Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee.

17854029Escaping, Book One

402 pages

Published July 3rd 2013

 

After catching her boyfriend stepping out on her, Whitney decides to spend the summer with her mum and sister in the country. Their easygoing, loving ways are so different from life with her rich father and socialite stepmother. Whitney can already begin to feel herself unwind.

When a tattooed stranger rescues her from an embarrassing heatstroke pass out, Whit’s mum is quick to suggest her daughter find this guy and find a way to thank him.

Cole doesn’t think a girl like Whitney could ever go for a guy like him, and is determined to keep her at a distance. But it isn’t long before they are succumbing to the sparks flying between them. They have a whole summer to be together – but maybe one summer isn’t enough.

 

Escaping Me was a very enjoyable read. The drama was never over the top, and the romance plodded along nicely. Plus, the country-style setting really worked for me.

I loved the fact that instead of Whitney’s mum freaking out about some tattooed crew-cut guy bringing her daughter home unconscious, she tells Whitney how ‘yummy’ he was, and suggests that she track him down.

I thought that the dialogue between characters was really engaging, and had me not wanting to put the book down. The characters themselves were great – I really liked them. Cole is definitely a ‘bad boy’ and Whitney is a sorority chick, so they have a nice little opposites attract thing going for them.

By the time I’d turned the last page, everything that stood in the way of their relationship had been resolved. And that’s always good.

This was a nice, light New Adult read. I’m keen to get into the next book, which is about Whitney’s younger sister.

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 3.98/5

The Perfect Game by J Sterling.

15783307The Perfect Game, Book One

eBook, 379 pages

Published October 1st 2012

Cassie is a junior in college. She spent her first two years back home at a community college to save money, but now she’s at a big college with her best friend and loves it. When she meets Jack Carter – the baseball hero of her school – she is instantly repulsed by his man-whore ways. He, however, feels the complete opposite way, and pursues her relentlessly until she goes out with him.

Fast forward a little bit, and Jack has turned a new page. He has given up spending time with all other women and is falling in love with Cassie.

Both have trust issues, and have little experience with relationships, but they tread carefully, and try to build a solid relationship together. But it will be a truly rocky road indeed, especially when Jack’s professional baseball career is just around the corner, meaning they will have to work extra hard while being apart from each other…

 

First of all, I loved the way that the romance was written. It was sweet and unrushed. It was nice. Then some other stuff happens. Woah. Imagine you are wandering around a beautiful garden, enjoying the view, relishing the scent of flowers with your eyes closed and then – WHAM! – you run into a tree! You grasp your pounding head with your hands and stumble around a bit before – THUNK! – you run into another tree! And then another one! Time passes, you are still in terrible pain, so someone just shoves a band-aid onto your throbbing noggin, claiming that it is all fixed. It is not all fixed! The pain is still there! A band-aid is not enough to heal this! That, for me, is what this book was like: Pleasant beginning, shocking dramatic conflict, and a reconciliation that didn’t sit well with me. I mean, really? I know that you’ve had time to think about this, but you aren’t going to make them work a bit harder? What happened to your trust issues? (It’s so hard for me to keep the details vague – I really want to rant…)

Having said that, I did enjoy this book. And I will continue on with the next one. I kind of care about these characters and want to see what’s going to happen to them. (I don’t think the storm has fully passed yet…) I liked the way it was written, too. The graphic stuff was done well and kept in moderation, which I always appreciate.

Read this is you like dramatic new adult romances with sporty twists.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.02/5

Cathy’s Ring by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman – Illustrated by Cathy Brigg.

5081991Cathy Vickers, Book Three

150 pages

Published May 5th 2009 by Running Press Kids

Note that this review contains spoilers for books one and two.

My rich boyfriend, Victor, is broke.

My potential other boyfriend, Denny, is broken.

There are creepy guys stalking my best friend.

And there are three dead bodies underneath my window.

All I have left is my sketchbook, a variety pack of lip-gloss in Assorted Candy Flavors, and a healthy dose of fear.

 

Cathy’s Ring is the final installment in the Cathy Vickers trilogy. It’s hard to describe the plot without giving anything away. I found it to be one of those books that you look back on and think, ‘so what was that about, again?’ It’s just a conclusion, you know?

Victor and Cathy each had another love interest that would be much better suited to them: an immortal woman for Victor, a mortal man for Cathy. You ask yourself, is it worth it to love someone who will die old while you haven’t aged a day since you met them? Or, can you live a whole life knowing that the person you love will go on and possibly fall in love and share a life with many more women after you? Is it better to settle for something normal?

There were a couple of things that I would have liked to happen that didn’t. But that’s okay. This was a pretty good ending to the series. The first book is definitely the best, in my opinion.

Obviously, read this if you have read the first two books.

My Rating: 3.5/4

Goodreads Rating: 3.85/5

Cathy’s Key by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman – Illustrated by Cathy Brigg.

7054851

Cathy Vickers, Book Two

144 pages

Published May 5th 2008 by Running Pr Book Pub

Note that this review contains spoilers for the first book.

Six months ago Cathy learned that her boyfriend Victor is immortal and that she is definitely only a mere mortal.

Now, she is out of school and can’t seem to hold down a job. She hardly ever sees Victor because he is off being forced to research how to make people immortal. Her best friend Emma has started her phone company, Double Talk Wireless, with the help of a creepy benefactor who has eyes for Cathy.

When new information comes to light about her father’s death, Cathy throws herself into investigating what really happened that day.

 

Cathy’s Key continues on in the same artistic fashion as Cathy’s Book. There’s another packet filled with documents from the novel and new websites to check out. Also, if I’m not mistaken, there are a couple of new access codes to get into some of the character’s phone messages online. I’ll have to check those out soon.

I enjoyed reading this, but I must confess that I am finding it hard to express my thoughts. I also don’t want to give too much away. I will say that this series continues to be very original. The plot goes to places that are strange and unexpected, but I like it.

There are plenty of new characters in Cathy’s Key. My favourite new guy would have to be Emma’s sort of love interest, Pete. There’s also more of a focus on some of the characters we were introduced to in book one, like Tsao. A few questions are answered, satisfying my curiosity on some fronts (there are still a few things that I’d like to see elaborated on Cathy’s Ring).

If you enjoyed the first book, you should definitely continue on with the series.

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 3.80/5

Cathy’s Book by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman – Illustrated by Cathy Brigg.

856969Cathy Vickers Trilogy, Book One

143 pages

Published October 3rd 2006 by Running Press Kids

Cathy is an artistic teenager living in San Francisco. When her boyfriend Victor dumps her, leaving her with a muggy memory and a needle mark in her arm (not as shady as it sounds, I promise), she starts to realise that there were a lot of things about him that don’t quite add up. She starts to investigate him, sometimes with the help of her best friend Emma.

 

Cathy’s Book is an interactive feast. It comes with a packet filled with all of Cathy’s evidence – like menus, business cards, photos, inked sketches, official documents, and more. There is also an online element to her evidence. You can listen to messages and look up the places that she has been. It. Is. Awesome.

I first read this book back in 2006. I was enticed by the treasure trove of clues and papers. I love papers so much. I even used to get excited for career expos and stuff like that at school, because I just love receiving all those pamphlets (never mind that I hardly got anything out of them!). I didn’t do any of the online stuff when I first read Cathy’s Book. I don’t think I realised there was so much of it. But I’ve been checking it out this time around. You still need to figure out the access codes for some things, so it’s like you’re a sleuth as well. I also love sleuthing. Woo!

Another visually amazing thing about Cathy’s Book is that all of the pages have little doodles and handwritten notes on them. Very cool.

The story itself is very interesting and different (especially for 2006!). There’s a lot of Asian themed elements, plus a mystery, plus the ______ stuff (don’t want to say that one because it may give some things away). It is written like a journal, but not in a ‘dear diary’ kind of way. It’s Cathy recounting everything that’s happened.

It sounds short, and at 143 pages, I guess it is. But so much happens, and at a pretty fast pace. The fact that we meet Cathy after her relationship with Victor has finished, rather than from before it even starts definitely cuts down on the number of pages. There are still flashbacks of their meeting and their first date and stuff, so you don’t miss out on anything. My only slightly negative thing to say about this book is that a lot of things were left unanswered. Still, this is a trilogy – so there’s time for that. Also, if I scoured over the documents then I could probably answer a few of those things myself.

If you enjoy mysteries and teenage sleuths, as well as art, then you should definitely read this!

My Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Rating: 3.56/5

Crush by Lacey Weatherford.

16045855Crush, Book One

eBook, 332 pages

Published October 20th 2012 by Moonstruck Media

Cami is a good girl but Hunter is not a good boy. He’s new to town, but the rumour mill already has him pegged as a druggie and a player.

Still, Cami can’t deny that she has a crush on him. And it seems like the feeling is reciprocated.

As the two of them hang out and become closer, Hunter wages war with his inner demons. There’s a secret he’s keeping that could destroy their relationship, and he really shouldn’t be putting Cami in that position, but he just can’t help himself.

Meanwhile, there’s another stumbling block in their way – Cami’s best friend, who’s decided that now is the best time to profess his undying love for her. But when she doesn’t return the sentiment, he turns totally, weirdly, crazily jealous and possessive.

 

Crush starts out with both of the leads already crushing on each other, and their relationship moves forward pretty quickly from there. I liked the way this was done because the rest of the novel would have been too rushed if we’d had to watch an initial meeting and all of that before getting to the crushing.

Cami is very likeable. She’s the smart girl who also happens to be like catnip to all the guys – only she doesn’t realise it. Hunter is also likeable as the sweet and smokin’ bad boy who woos her.

Crush is set in high school, so it’s young adult, but it’s closer to the new adult end of the scale then the teenybopper end (the second book is set in college, so I imagine it’s even more new adult-y).

I could kind of see what was going to happen with some things, but it was still exciting to read, plus there was a twist that I didn’t see coming at all. Nothing was revealed too quickly, so it keeps you guessing. I found that as the book went on, the more enjoyable it became. At first, it reminded me of books from the eighties and nineties, like I Know What You Did Last Summer, because the dialogue was kind of dry and proper like it was in those books. But it seemed a lot more natural after a while.

Crush ended up being pretty different then what I expected, but it was also better than I expected. I’m looking forward to continuing on with this series. I just read the blurb for book two, and I am super keen!

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.02/5

Beautiful Broken Mess by Kimberly Lauren.

18307792Broken, Book Two

eBook, 238 pages

Published November 9th 2013

Jace has kept a secret from his twin brother Jaxon for a very long time. A secret about a girl with a very tumultuous past with Jax – Audrey. She may have ‘forced’ Jax to marry her because she was pregnant, and then been dumped when it was discovered that the baby wasn’t even his, but there’s more to that story than anyone knows.

It was Jace who first met and became interested in Audrey. And who knows what would have happened if she hadn’t walked into a party and kissed Jaxon, thinking he was his brother? But now, years later and despite all the confusion and heartbreak, Jace and Audrey finally have a chance to be together. But how will Jaxon take the news, when it goes completely against their bro code?

 

Beautiful Broken Mess shows us Audrey’s whole story. Including recounts of the parts of Beautiful Broken Rules where she showed up, telling them from her perspective, which paints them in a totally different colour. So if you read the first book and then thought ‘ugh!’ when you saw that Audrey was the leading lady in the second book don’t worry – she’s not the horrible person you may think she is. As for me, I actually liked the idea of Audrey being redeemed. I’ve always liked that sort of thing in novels.

Audrey is a pretty cool chick. She’s had a hard life, and has only recently really started to become the woman she’s destined to be. She’s growing up, and moving on.

I loved Jace in the first book. He was like a big teddy bear – he reminded me of this guy I grew up with. He still has that big brother thing going on with his mates girlfriends, but when it comes to his own girlfriend, he’s pretty much exactly like Jaxon – possessive and jealous (maybe slightly less so than his bro). I was hoping he’d be different, but I still liked him.

Unlike BB Rules, BB Mess is written from two perspectives – Jace’s and Audrey’s. I quite liked that. It was shorter than it’s predecessor as well. There were similar amounts of graphic content – once again, I found there to be a good balance.

It’s really hard for me to pinpoint my main problem with this book. I feel like it maybe didn’t do Jace and Audrey justice. Their romance was the main focus, but then the story became about the whole group of friends. By the time I finished, it was more about a happy ending for everyone, rather than just the two people it was mainly about. I think that their actions became a little too rushed by that point. The ending was a little too cute for me – sweet to the point of a toothache, you know?

Read this if you enjoyed the first book.

My Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.30/5