REVIEW: TAKING CHANCES BY MOLLY MCADAMS

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Oh, where do I start? TAKING CHANCES by Molly McAdams just broke my heart. Molly ripped my heart out and stomped on it! It was just THAT good! I cried my eyes out the whole time reading it and I know it will do the same thing to you.  TAKING CHANCES is the story of Harper.  She is  going away to college and leaving the only life she has ever known for the very first time. Her father, a career Marine, has raised Harper alone since her mother died.  Her Dad is very strict and Harper is very naive.  She is excited to get out from under his thumb and experience life.  She meets her new room mate   Breanna.  Thanks to Bree, she is introduced to college life at its fullest. She also meets Bree’s brother Chase who catches her eye right away.  She feels an instant attraction to him but he is the type of guy who always has a different girl on his arm and has no qualms about embarrassing Harper every chance he can get.

 

Harper tries to fight her feelings for Chase but there is some kind of connection she just can’t turn say from.  Soon she meets one of his room mates, Brandon and they start going out.  While she is  falling in love with   Brandon, she finds herself being pulled to Chase.  She cant fight her feelings for either one of them.  She knows it’s wrong but what can she do?   Chase is the ultimate bad boy that every girl wants to change.  Brandon is the sweetest guy she has ever met.  Both of them adore Harper and will do anything to make her happy even if it means walking away from her.

 

Her first year away at college is turning out to be pretty exciting until that one weekend when she gives in to her heart and everything changes.  This is where your heart will break for Brandon.  I too fell in love with him right away.  He was so forgiving and loving. How could anyone hurt him?  Chase was supposed to be his friend. A friend who couldn’t stay away from Harper.  He knew of the connection between the two of them, could see it every time they were  in the same room, but he tried not to let it bother him. Easier said then done right?

 

TAKING CHANCES puts you on an emotional roller coaster. It will tug at your heart and then it will just reach in and yank it out of your chest!! I have never cried so hard reading a book before.  This was the first time I’ve read Molly’s books, but I’m not stopping  now!  She  has a way of pulling you in from the very first page and never letting you go.  She will consume your life and time until you finish reading.  TAKING CHANCES is the type of book that says with you long after you finish reading it.  I will never forget the way I felt reading this book.

 

KK~hello~_Susan

THROWBACK THURSDAY

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Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favourites as well as sharing books that you want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂 These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

 

Today, I’m showcasing a book I read four years ago that I really loved!

 

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FROM GOODREADS:

 

In this richly emotional novel inspired by extraordinary true accounts, New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris evokes the depth of a mother’s bond with her child, and the power of personal histories to echo through generations.

Two years have done little to ease veterinarian Audra Hughes’s grief over her husband’s untimely death. Eager for a fresh start, Audra plans to leave Portland for a new job in Philadelphia. Her seven-year-old son, Jack, seems apprehensive about flying—but it’s just the beginning of an anxiety that grows to consume him.

As Jack’s fears continue to surface in recurring and violent nightmares, Audra hardly recognizes the introverted boy he has become. Desperate, she traces snippets of information unearthed in Jack’s dreams, leading her to Sean Malloy, a struggling US Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan. Together they unravel a mystery dating back to World War II, and uncover old family secrets that still have the strength to wound—and perhaps, at last, to heal.

 

MY REVIEW:

 

Audra Hughes has been trying to hold on to her life after losing her husband. Their son, Jack has been having terrible nightmares and Audra is at her wits end trying to figure it why this is happening. THE PIECES WE KEEP brings the past smack right into the present with Jacks nightmares.

One day, while getting ready to fly to a job interview in Philadelphia, Jack seems very upset about having to get on the plane. Once on the plane, Jack has a major meltdown and the pilots decide to turn back and get Jack and Audra off the plane. Jack’s nightmares get worse after that and while trying to calm him down Audra picks up bit and pieces of a mystery that goes way back to World War II.

Vivian is living in London with her parents. She is American and finds herself falling in love with Isaak. Lately, he seems preoccupied and she needs to find out why. When he isn’t forthcoming, she decides not to waste anymore time with him. What happens with these two will blow your mind. I am not giving anything away but the way Kristina weaves Vivian’s life into Jack and Audra’s, will amaze you.

THE PIECES WE KEEP alternates between the 30’s and 40’s and the present with each chapter. A stunning story that you can’t help but getting wrapped up in. I can easily see this being made into a movie! I loved all the characters and while my heart was breaking for some of them, I was cheering them on at the same time.

Kristina is one of my favorite authors and THE PIECES WE KEEP proves exactly why. I couldn’t stop flipping the pages and couldn’t wait until the mystery was solved. I had no idea it would end the way it did but I absolutely loved the ending!

KK~impatient~_Susan

REVIEW: 180 SECONDS BY JESSICA PARK

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180 Seconds

Jessica Park

Received from Netgalley

Holy cow! What a beautiful story 180 SECONDS is. I finished reading it with tears in my eyes, a huge lump in my throat, and a big stupid smile on my face. My emotions were all over the place and my heart broke over and over again. What an emotional story that is going to stay with me for a long long time. I’ve never read Jessica Park before, but she is now on my auto buy list of authors and I will read everything she writes. She blew me and my heart away with the this moving story of Allison Dennis.

Allison grew up in foster care and wasn’t adopted out until she was sixteen. Her biological mother and father didn’t want her, they were married to other people. She is very closed off and always anxious, but somehow she manages to go through the motions of going to college. While she is there, she is approached to do a social experiment that will change her life forever. The experiment only lasts for 180 SECONDS and happens to be with Esben Baylor, who is a social media icon, but Allison knows nothing thing about it or him. The video from the experiment goes viral and Steffi flies out from LA to get her to talk to Esben about what he did to her life. He has torn down her walls and she needs to understand why.

Allison only has one friend in her life, Steffi, and she plays a huge role in 180 SECONDS. She grew up in foster care too and has always been a very good friend to Allison. They are more like sisters and it warmed my heart that Allison had her as well as Simon, the man who adopted Allison, in her life. She needed them so badly, as she soon finds out. Simon won my heart from the very beginning of the story and never loses his love for her or his faith in her as well.

After reading 180 SECONDS I’m so excited to read more by Jessica Park. She captivated my heart from the very first page and never let it go. 180 SECONDS is going be that book that after you are finished, you are going to want to share it with everyone. Jessica puts just the right amount of humor in her writing so you aren’t totally falling apart the whole time and will actually find yourself smiling like an idiot at some parts. Then the very next second, you are sobbing! I fell in love with all the characters in this heart breaking but also heart warming story. I love when an author does that to me. Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride……….I really have book hangover right now and I owe it all to Jessica Park!

GOODREADS MONDAY

goodreads-monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To participate, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners and add your own links!

Today I’m going to showcase a book that is 53rdon my TBR mountain and it has been there since 2008……the sad thing is that I love Jodi Picoult…….why haven’t I read this one yet?? Okay…….here we go…….

 

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From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Leaving Time Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who abandoned her at five years old. Now, having left her father behind in Chicago for dreams of art school and marriage to an ambitious young doctor, she finds herself with a child of her own. But her mother’s absence and shameful memories of her past force her to doubt whether she could ever be capable of bringing joy and meaning into the life of her child, gifts her own mother never gave.

Harvesting the Heart is written with astonishing clarity and evocative detail, convincing in its depiction of emotional pain, love, and vulnerability, and recalls the writing of Alice Hoffman and Kristin Hannah. Out of Paige’s struggle to find wholeness, Jodi Picoult crafts an absorbing novel peopled by richly drawn characters, and explores motherhood with a power and depth only she is capable of.

“A brilliant, moving examination of motherhood, brimming with detail and emotion.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Jodi Picoult explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood in her lush second novel. This story belongs to… the lucky reader.” —The New York Times Book Review

 

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STANDALONE SUNDAY

Standalone Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by  Megan @ bookslayerreads.  Standalone Sunday was created to let others know about all the standalone books you have loved, but maybe don’t get the attention they need. Megan created the banner as well and anyone joining in can use it too. Please go check out Megan’s blog and say hello!!

 

Today I’m choosing a book I read a few years ago and that I totally loved!!

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FROM GOODREADS:

 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

 

MY REVIEW:

 

CONFESS was released right when I was packing to move across the country. Needless to say, my husband was constantly yelling at me to stop reading! Obviously he has never read a Colleen Hoover novel because everyone knows once you start there is no way to stop. I devour her stories and everyone of them has crushed my heart and left me crying. CONFESS does not disappoint. Colleen Hoover, you owe me a box of tissues!

 

CONFESS is about confessions. I was mesmerized by the concept of this book from the start. The dedication begins with, “the confessions you read within this novel are true confessions, submitted anonymously by readers.” That completely intrigued me and had me flipping the pages to get to the confessions! Auburn Reed has had an average life and you can definitely say things haven’t gone according to plan. However, Auburn is one of the most resilient characters I have ever read and she isn’t going down without a fight. She is walking home one night in desperate need of a job when she stumbles across Owen Gentry, an artist looking for an assistant for his show.

 

Owen like most artists is eccentric and all over the place, but when he sees Auburn his life comes into focus. This isn’t a case of insta-love, it more about things lining up. He can see the life he wants to have, the life he deserves to have. However, he is also keeping a secret and it could destroy any chances he could ever have with Auburn. My emotions were all over the place where Owen is concerned. I loved him then hated him and then just wanted to slap him while screaming at the book “just tell her already”!

 

Once I started reading CONESS I discovered that there’s even more to this story than meets the eye. There’s an added layer to it that I absolutely loved but that I won’t mention because discovering it as you read is honestly the best. One of the things I love most about Colleen Hoover’s writing is how deeply she makes me care for her characters and how strongly she makes me feel for them. Deception and pain, love and loss, secrets and truths, hope and redemption—they all twist and tangle together creating another unforgettable novel from one of the freshest and most trusted voices in romance.

 

Have you read this or any of Colleen Hoover’s stories?  For some reason, I used to love them, but lately I don’t feel the same.  They used to shred my heart, make me cry ugly for hours and now…….not so much! Do you think it’s time for me to break up with this author?

 

HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!

 

Susan-sunday-2

BOOK GIVEAWAY – INTERNATIONAL

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It’s Friday and I’m happy today so I thought I would do a book giveaway! It is open to everyone and will run until Monday night! All you have to do to enter is LEAVE A COMMENT below.

The giveaway is for two ARCS.  The first one is:

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FROM GOODREADS:

 

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes?

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

 

The second book is:

 

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FROM GOODREADS:

 

From master storyteller Amy Hatvany—whose writing has been hailed as “gripping and emotionally honest” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times betselling author)—comes a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.

I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.

 

MY REVIEW:

 

Amber and Tyler have been best friends since they were kids. Now Amber is engaged to Daniel and Tyler is struggling to keep his feelings in check. Tyler has been in love with Amber since he was thirteen. Sure Amber loves Tyler too, but only as a best friend. She knows that Tyler loves her but she has no idea just how much. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME is going to rip your heart out and shred it. What a heart breaking story that stayed with me long after I finished reading.

Over the summer, with Daniel away in Seattle, Tyler and Amber go to a party. After a night of drinking and flirting they wind up in the house in one of the bedrooms. Amber knows what she is doing is wrong. She is engaged to Daniel and shouldn’t be kissing Tyler, but she can’t seem to stop. Then after a moment of clarity she tells Tyler to stop and he doesn’t. He rapes her while she is laying there crying. It is as if he can’t hear her. Afterwards, as expected she is a hot mess and totally freaks out. She manages to get away and has Tyler’s friend take her home. Her life is never going to be the same and at first, she tries to hide what happens. She is afraid it will look like she was asking for it and maybe it is all her fault. Poor Amber, she broke my heart over and over again.

IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME is the first book I’ve read by Amy Hatvany but it surely won’t be the last. Amy pulled me right in from the very first page, shredded my heart along the way, and never let me go. This is a very hard story to read but I think it’s one that needs to be discussed. How fast society blames the victim, is truly upsetting and wrong. It has nothing to do with what the victim was wearing or how they were acting! No means no! Binge drinking and rape is always in the news and IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. Please, if you are a parent, read this book and discuss it with your kids. Make your kids read it! This doesn’t need to keep happening. Teach your kids what is right and wrong. Once I started reading, I could not put this book down. I had to know what was going to happen to Amber and Tyler and once you start reading, you will know exactly what I mean!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!
Susan-wednesday-2

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY

throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favourites as well as sharing books that you want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂 These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

 

Okay so this book has been on my TBR mountain since 2008…….

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FROM GOODREADS:

 

At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora’s box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices–those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal–that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in Testimony a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.

REVIEW: NO FINAL DESTINATION BY PENNY HARMON

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No Final Destination

Penny Harmon

Received from the author for review

OMG!! I have a new book boyfriend! Dibs on Clark…….back off ladies, he’s all mine! Hahaha NO FINAL DESTINATION introduces you to characters in Penny Harmon’s The Moose Valley series. But you can totally read NO FINAL DESTINATION on its own! It’s no secret, how much I love Penny Harmon’s stories and this little novella did not disappoint! It is a perfect way to spend the afternoon. Even though I didn’t want it to end, I loved every minute of it.

Paige has been running for ten years. What exactly happened, we never really know. But you get hints along the way, and can understand why she is running. She stops at the Happy Endings Resort and gets a job and a place to stay. She finally relaxes a little, let’s her guard down a bit, and makes some friends. She gets a job at the local animal shelter and thinks about her dream of opening a sanctuary for abused animals. While she is working, she meets Clark. He is police officer and wants to work at the shelter as a volunteer. When he first meets Paige, she has a purple Mohawk, wild clothes, and wears tons of make up. The reason she looks the way she does, is to keep others from trying to get to know her. She’s always been alone and never lets anyone get close to her. She has put up walls all around her and they are very thick! Paige and Clark become friends, just friends and that’s just how Paige wants it.

NO FINAL DESTINATION hooked me right away and had me all up in Paige’s business. Clark is so patient with her and knows she has some secrets, but he never pushes her. He wants to help her and she is so stubborn, but also afraid. If she doesn’t care about Clark, he can’t hurt her and break her heart! Many times, I just wanted to reach out and hug her and tell her not to hold back with Clark. Yes, he is an awesome friend but he could be so much more if she would just let him in. Will Paige ever stop running and let Clark in? You are going to have to read this wonderful story to find out. Once I started reading, it was very hard to put it down. I found myself giggling out loud at the banter between Clark and Paige and kept cheering for them both.

 

KK~more to life~_Susan