The Distance Between Us by Kasie West Review

The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Published Harper Teen 2013

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Format: Kindle ebook

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I loved, loved, loved, loved this book.

In the tone of Stephanie Perkins, if you are looking for another cute and fun YA romance, let me introduce you to my newest contemporary author obsession – Kasie West.

I think the characters really sold me on this book (as any good book should). Caymen was full of spunk and life. Her sarcasm was always funny and witty, even causing me to laugh at loud sometimes. I loved the way her sarcasm was layered with some genuineness, because we all probably know someone who uses sarcasm WAYYY too often. That gets annoying. It really lets us see some really personal and heartfelt moments with Caymen, adding so much to her character. Caymen’s relationship with her mother was really well done. I liked the connection they had between Caymen wanting to help her mother so much, but also her mother not really letting her in. It was an interesting balance and something I was easily able to connect with. Of course, the love interest is always a very important part of the romance. Xander’s character wasn’t an annoying, typical YA romance. He had personality outside of falling for Caymen. He was more than just a romantic interest, but he also had personal and career interests. I really liked how the book was as much about finding himself as it was about Caymen finding herself.

The romance in this story was really sweet. The main problem here is that Caymen’s family does not have much money, but Xander’s parents own a fancy hotel chain. The difference in their income levels causes the biggest problem throughout the story. I loved how it was about more than just money, but there was still that conversation and fly on the wall during the entire book. It was resolved very nicely and I liked seeing them working it out. Ultimately, my favorite part of their relationship was how they met and both picked out job shadowing opportunities for each other – although Caymen did get a little annoying during this part. They both have no idea what the future looks like and I enjoyed watching them find each others.

Overall, I loved this book. It’s a great contemporary romance and I’m looking forward to more from Kasie West.

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Review Mashup (1) feat. Opal and A Great and Terrible Beauty

Sometimes after I read books, I don’t have enough to say for a full review post. In order to review every book I read, I’ve decided to start compiling these books into review mashups every so often. For this first post, I have the third book in a paranormal romance series and a new historical fantasy!

Opal (Lux, #3)Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux #3)- Published Entangled Teen 2012 – Genre: Paranormal Romance – Format: Library

This book was pure fun, but not much else. Recently, I’ve become really aware of overused YA tropes and they have started annoying me more often. Daemon and Katy’s relationship throughout this book was so stereotypical of this type of book. I enjoyed it still, but I just wasn’t as into it. I found most of the romance scenes more funny and eye roll worthy rather than cute. Especially because so much of this book feels like a connector between the first two books of world building and the huge conclusion in the last two, it felt like we spent a lot of type with Katy and Daemon instead of with the cool alien stuff. Overall, it was just okay – but I have hopes for the next two in the series.

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A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (Gemma Doyle #1)- Published Simon and Schuster 2003 – Genre: Historical Fantasy – Format: Paperback

Another book that was just okay for me. There were some points I loved and some points I wasn’t a huge fan of. I loved the beginning with all the world building, especially its start in India. There was such a great mysterious undertone to the whole story, especially when they got to the boarding school. It was only when they started settling in and Gemma started taking her classmates into the parallel universe. There was also a few other historical points that got lost in the shuffle, especially with all the different types of groups fighting between the two realities. Overall, this book had a very interesting concept. I really liked Gemma and her character development (although I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance) and the world. The rest of the series promises to be interesting.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books from My Childhood I Would Love to Revisit

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is books from my childhood I would love to revisit.

Because of Winn-DixieJulie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves, #1)Hoot

Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1)Number the StarsMandyHoles (Holes, #1)

Elephant RunIsland of the Blue Dolphins (Island of the Blue Dolphins #1)FrindleEverything on a Waffle (Coal Harbour #1)

  1. Because of Winn Dixie by Katie DiCamillo – We read SO MANY books about dogs in elementary school and this one was probably my favorite, although I dreaded them all. Was it just my school that made us read something dog-related every year?
  2. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George – Another book that I don’t remember too much, but I do remember organizing my classroom’s library and finding this in it.
  3. Hoot by Carl Hiaasan – Carl Hiaasan was one of my favorite early authors, and I should really get into some of his adult work. This was about saving owls, I think.
  4. Mary Poppins by PL Travers – Mary Poppins is a classic, both of page and screen! I would love to do a reread and then compare with the movie, as well as Saving Mr. Banks. 
  5. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – One of my first required reading books. This is about the Holocaust and I don’t remember too much. It would probably make me really sad to read it again.
  6. Mandy by Julie Andrews – This book has such a great wonder to it! I still have my first copy of it, although battered and bruised. Plus, it’s Julie Andrews so….
  7. Holes by Louis Sachar – Between the movie and the book, I really love this story. It deserves a reread.
  8. Elephant Run by Roland Smith – I remember so little about this book I almost don’t think I read it…it was when I was getting a little bit older (it’s in the YA/teen section of my book store).
  9. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell – This was a classic and I still remember most of the basic plot points. I think it’s still a fascinating idea.
  10. Frindle by Andrew Clements – Andrew Clements was one of my favorite authors growing up, probably an aut0-buy author! This was a funny and unique story about creativity.
  11. Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath – I know, this is a top ten list, but while perusing Goodreads for these books, I saw this funny title and remembered my love for this one! It’s really funny and quirky and was a great re-discovery.

What are some books from your childhood you’d love to reread? Any of mine?

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The Buy It List (1): My Favorite Non-Book Bookish Things From Around the Web!

the buy it list

Welcome to a new feature on my blog! I’ll be posting this periodically to talk about some of my favorite bookish, but not books, things from around the Internet. I love the community of book lovers and all their creativity. Let’s get started!

1. Brooding YA Hero

This Twitter account is hilarious! I love how it points out some of the typical YA tropes from the brooding hero/love interest. This account is always on point and I can almost always find something that I have recently seen in a book. There are plenty of spin-offs of this style of Twitter  as well.

2. Bookmarks from Crafted Van

Pancake magnetic bookmark

The Crafted Van Etsy shop, based in Canada, makes all kinds of cute magnetic bookmarks! I recently picked up the Frozen pack for myself, featuring Anna, Elsa, and Olaf, but they have so many other adorable designs. If you’re in the market for a new bookmark, I would check them out!

3. Booktube – Bookhunter155

I love Booktube – YouTube videos discussing books and other bookish things. One I have loved recently is Bookhunter155, who does videos both in Spanish and English talking about his favorite books. He’s got great reading tastes and I love hearing from someone who reads and speaks in a different language – talking about YA books!

4. Agent Carter Fight Scenes Set to Anaconda

I don’t entirely know why I love this video so much…but it’s really great. I haven’t gotten a chance to watch the show yet, but this makes me even more excited.

5. Captain America: Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Poster

I think I’ve watched this movie more than six times in the past week…it’s a serious problem. I LOVE Chris Evans and the whole cast in this movie. It’s always so intense and I like the way it used the first movie to its advantage. Age of Ultron is only about a month away…*sigh*

What are some of your favorite things recently?

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One Year.

This March marks my one year blogiversary. One year ago, I left my Blogspot account to move over to WordPress, determined to become a better book blogger. And while technically I had been blogging on and off for about three months before I made the switch, March 2014 marked my switch from being an occasional book blogger to being one fully immersed in a fabulous community of book lovers. So it’s been a year.

In my one year of book blogging, I have recently reached 100 WordPress followers! Combined with Bloglovin followers, that gives me 124 total followers. I never dreamed of reaching that goal and I am super thankful of everyone who is following me. It means so much and everytime I get an email notification, I whisper a thank you to the screen. It means so much! I’ve also been able to host quite a few blog tours, make some author friends, some blogger friends, host a challenge for the Bout of Books readathon, review plenty of books, and started receiving ARCs! I’ve gotten plenty involved with the community and I love finding new blogs to read, as well as interacting on Twitter. And because of all this, my Goodreads TBR shelf is stuffed full of more books than I could have possibly imagined. Seriously – I had no idea half of this stuff existed before blogging. Things like new releases, and finding series, and having so many unfinished series was never a concept.

I’ve had so many great blogging milestones along the way. Thanks everyone for all your support! Here’s to another great year of reading and bookish friends!

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Taylor Swift Book Tag

I love Taylor Swift, so I could not resist doing this tag! I wasn’t tagged by anyone in particular, but I am going to do this just for fun. I love some of these questions!

We Are Never Getting Back Together 

a series you loved, but then wanted to break up with

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

When I first started with this series, I was for sure that it would be a new favorite of mine. Sadly, with each book, I enjoyed them less and less. I’m still up for giving the movies a try though.

Red

a book with a red cover

Cruel Beauty

This is such a beautiful cover! I have yet to pick this up yet, but it’s eagerly waiting for me on my shelf.

The Best Day

a book that makes you nostalgic

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

I have read this entire series since it started and it just brings me back! My whole grade was obsessed with them and it was always a big deal when someone finished them first. I’ve loved going through life with Percy Jackson!

Love Story

a book with forbidden love

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

The classic tale of girl meets -alien.- This one has a great paranormal romance aspect, and forbidden love is always a part of that.

I Knew You Were Trouble

pick a bad character you just couldn’t help but fall in love with

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

A pretty popular pick – Warner from the Shatter Me series! I really did not like him in the first book but his character development was so on point.

Innocent 

a book someone spoiled

The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)

I know! This one has some huge plot points that I was spoiled on. 😦

Everything Has Changed

pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)

For this, I picked Anna from Sweet Evil! Throughout the trilogy, she really grows both with her powers and as a person in general. I really enjoyed seeing her growth all the way though.

You Belong With Me

your most anticipated release

The Next Together

The cover reveal for this made me even more excited! The American release of this book was dropped in the Egmont closing, but it is still publishing in the UK this fall. I have to get my hands on this book though…

Forever and Always

favorite book couple

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

I haven’t talked about this AMAZING series in a while – Amy and Elder are super cute! I love seeing their relationship develop, although it really isn’t in your face through the whole series. I really liked the little, sweet aspects.

Come Back, Be Here

a book you’d never lend out because you’d miss it too much

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

This book has sat on the same place on my bookshelf for years now. It would just look weird with that cornerstone spot gone, plus I never know when it’ll be calling for a reread!

Teardrops on My Guitar

a book that made you cry

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Me, on a bus, heading to DC on a ten hour ride. Not a pretty sight. However, I loved crying over this book. It was totally worth it.

Shake It Off

a book you love so much, you just shake off the haters

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years #1)

For this series, I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews especially because of the writing style. I personally really enjoyed the aspect it gave the story though!

What’s your favorite Taylor Swift song?

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The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris Review

The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1)

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Published Spencer Hill 2014

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Format: Kindle

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you’re friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I picked this book immediately after I bought it, wanting something light and fun. That was exactly what I got! In fact, I read the entire book in one day and it was a very enjoyable read.

At first, I was a little worried about the outcome of this book. It’s about the main character trying to appeal more sexy – not exactly a concept I would want to support. However, I really LOVED the way that it took the concept and handled it. It’s probably a feeling most girls go through at one point or another, so it was good that it was addressed. But having Brandon there to counteract it all was perfect.

The fake dating trope is something I enjoy, although not something that I have read very much of. I initially heard about this book because it used that trope. Brandon and Aly were a really cute fake couple, and of course, you can guess how it goes from there. My favorite part about this book was how sweet Brandon was. The dual perspectives really made everything so much sweeter and more enjoyable. I probably would not have enjoyed it as much without hearing from Brandon. Brandon was adorable and I loved his approach to romances. Really, the book probably should have been more about him than Aly. Aly’s character transformation was also really great, but ultimately, Brandon sealed the deal for me.

The relationship was cute and sweet. While the book is very short, I didn’t feel like there was any insta-love because of the history between Brandon and Aly. From their very first interactions, there is a sense of how deep their relationship is and how much the two care about each other. I did expect for there to be a little bit more buildup before the fake relationship started, but it was okay how it worked out. Also, I felt like it dragged a little bit between the climax of the book and the end. It felt like they were both taking way too long to tell each other anything about how they felt.

Overall, this was a very cute romance. I would suggest it if you are a fan of the fake dating trope or you want a totally swoon worthy guy.

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