Tag «medical condition»

Series Review: The Jackson Boys by Jen Frederick

Series Review: The Jackson Boys by Jen Frederick

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Charlotte Chronicles (from Goodreads):

Charlotte Randolph was only fifteen when she fell in love with her best friend’s gorgeous older brother—but she wasn’t foolish enough to hope he could ever love her back. Nate Jackson always viewed her as a pesky kid…until the day she got sick. The one bright spot during her illness? He realized she was all grown up. But just when she allows herself to believe that dreams can come true, Nate disappears from her life, taking her heart with him.

Nate knows he lost more than his best friend when he deserted Charlotte to enlist in the Navy. He thought he was doing the right thing, sparing the girl he loves from the shame and humiliation of his actions. Nine years later, it’s time to right his wrongs. He returns home determined to win back his first love…only to find that Charlotte’s moved on without him.

But if there’s one thing that being a Navy SEAL has taught Nate? Never give up, even when all hope seems lost. And Nate’s never going to give up on Charlotte. Ever.

breakdown

Series: The Jackson Boys

A Spin-off of the Woodlands Series

Author: Jen Frederick
# of Books: 2 (Full Series Reading Order)
Book Order: Companion
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: December 2014 – October 2018
Source & Format: Kindle Unlimited–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I have a few Jen Frederick books on my TBR and on my eReaders thanks to freebies and great deals, but The Charlotte Chronicles was the novel I really wanted to read. So when I saw I could read it as a part of Kindle Unlimited, I jumped at the chance.

It sounded like a super cute story and I was really intrigued by premise. Character illness isn’t something I come across too often but I have really enjoyed them when I do find them.

The Concept:

Each novel actually started as a “weekly episode” type of story where Frederick would post an episode one week at a time on her website/newsletter. She then compiled it into one full novel.

The Plot:

At times, I think it shows that this series was written as one little bit at a time. The pacing was a little weird for me: it focused longer on some things and shorter on others.

For example, in The Charlotte Chronicles (#1), I didn’t expect to get so much of their past. I thought this would be more of a second chance novel were we would learn about their past through memories or just have a chapter or two at the start. Instead, we get solid percentage of the book dedicated to seeing these two in the early days of their relationship. Which is great because you really fall in love with these two and it brings major heartbreak when you know they break up sometime in the near future.

The first book made me super excited for Be Mine because of all the inklings we get along the way. This book was a solid 4/5 (I was flying through it!) but I didn’t particularly like how the drama came to the forefront near the end.

The Characters:

I really liked all our leads and the cast of characters we meet in these two stories. I love the power of friendship that gets exhibited in all of them. Yes, each story focuses on the romance but the friendships are equally as important.

The Romance:

In The Charlotte Chronicles, the thing that irked me the most was that I didn’t understand why they were separated for as long as they did. Like, I understood the foundation for the separation but it seemed like everything was blown out of proportions–especially when you see how they were as kids.

As for Be Mine, I liked the slow burn of their relationship and the tension it brought to the story. I’ll be honest and say that I wanted a little more substance to their romance. It seemed like some innate connection that wasn’t overly elaborated on. Like the two of them spend a lot of time together and I think a lot of their bonding happens side stage to the rest of the story.

Series Rating: 3/5

The Charlotte Chronicles 3/5 | Be Mine 3/5

overall

There’s a lot to like about these novels and the writing is addictive. But the pacing is slightly off and I wasn’t a fan of how some of the drama unfolded.

Read if You Like: contemporary reads, second chance romances
Avoid if You: dislike drama

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Fresh Fridays: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak (The Heartbreaker Chronicles #1)

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

The Heartbreaker Chronicles

Other books in the series:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Heartbreakers (from Goodreads):
“When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music.”

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.

Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Netgalley Read 2015
Series: The Heartbreaker Chronicles

This series is linked with her other novel, My Life With the Walter Boys

Author: Ali Novak
# of Books: 2 (The Heartbreakers, The Queen of Hearts)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, The Queen of Hearts is currently being published on Wattpad
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Romance, Music, Realistic
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: August 2015 – ongoing
Source & Format: Netgalley–eBook  |  Thank you SOURCEBOOKS Fire!

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thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Well of course, the cover drew me in, and it was a cover that kept popping up everywhere I turned. So, I read the synopsis and knew I IMMEDIATELY had to read it. Average girl falling in love with a popstar? That’s right up my alley (Rockstar romances are my favourite trend this year). But what really captured my attention was the ill sister–this was an aspect that promised a heartwarming (possibly heartbreaking) plotline.

Needless to say, I was super excited when I was a approved to read this and couldn’t wait to dive in!

What I Liked:

– The Romance –

Boy, I was swooning within five seconds of meeting Oliver! He was charming and genuine–basically everything you want in your favourite pop-punk crush. Watching Stella and Oliver interact had me wanting more and I couldn’t put this book down! (It was torture being at work when all I wanted to do was stay in bed and read this!)

– The Family Dynamic –

Stella’s family situation was perfectly balanced with the romance. I enjoyed watching her grow as a person; learning what her fears were and how to conquer them. The situations she faces in her everyday life–a sick sister, a brother leaving home for college, herself leaving for college–really grounded this book in realism, making Stella relatable in an otherwise unorthodox situation. It added a depth to Stella’s character that I appreciated.

What I Didn’t Like:

– The required Romantic “Drama” Scene –

I was LOVING this book until this one romantic plot element that I could have done without. Now, because I don’t list spoilers, that previous statement makes it seem like some unfathomable event happened that ruined the entire book.

That isn’t what happened!

I saw this particular plot device a mile away but I had really hoped that wouldn’t happen. I see why it was added but for a book that was pretty logical and flowing, it really put a not-so-great kink in things. It made my love for the characters diminish just a touch BUT, it was really just one small aspect in an otherwise great novel.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I didn’t know this was going to be a series when I picked it up so I am ecstatic! I loved the rest of the band and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the boys!

+

My Rating: 4.5/5

overall

It has been a long time since I wanted to put everything on hold just to finish a book! Normally, I’m not a huge fan of contemporary YA romance but this one had so many great elements that I loved. Can’t wait for more!

Read if You Like: coming of age stories, musicians, contemporary romance
Avoid if You: don’t like YA contemporary

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Single Sundays: Third Degree by Julie Cross

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Third Degree (from Goodreads):
I used to be “Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy.” As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I’m not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life—the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency program—and it turns out my parents can’t stand each other. Now I’m trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life, and that means re-enrolling as a college freshman, but this time I’m shutting the books and majoring in being eighteen.

But so far, my roommate hates me and I’m not into the party scene. The only good thing about school has been getting to know my insanely hot RA. Marshall Collins makes me wonder about everything I missed while I was growing up too fast. Pretty soon we’re hanging out constantly, but for the first time, I find myself wanting more than a no-strings-attached physical relationship. And the lesson I really need is one Marsh definitely can’t teach me: love. Because I’m going to be alone forever if I don’t learn fast.

Review:

I really wanted to read this book–I’m not sure why because I’ve never read anything by Julie Cross (though Tempest has been sitting on my eReader for quite a while now…). When I give it a good thought I think it’s because the heroine is actually an intelligent girl with an interest in science–not a liberal arts degree. I want to be clear that I have no issue with people pursuing liberal arts degrees (I myself have a minor in English Literature) but my first love is Science (specifically health care) and as a reader, it’s a rare opportunity for me to read about a heroine who is interested in the same subject I am within the New Adult genre 🙂

However, I was a little disappointed when I met Izzy; though I think that is the point. The best way I can describe her is as the female Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory: extremely book smart but socially awkward. And that is the whole reason why we get the plot we do–because she can’t relate to people (and therefore has an awful bedside manner) she can’t continue with her medical practice.

So it took me a while to get used to her character but she really did grow on me as I read. I loved seeing her grow as a person throughout the whole novel. This story was just as much a romance as it was a coming of age novel but the balance between the two is perfect.

I also loved the tone this book took regarding mental illness. There is so much stigma about it when there really shouldn’t be. (FYI: World Mental Health Day is this coming Friday, October 10th! Make sure you wear purple to support mental health!). I loved the respectful way Julie Cross handled it in her writing as well as the physical medical conditions discussed in this book.

Conclusion:

This book has a more serious tone to it, but it was a lot of fun to read. Very well done. If you enjoy coming of age stories with a dash of romance, this is a good one for you to get!

Rating: 4/5
Would I Recommend this Book to a Friend: Probably

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Coming of Age, Medical Conditions
Recommended for: 18+
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person
Similar Reads: One & Only by Viv Daniels (Canton Series #1); Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken (Ruin Trilogy #1) and Just One Day by Gayle Forman (Just One Day Series #1)

Series Review: Gravity by Sarina Bowen

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: Gravity Trilogy
Author: Sarina Bowen
# of Books: 3 (Coming in from the Cold, Falling from the Sky, Shooting for the Stars)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Erotica
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: May 2014 – March 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

I randomly picked this book up from my library because the cover drew me in. I thought it might be a New Adult read but it is actually an Adult Contemporary read. I’ve read a few New Adult reads about being trapped in a storm so I was interested to see what would happen in an Adult Contemporary novel. Plus: I have never read a book about a professional skier and his “faulty DNA” so that drew me in.

I enjoyed reading this book but there was nothing “WOW” about it. It was your classic insta-romance though it had some interesting twists to it that added some realism to it. I liked the characters despite the insta-romance–they felt like a good match; but like most “insta-romance” books I wish that there was more interaction between the two of them.

This book was more a romance and the drama associated with the romance more than anything. That wasn’t a bad thing either: it was a cute, quick romance that tackled some serious issues like genetic diseases.

I’m not sure what the sequel will be about; I am assuming it will be about another set of characters. I’ll check it out if it comes to my library because I liked this book but I’m not in a huge rush to read it.

Series Rating: DNF

Coming in from the Cold 3/5 | Falling from the Sky N/A | Shooting for the Stars N/A

overall

If you want a quick, steamy romance with two people that deal with some very real issues, this is a great book to pick up!

similarreads
Frigid by J. Lynn (Frigid Series #1)
Forbidden by Vanessa Devereaux
booksynopsis

Synopsis for Coming in from the Cold (from Goodreads):
Alpine ski champion Dane “Danger” Hollister does not do relationships, though he has an excellent reason. No woman would ever say “I do” to a guy whose faulty DNA will eventually cost him everything: his spot on the US Ski team, his endorsements, and the ability to fly downhill at 90mph.

While Willow Reade moved to rural Vermont to get back to the land, that wasn’t meant to include a night stranded in her vehicle during a blizzard. Luckily, the hot ski racer she practically ran off the road has granola bars and a sleeping bag, and is happy to share. Maybe it’s the close quarters, maybe it’s the snow, but soon the two are sharing a lot more than conversation.

Yet neither can guess how their spontaneous passion will uncork Dane’s ugly secret and Willow’s tentative peace with her own choices. Only their mutual trust and bravery can end the pain and give Willow and Dane a shot at hard won happiness.

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