable. He loves Echo and his little brothers so fiercely and his desire to have a real family again is heartbreaking, and it is impossible not to want him to find happiness.
This book was beautiful, and romantic. And sad and heartbreaking. And uplifting and full of hope. It made me feel so many things, and cry the ugliest of tears. But then it made me smile and laugh like a crazy person. It touched me on a very deep and personal level, and I will never forget the experience.
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Holding Hannah by Maren Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Well, this was...different.
A story about BDSM in which no actual sex takes place.
In many ways, the majority of this novella was all build up to something that the reader doesn't even get to experience. The actual 'event' happens 'off camera' as it were and is mentioned briefly before the story is very quickly wrapped up.
I have to say, up until the last 10 or so pages, i was enthralled by this story. I loved how dark and edgy it felt and how it depicted a version of BDSM that was not as watered down as some others i have read have been. If it weren't for the ending, I would have probably given this one a 5 star rating.
Night Owl by M. Pierce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
6+++ beautifully emotional and haunting stars!!!
I dove into this book out of curiosity. It seemed like every one of my book blogging friends was reading and reviewing this book lately. And while i very rarely seem to agree with the masses about books that receive a lot of hype, I decided to give it a try in the hopes that it might snap me out of my reading slump.
All i can say is, wow.
For the first time in months, i was IMMEDIATELY hooked on a story. Within the first couple of sentences, i knew this book was going to be one of those reading experiences that leave a lasting impression on me. Yes. I knew that quickly.
At first I thought, while incredibly addictive and well written, this was just going to be a hot, sexy read about a rich guy with a dirty mouth and the spunky girl that falls for him. But Night Owl ended up being so much more than that.
The first half of the book is very much an erotic story. The chemistry between Matt and Hannah is just ridiculous. I hereby crown this author the King/Queen of writing dirty talk. I seriously felt like I needed to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes after reading certain scenes.
And then we get to the latter half of the book.
The author throws us one hell of an emotional curveball that left me reeling and unable to tear my eyes away from my e-reader if my life had depended on it. Normally I am not a fan of an overload of angst, but here...because I cared so deeply for these characters and what happened to them...i completely bought the influx of emotion and pain.
Buried just beneath the surface of this seriously sexy love story, lay some mighty dark themes. And the author handles it perfectly. Beautifully.
The problems that plague one of our main characters - problems which are revealed slowly and deliberately - are handled in an honest and unflinching way. And there is nothing sugar-coated about this character's struggle to come back from such a dark place. It's raw and emotionally exhausting to experience as a reader. Which is exactly how it should have been. That is brilliant storytelling, folks.
This wasn't an easy review to write. I don't want to give too much away, so it's hard to touch on certain aspects of the plot that moved me, angered me, made me blush, made me giggle, and me cry ugly tears.
Let me just say this.
If you go into this book expecting a sexy little story about likable characters with lots of steamy goodness, fine. You will get all of that in spades. But, you will also get so much more. By the end you will feel like you have been on a journey with these characters. And, I for one, feel so privileged to have gone on that journey. And I can not wait to see what else this author has in store.
In a sea of FSOG and Bared to You knock offs...Night Owl blows the lid off the erotic fiction status quo, and sets the new standard.
**More of my reviews can be found at my blog!**
I had no idea the level of hotness I would encounter when I began this book.
If ever a book could make me spontaneously combust...it would be this one.
Zane by Nicole Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4-4.5 holy hotness stars
If I have learned anything by reading the first two books in this series, it is that Nicole Edwards is pretty much untouchable when it comes to writing super scorchingly hot sex scenes.
I adored the first book, Kaleb, and loved that it was pretty straight-forward in it's storytelling. Very little angst and heavy on the smutty goodness while still telling a sweet love story. With Zane, Edwards has added a heavy dose of angst (not one of my favorite plot devices), and a bit of OTT melodrama into the mix. And it is because of those two things that I am unable to give this book a 5 star rating.
Don't get me wrong. I really, really enjoyed this book. I love spending time with these characters and I love the family dynamic among the Walker brothers. However, as is so often the case for me lately...my main problem was with the female lead, V. I liked her spunkiness in the first book. But, here she was much too...whiny i guess is the only way i can describe it. Yes, i understand her being traumatized by the attack on Zane at the beginning of the book. But for me, far too much time was spent rehashing that one event. I found myself relating to Zane's attitude of wanting to move past that one incident, so I continually I found myself skimming the sections where we had to listen to V's inner monologue where she obsessed over the attack. Frankly I didn't like anything about that part of the plot, and could have done without it all together.
Now, moving on to what this book gets right....the smutty goodness.
I had no clue going into this book that Edwards was going to be teasing me with a little bit of M/M action. All I can say is, I approve and I wanted more!!
When I saw that Edwards was planning on a releasing a Walker brothers Holiday novella, I joked that it was going to turn into one massive orgy. Well, after reading this book...I might not be so far off. And I am TOTALLY okay with that.
The fact that so many of the side characters are involved with each other...it might have become a bit overwhelming and complicated, but for me...I loved it. One of the strongest aspect to these books are the characters and how they interact, so the more we get to see of them all, the happier I am.
And let me just state for the record....the Zane/Beau/V hook up (heavy on the Zane/Beau) was hands down one of the hottest scenes I have ever read.
If i had anything to complain about regarding that particular aspect of the book? The way Zane kept insisting to himself that he was 'only doing it for Beau'. Seriously?!
I mean, if you're going to include a M/M aspect to the story (which, if you hadn't guessed by now - I am totally on board for), the least you can do is have the characters embrace it. I mean, a guy is not going to have sex with another guy just to make the other guy happy. That is absolutely ridiculous. Period. End of debate.
Despite my problems with the book, I really did enjoy the heck out of it. And I can't wait to see what's in store for Travis. ;)
...i need something light and fluffy.
A stand alone.
A freaking HAPPY story.