It Ends With Us

It Ends with Us

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Slammed series

Hopeless duology 

Standalones

Synopsis:

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Thoughts:

As you can see, I’ve read a lot of Colleen Hoover’s books. I really enjoy her writing and find them easy to devour in no time at all. I was starting to think that Colleen’s books were getting a bit same-y (I still read them though!) so I was happy (seems the wrong word to use for this subject matter!) to read something a little different from Colleen. It Ends With Us contains some extremely heavy subject matter and some more adult characters.

I didn’t read a lot about It Ends With Us before I picked up the book. I tend to avoid reviews before I’ve read a book because I don’t want it to spoil the story. I don’t actually want to say much about the content of this book because I think it’s better not knowing about it before jumping in. If you do know, then I’d still urge you to read this book because I think it’s important. It certainly made an impact on me.

It Ends With Us begins with Lily Bloom meeting the highly attractive, if a little arrogant Ryle. Lily has an immediate attraction to him, but doesn’t think she’ll see him again. Lily is still very much thinking of Atlas, a homeless boy from her past. Through Lily’s letters to Ellen DeGeneres (that were never sent) we find out about Atlas and also secrets from Lily’s past.

It Ends With Us is definitely darker than you might expect. It may look like a sweet love story, and sure, there are sweet moments, but it’s a much darker story than I ever anticipated. There were several moments throughout the story that I found it hard to keep reading. I found Lily frustrating, I found Ryle frustrating. I just wanted to reach into the book and tell the characters a few home truths. I love that I felt passionately about the characters. I felt such a range of emotions throughout this story. I didn’t know how it was going to end.

This book is totally different to Colleen Hoover’s other books. It does feel like a step in another direction. I found it to be a harrowing, but important read. I was swept away with the story and for once, didn’t find it predictable.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A raw, important story. Unexpected!

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The Next Together

The Next Together

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

How many times can you lose the person you love?

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different…

Thoughts:

I initially saw this book doing the rounds on the Top Ten Tuesday meme. I’m not a massive fan of books that jump around in time a lot, but I was assured that this book was worth it. I have to say, I went into reading this book not expecting to like it. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it can be confusing at times but on the whole I thought it was a fantastic read that I’m thrilled I read.

This book centres around two characters, Katherine and Matthew. They are destined to be together. I absolutely loved reading about how they found each other in different time periods. I also really liked how the story included different media. This aspect doesn’t always work well for me, but it really did work with The Next Together.  I really liked reading the text messages, the emails, the notes to each other. It was adorable and added something special to the story.I really enjoyed the characters and loved seeing how they came together in each era. They seemed like a meant to be couple which I absolutely adored. I could really back them in any era.

I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book because its science-y more than romance-y. I have to say science isn’t really my thing and I thought that would spoil the book for me, but surprisingly it captured my attention and kept me turning the pages. I thought it was a well paced storyline, although I felt a little let down by the ending which prevented me from giving it a full five star rating. I guess I wanted a little more resolution and a lot less confusion from the ending!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

An interesting, fast paced debut!

Ugly Love

Ugly Love

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Slammed
Point of Retreat
This Girl
Hopeless
Losing Hope
Maybe Someday

Synopsis:

When Tate Collins finds airline pilot Miles Archer passed out in front of her apartment door, it is definitely not love at first sight. In fact, they wouldn’t even consider themselves friends. But what they do have is an undeniable mutual attraction.

He doesn’t want love and she doesn’t have time for a relationship, but their chemistry cannot be ignored. Once their desires are out in the open, they realise they have the perfect set-up, as long as Tate can stick to two rules – never ask about the past and don’t expect a future.

Tate convinces herslelf she’s ok with it, but soon realises that it’s harder than she thought. Will she be able to say no to her sexy pilot when he lives just next door?

Thoughts:

As you can see from my previously reviewed by the same author section, I’m quite the fan of Colleen Hoover’s writing. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to reading Ugly Love. I had it preordered, but only read it in mid September this year! Crazy times. There’s just too many good books on my TBR. I’m slowly making my way through them though and I definitely need a catch up of Colleen’s releases after Ugly Love. I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of this book as I had heard both positive and negative reviews of it, but me being me, I wanted to form my own opinion of it.

This book centres around Tate and Miles. We hear from both of their perspectives. Tate in the present day and Miles six years ago. I don’t want to say too much about the story because it’s one that should be discovered as the story progresses.

I can see why some people really don’t like this book. It is full of insta-love. It’s almost ridiculous how quickly the attraction occurs on both strands of the story. Yet somehow I could get past my dislike for insta-love, because I was intrigued enough to see how it was going to end up. I was also curious about what had happened six years ago… that certainly kept me turning the pages. I also don’t think Miles is an easy to like love interest. He is obviously a messed up character, and I wanted to find out what had affected him so much. I never guessed what it was, I have to say. However, I really didn’t like the way he treated Tate. She came across as a bit of a doormat.

Something about Colleen Hoover’s writing makes me push past these niggles I had with Ugly Love. I really enjoy her writing style and the honesty and rawness that she writes with. Love isn’t always beautiful and I appreciate that she writes about this!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Not a perfect read, but I still found it highly enjoyable!

Talking About ‘The Tea Planter’s Wife’ with Bibliobeth

The Tea Planter's Wife

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past – a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds – that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can’t stay buried forever . . .

CHRISSI: Did you have any preconceptions of this book going into reading it?

BETH: Not really, this is the first novel that I have read by Dinah Jefferies so I was excited to see what her work would be like. On reading the synopsis, I was intrigued enough to want to start the story and her writing was so beautiful that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres to read and I was hoping for a storyline rich in information about what life was like in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in the 1920’s and that is essentially what I got.

BETH: Whom was your favourite character in this novel and why?

CHRISSI: I really loved the character Navenna, who was the maid in the story. I know she’s not a main character, but she’s stayed with me. I loved her caring nature and how she would protect Gwen. I loved how the young Gwen had an ally in Navenna.

CHRISSI: Dinah Jefferies has created a great sense of time and place in this novel. Discuss how she has achieved this.

BETH: The author has definitely done her research for this novel, it shows in every moment when Ceylon is described, from the time when Gwendolyn first steps off the boat and the reader sees the new and foreign land through her eyes to later years when she is a bit older. Having slightly more experience with the land and the inhabitants of it gives her more confidence when she has to stand up for herself or make difficult decisions but she never loses her love or respect for it. As the reader, Gwen’s obvious feelings for the land where she becomes a woman is lovely to experience and, as a result, made me quite envious and curious to experience it myself. We not only see Gwen develop and grow as a person as the years go on, but we see the country change also which was very interesting to read about.

BETH: What did you make of the character of Laurence’s sister Verity?

CHRISSI: I initially felt very irritated by Verity. She seemed incredibly needy at the beginning and very reliant on her brother. She was quite a busy body really! I didn’t like the way she treated Gwen. As we delve deeper into Verity’s history, I started to feel a little bit of compassion for her. She really was a lonely lady.

CHRISSI: The keeping of secrets is a big part of this novel- discuss the decisions that the characters make and the affect these decisions have on their lives.

BETH: Ah yes. There are some BIG secrets in this novel but I’m very wary of spoilers so I’m going to try and be as vague as I can. Lets just say that Gwen is not the only person keeping secrets… and there are some whoppers of secrets kept by each individual. They are often kept as the person thinks that it is the best way to protect the other individual, however this may not necessarily be the case and it may in fact be more damaging. In one particular case, it may not affect one individual but a whole group of people and has the potential to be life-changing for all concerned.

BETH: There are quite a few surprises in this novel. Were you prepared for the events that unfolded?

CHRISSI: Definitely not. I thought I had this all sussed out. I remember thinking it was all a little bit predictable, but I have to hold my hands up and say that I was wrong! I love it when that happens. There were so many twists and turns along the way, which pleasantly surprised me. I was intrigued throughout and was wondering where the story was going to go next!

CHRISSI: How does this book compare to other love stories?

BETH: I was actually pleasantly surprised by the love story of Gwen and Laurence. I thought I had it all figured out and it was going to go the way of other stories I have read where a young woman goes to live with her older husband abroad but I was completely wrong. Gwen and Laurence have the kind of love that felt really authentic i.e. they have problems, they get annoyed with each other, they fight, they sulk then they make up! It was nice that they both had (normal) flaws in their characters and still loved each other enough that there was no real “baddie” in the relationship, despite the secrets that are kept.

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: I think I would! I really enjoyed this book, and I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to!

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!

Every Day (Every Day #1)

Every Day (Every Day, #1)

How did I get it?:
It was a present!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares
Two Boys Kissing
Marly’s Ghost

Synopsis:

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Thoughts:

I had heard so much about Every Day but for some reason had not got around to reading it. I’m so glad that I have read it now because I thought it was a beautiful book that’s so well written. It does have its faults though. I definitely think David Levithan is an author you really like, or an author you don’t really connect with. His writing style is so unique. His books always seem quite philosophical and deep, questioning things that don’t usually get questioned.

Every Day centres around A, we never find out if A is female or male. A has no gender, no body and we also never find out A’s sexuality. A just wakes up in a different body every morning and has to live their life for that day. At midnight, A is whisked away into another body to repeat the process again. Although A has no specified gender, as you continue to read, you assume that A is male. A tries not to interfere with other’s lives, until he is in the body of Rhiannon’s boyfriend, Justin. He falls in love with Rhiannon and begins to find ways to be with her every day even though he is in other people’s bodies.

This isn’t a case of insta love though, well not on Rhiannon’s part. Rhiannon takes a while to come around to the idea of A. Deep down she knows a relationship can’t work if the person isn’t in the same body every day. This book really is a different romance, a very fantastical romance.

This book is clever though and poses so many questions about what it is to be human. It never really gives answers to the questions, because we don’t know the answers. It’s fun to explore. The reason why I didn’t rate this book five stars, was because I felt it was trying to push a lot of the unique types of people into one book. We read about lesbians, transgender, drug abusers and a suicidal teenager to name a few. It’s interesting to see this represented, but I have to admit, it felt a little forced. It didn’t need to do this to be a stunning book.

I can imagine that my sister, as a scientist, will really ponder the questions about human nature that this book throws into question. It’s certainly intriguing to me with an interest in philosophy. Thoughts about human nature aside, this book is well worth reading. It’s an interesting concept which I think has been executed very well!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A beautifully written book with a very intriguing concept!

Breaking The Rules

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Pushing The Limits
Dare You To
Crossing The Line
Crash Into You
Take Me On

Synopsis:

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so… different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah’s more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he’d be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn… seriously epic.

Thoughts:

When I heard that Breaking The Rules was going to be about Noah and Echo, I was so excited. Noah and Echo are one of my favourite couples in contemporary romance! I loved their story in Pushing The Limits and couldn’t wait to devour more from Katie McGarry. Noah is one of my favourite male characters. He may be flawed, but I find him incredibly endearing in his love for his brothers and for Echo. This wasn’t a perfect read for me though which is why I have given it 3.5 stars.

This book picks up after Noah and Echo have graduated. They plan to go on a road trip so Echo can visit galleries across the country. At the beginning of this book, Noah and Echo are nearing the end of their trip and are due home to Kentucky in a week or so. The closer the time gets to leaving for home, the more questions that are raised about the future. Before they look to the future, they have to face their pasts, which we know, from Pushing The Limits, are rather troubled.

What I really liked about this book was that the love Noah and Echo have for each other is clear. You’re never left doubting about how they feel about each other. They’re just struggling with coming to terms with their past and thinking about the future they have together. Especially Echo. Echo has been through so much with the loss of her brother and the incident with her mother. Echo wants to move beyond all that and move forward with her art work. Noah is trying to prove that he’s better than the foster system he came from. He’s constantly trying to prove that he’s a better person and that he’s worthy of Echo’s love.

I really liked that other characters from the series popped up within this book. Isaiah and Beth are involved. I’m always happy when characters reoccur in future stories. It makes the reader feel really at home, especially if they’re particularly invested in the other characters stories. I adore Isaiah. I was never too keen on him until I read his story, but now he is potentially one of my favourite characters.

As I mentioned earlier in this review, this book only got 3.5 stars from me and the reason that is, is because I was getting a bit fed up of all the arguing over the same things. It’s totally believable that given Noah and Echo’s past that they would have issues to work on, but to me they were arguing over silly things. It became too repetitive for me. I know that relationships aren’t perfect but the arguments just seemed monotonous and it made me lose interest. I guess I just wanted more of a happy tale for two characters that I really care about!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes- 3.5 stars

An enjoyable continuation of the story, but beware it’s not easy going for Noah and Echo!

Comparing ‘My True Love Gave To Me’ An Anthology

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If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

 

Click on the image to get to Luna's blog!

Thoughts before you started reading My True Love Gave To Me?

CHRISSI: It’s beautiful. Can I just stare it at for a while? Beautiful cover, just beautiful. I  was hoping it was just as beautiful inside!

LUNA: Those are some neon pink pages! 😀 Ok slightly more seriously I was thinking C’s = Cute, Cosy, Comfort reading.

What did you think of My True Love Gave To Me an anthology?

CHRISSI: I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be a little cheesy. Some stories were. But mostly, I just got the warm fuzzy feeling when you read a very cute, festive, romantic story. Lovely! I think there was something for everyone within this anthology.

LUNA:  My True Love Gave To Me surprised me. I originally thought it was going to be all contemporary Christmas stories but there were other genres in there as well. I was also really happy to see there variety of characters, backgrounds, believes, etc.

There will always be some stories that you prefer more than others but My True Love Gave To Me has a really good collection. I’d be surprised if there isn’t at least one you really love, with a good few more you enjoy a lot.

Favourite story/stories?

CHRISSI: I really liked ‘Angels in the Snow’ by Matt De La Pena. An author I hadn’t heard much about, but I absolutely devoured the story. I also thought ‘Midnights’ by Rainbow Rowell was cute.

LUNA: ‘Angels in the Snow’ by Matt De La Pena was my favourite I think. Also loved: ‘The Lady and the Fox’ by Kelly Link, ‘It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown’ by Stephanie Perkins, ‘Welcome to Christmas, CA’ by Kiersten White and the quirkiness of ‘Krampuslauf’ by Holly Black.

Have you discovered any new authors because of My True Love Gave To Me?

CHRISSI: I’ve read quite a few of these authors, hence my interest in the anthology. I have to add Matt De La Pena to my list, although Luna has discovered he doesn’t have a UK publisher. Boo!

LUNA: I have actually read a fair few and do have books by quite a few others on top of that. Kelly Link’s ‘Pretty Monsters: Stories’ has moved quite a bit higher on my TBR pile and I’ve added Matt De La Pena to my Christmas wish list. He doesn’t seem to have a UK publisher though, which really sucks…

Any you didn’t enjoy?

CHRISSI: I didn’t really dislike any of the stories, but my least favourite was probably Jenny Han’s ‘Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me.’

LUNA: There weren’t any that I disliked as such but I was expecting to be blown away by David Levithan’s ‘Your Temporary Santa’ (because you know it’s David Levithan!) and I was also really excited about Jenny Han’s story but neither really connected.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Of course! An anthology full of talented authors. What’s not to like?

LUNA: Absolutely, with a hot drink and a cuddly blanket.