Mini Review: NO LOVE ALLOWED by Kate Evangelista

Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: April 19th, 2016
Series: Untitled, #1
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!

my rambles

Special thanks to Swoon Reads and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

Uh, fake relationship that turns into more? Count me in!

I’ve had pretty good luck with Swoon Reads’ titles, and No Love Allowed was no exception. It’s the perfect book to get you in the spirit of summer. Light, fun, and adorable! The whole story starts after a crazy proposition and a spontaneous decision are made: Caleb asks Didi to be his fake girlfriend, and she accepts. While the general storyline was a little predictable and cliche, I liked this book for its characters, particularly Didi. She was a little spunky, and a lot likable! One of my favorite things about her was that she was relatable to me in that she’s an artist, a painter to be exact. I enjoyed that her love of painting actually played a role in the story and in shaping her character, instead of just being a hobby of hers.

I don’t think I’m spoiling you by saying that Didi and Caleb totally fall for each other (*cough* predictability). As I mentioned before, I found their relationship to be the predictable part of the story. They were really cute together, though. Didi and Caleb were masters at flirting and banter! There were aspects of the book that caught me by surprise, such as Didi’s mental illnesses. I enjoyed the incorporation of the more serious storyline into an overall lighthearted book.

Yes, it was cliche (the whole fake relationship, Caleb being mega-rich and Didi being pretty poor), but it’s a fun and super cute story! Perfect for a quick summer read, No Love Allowed is a romance that will make you smile.

7

xo

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Review: DREAMOLOGY by Lucy Keating (+Giveaway!)

DREAMOLOGY

A huge thanks to the FFBC for hosting this tour for Lucy Keating’s amazing book, Dreamology! I am thrilled to be participating!


Review

23466626Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Blog Tour)
Genre(s): Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Vibrantly offbeat and utterly original, Lucy Keating’s debut novel combines the unconventional romance of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with the sweetness and heart of Jenny Han.

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

my rambles

Special thanks to FFBC, HarperTeen and Edelweiss for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

Dreamology is unlike any book I’ve ever read. It’s completely unique and out of the box, while remaining entertaining, emotional, and utterly fun!

Told through dreams and reality, we get to see Alice and Max’s crazy relationship unfold in their dreams, and in real life. While I thought reading about the super surrealistic dreams was fun, I enjoyed seeing the couple work out their relationship in real life, together. The events unfolding in their real life pushed them together and forced them to work out their problems, and the fact for Alice that Max wasn’t completely like his dream self. I actually found myself loving real life Alice and Max better than their dream selves for that reason: they had flaws in the real world. It made me root for their relationship to last in real life even more.

The surrealism, magical realism, and fantasy aspects (I really don’t know how to categorize them), were some of my favorite parts. The melding of the magic into their real lives made the moments they shared more important and special. It was also written in a believable way, as Alice and Max aren’t even 100% sure of what they’re seeing.

Another thing I loved about Dreamology were the side characters: Alice’s best friend Sophie, and new friend Oliver. The two were both fun and added to lightness of the book. They were funny and adorable, great sidekicks to Alice and Max.

Different than anything I’ve ever read, Dreamology is refreshing and new, and will take you out of reality, and into the world of dreams. Part contemporary, part fantasy, Dreamology is a must-read romance that will lift you up like you’re in a hot-air balloon!

7


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lucy lives in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, attended Williams College in the Berkshires, and still misses the East Coast very much.
When she’s not writing, Lucy can usually be found obsessing over the latest music, inventing new flavors of ice cream, or having what she feels are perfectly acceptable conversations with her dog, Ernie.

You can follow Lucy on Instagram @lucy.keating, and Ernie The Dog @ernsboberns

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter | Instagram


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xo

Three Things I Loved About TELL ME THREE THINGS by Julie Buxbaum

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher via First In Line
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

my rambles

Special thanks to First In Line for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!


Three Things I Loved About
TELL ME THREE THINGS

1. Jessie’s friendships with Dri, Agnes, and most of all, Scarlett.

Jessie has lots of relationships in this book. There’s family, friends, guys, mean girls, a step-brother… the list goes on and on. But one of my favorite parts about the story was Jessie’s relationship with her best friend pre-move, Scarlett. Their friendship was raw, and definitely not without its flaws, but I loved how it was given a lot of discussion, and made important. I also really enjoyed her friends at the new school, Dri and Agnes. It was clear that they were good friends to Jessie, and their bonds would be lasting. The story also touched on a bit of jealousy over new relationships that formed for both Jessie and Scarlett after they were separated. Everything about how these friendships were portrayed seemed real and full of emotion. Normally I don’t cry over friendships, but Jessie and Scarlett’s was one that I couldn’t help it.

2. The continuous conversation between Jessie and SN (and how it was adorable, yet real).

The mysterious SN was a character that I loved. He and Jessie communicated almost all the time, thanks to instant messaging. Originally he intrigued me because of the mystery, but as the story progressed he became more than just words on a computer screen. Their conversations were so raw and full of emotion, you couldn’t help but root for Jessie to finally find out his identity so they could be together! She poured out all of her feelings to him, and took a leap of faith that he was genuine.

3. Trying to figure out who SN was!

Ah, of course solving the mystery had to make my list. As I mentioned in #1, Jessie makes lots of new relationships, some of which are with guys. There is tons of build up at the end when she’s hoping SN is one person, but worried it may be another. I was biting my nails, hoping that SN would be the same guy that she was falling for in real life. I guess you’ll just have to read it and see for yourself…


Really, I could share more than just three things that I loved about this book, because I have a lot! But in all seriousness, Tell Me Three Things gave me all the feels. I was an emotional mess while I was reading this (but what else is new with me), which I wasn’t expecting to be. But in all honesty, if you enjoy true to life contemporaries with strong friendships and an emotional story, Tell Me Three Things is your book!

9xo