Thursday, July 2, 2015

Chasing River - Review

Chasing River (Burying Water, # 3)

By: KA Tucker

Expected Publication: July 7th 2015 by Atria Books

320 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Armed with two years' worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn't let her die, but he also couldn't risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.

Maybe it's because he saved her life, or maybe it's because he's completely different from everything she's left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn't the kind of guy she'd want to catch.

Chasing River is officially my favorite book of the Burying Water series. Amber is Jesse’s (from Burying Water) twin sister. Where Jesse was always getting in trouble and even sometimes breaking the law, Amber has always been a rules follower. She’s not a step-outside-of-the-lines kind of girl. She’s dated safe guys in the past. She lives in a safe, small town. She works at the same hospital that her mom does—again a relatively safe choice. But when a relationship that she saw leading to forever goes south, Amber decides that she needs to get out of her comfort zone and find out who she really is. She plans this extensive trip travelling to a dozen or so countries and she actually sets out on it.

Chasing River starts with River. I don’t tend to re-read book descriptions right before starting the book and since Water (from Burying Water) and Rain (from Becoming Rain) were both girls, I kind of assumed that River would be a girl. That and there wasn’t anything (at least that I picked up on) in the first chapter until the very end to indicate that River was a boy. Now this bothers me. I really like for the gender of the character narrating to feel obvious almost immediately even if the author doesn’t immediately specify. But that wasn’t the case. Just a slight annoyance.

River works at his family’s bar. And his family is about as complicated as Irish national history. His father and his father’s father and so on used to fight for Irish Catholic freedom against English Protestants. Over time this has gotten twisted into something very different from where it started. His father no longer has anything to do with that, but his older brother has gotten caught up in the worst of the worst. River is just trying to keep the pieces of his family puzzle together. But his brother does something really stupid which starts a spiral of events that River can no longer control. Luckily though, he does keep Amber from being killed or severely wounded in an accident at his brother’s hand.

After a stranger risks his own life to save hers, Amber has to find a way to thank him. But thanking him just turns into this back and forth exchange of meetings and flirtations. It doesn’t take long for feelings to develop between these two. But things aren’t simple either. What happens when the police find out the identity of the man who saved Amber’s life and then left the scene? What happens when River’s brother realizes that River knows the American girl who was at the scene of his crime?

Normally, I’m not a fan of politics in books, but maybe since this wasn’t American politics it didn’t bother me so much. Plus it wasn’t what I would call political even if it did involve Irish national history—something I know nothing about. This part was actually extremely interesting to me. Another bonus was that KA Tucker did the perfect amount of including Irish dialect without overwhelming me as an American reader. I was able to pick up some Irish accent in places, but entire words and phrases weren’t spelled phonetically throughout most of the book. That I appreciate. I got the vibe of an Irish accent without having to get too bogged down with pronunciations.

Without giving any spoilers, I really loved the advice that Amber’s dad gave her. I think it was some real life practical advice. And I’m glad that she made the decision to follow his advice. I feel like she would always have “what ifs” and regrets plaguing her if she hadn’t followed his advice.

I didn’t highlight (anything I don’t think) throughout Chasing River to share as a favorite quote or even moments that I found funny or particularly moving, but that’s okay. I very much appreciate that this book was not extremely graphic. While there were some physical scenes, they were tastefully done and I didn’t feel outside of my comfort zone there. Similarly, things were realistic. The characters weren’t surviving a bomb during day and then staying up all night long the same night. There were boundaries—physical and emotional—that kept this book from being one of those that you have to roll your eyes at because of how improbable that aspect was.

As I said, Chasing River is so far my favorite of the Burying Water series. I liked the characters. I liked the backstory. I liked the side pieces. I appreciated the slight Irish dialect and how KA Tucker kept it from being overwhelming. I also appreciated the physical scenes being kept tasteful and not overly descriptive. Chasing River gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Chasing River? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June EOM Wrap Up

I have read 7 books this month. *These qualify for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks, # 3) by Miranda Kenneally
*Champion (Legend, # 3) by Marie Lu
For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith
Deception (Defiance, # 2) by CJ Redwine
Beautiful Sacrifice (The Maddox Brothers, # 3) by Jamie McGuire
Forbidden (Forbidden, # 1) by Kimberley Griffiths Little

I have reviewed 9 books this month. *These qualify for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks, # 1) by Miranda Kenneally
Paper Towns by John Green
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks, # 2) by Miranda Keanneally
Never Never Part 2 (Never Never, # 2) by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips
Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks, # 6) by Miranda Kenneally

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 152
Sunday Post - 153 & Stacking the Shelves - 110
Sunday Post – 154 & Stacking the Shelves - 110
Sunday Post - 155 & Stacking the Shelves - 111
Top Ten Books to Movies/TV Shows
Top Ten Remaining Anticipated 2015 Releases
Top Ten Summer 2015 TBR List
Waiting on Chaos (Mayhem, # 3) by Jamie Shaw
Waiting on Scorched (Frigid, # 2) by J Lynn
Waiting on November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Waiting on Their Fractured Light (Starbound, # 3) by Aime Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge – April Wrap Up
Discussions Only We Know: Taking Notes
Discussions Only We Know: 13 Blog Related Frustrations

Goals:
I'm about 5 days ahead on my daily Bible reading.
I've read 55 out of 104 books. (5 ahead of schedule)
I've read 5/6 out of 10-12 series enders.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Favorite 2015 Reads (So Far)

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Faovirte 2015 Reads (So Far).

  1. Confess by Colleen Hoover
  2. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
  3. A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, # 5) by George R R Martin
  4. The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, # 6) by Richelle Mead
  5. Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, # 1) by Pierce Brown
  6. Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks, # 1) by Miranda Kenneally
  7. Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, # 1) by Susan Ee
  8. Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks, # 5) by Miranda Kenneally
  9. Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, # 1) by Katie McGarry
  10. Never Never Part 1 (Never Never, # 1) by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

As always, it's so hard for me to narrow these down. Honestly, I've read a lot of mediocre books this year and not a ton of brilliant ones. These are the ones that stand out from the pack so far. Which books have been your favorite reads of 2015 so far? Let me know!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Jesse's Girl - Review

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks, # 6)

By: Miranda Kenneally

Expected Publication: July 7th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

I finished All the Rage by Courtney Summers the same day that I started (and finished) Jesse’s Girl. After All the Rage, I needed something much lighter. Jesse’s Girl fit that perfectly.

Jesse won a national TV show called Wannabe Rocker (reminiscent of American Idol/X Factor/The Voice), and his career took off from there. While Jesse’s still has an absolutely passion for music, for writing, and for performing, he’s become jaded by the fame. Everyone he meets wants something. Girls want to date him, sleep with him, or really just be seen with him. People who laughed at him in high school now want to borrow money or want him to get them a record deal of their own. He has no real interested in meeting anyone new—especially someone else who might want something from him.

But Maya isn’t anything Jesse expects or assumes her to be. Maya doesn’t even like country music (which is what Jesse sings), but she can appreciate his talent, voice, and experience. Plus he’s not so bad on the eyes. Maya’s also an extremely talented guitar player and a mediocre singer with potential to be really good. She wants to enter her band into the next season of Wannabe Rocker, but what she doesn’t expect is to get kicked out the band that she put together. Maya’s biggest fear is going solo. She always croaks (literally and metaphorically) when all of the attention is on her.

Once Jesse realizes that Maya actually does have her own talent and she’s not seeking anything from him but an opportunity to learn, he softens toward her and they end up spending an incredible day together that neither one of them want to end. I liked that the majority of the book took place within one day, yet this wasn’t a story about two people who fall in love in one day. They experience an awesome day together and what that means is that they realize they want to do so more. Yet Maya and Jesse both have some baggage. Jesse still worries that Maya might be using him to further her dreams. And Maya worries that Jesse’s going to move on as soon as he finds someone better.

Miranda Kenneally’s writing style is smooth and sucks me in quickly. While there is some language, I’m always impressed that she limits this. And the same with sexual situations. Her characters do find themselves in situations, but she never really dwells on that or gets too descriptive. I will say that I was rolling my eyes with Dave, Maya’s best friend. As I’ve established, it doesn’t seem like there are any boy/girl friendships anymore that don’t include one party being gay.

Favorite quotes:

-“This is our day, and I’m not sharing you.”

-It sucks to have a once-in-a-lifetime day, a day that changes you, only to hear the same old song repeated on the radio over and over. I don’t want yesterday to wither away and die.

-“So basically the band that I started said they’ll take me back because they don’t want to lose you?”

-I feel like I played the lottery and won. And then all the money got stolen.

I’ve totally gone about this series out of whack. I read Breathe, Annie, Breathe (book 5) first. Which as far as I can tell has no connection to any of the other books….but I could be missing something. Then Catching Jordan (book 1). And now Jesse’s Girl (book 6). And I was so glad that I did read Catching Jordan before Jesse’s Girl because there were crossovers here. As a matter of fact, Maya is Sam’s younger sister. At the time of this posting, I have also read Stealing Parker (book 2) and Things I Can't Forget (book 3, which I haven't review yet) and I didn't enjoy either of those two near as much as the three I've read before them.

Jesse’s Girl was just what I needed. It was light and fun and quick. I started and finished it in less than 24 hours. The characters were lively and yet still flawed. I loved how there really were very few and insignificant moments of stupidity for the characters. Jesse’s Girl gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Jesse’s Girl? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Post - 155 & Stacking the Shelves - 111

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Well last Sunday was my birthday. That was awesome. Great birthday. Thursday was the halfway mark for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You guys it's not too late to sign up. Friday night we went to a Montgomery Biscuits baseball game with some of our church family. It was a good time, but a long night since we stayed for fireworks. Saturday was a half lazy day and half productive day cleaning the house. This coming week is 4th of July for the US. We'll be celebrating with another party.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Never Never Part 2 (Never Never, # 2) by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher (3.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Waiting on Their Fractured Light (Starbound, # 3) by Aime Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Thursday: 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up
Friday: Review of Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips (4 Stars)
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know: 13 Blog Related Frustrations

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks, # 6) by Miranda Kenneally
Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read in 2015
Wednesday: EOM June Wrap Up
Thursday: Review of Chasing River (Burying Water, # 3) by KA Tucker
No posts scheduled for Friday or Saturday due to 4th of July.

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2015 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Beautiful Sacrifice (The Maddox Brothers, # 3)

By: Jamie McGuire

Published: May 31st 2015 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

284 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (birthday present from the Hubs)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Falyn Fairchild can walk away from anything. Having already left her car, her education, and even her parents, the daughter of the next governor of Colorado is back in her hometown, broke and waiting tables for the Bucksaw Café. After every shift, Falyn adds to her shoebox of cash, hoping to one day save enough to buy her a plane ticket to the only place she can find forgiveness: Eakins, Illinois.

The moment Taylor Maddox is seated in Falyn’s section at the Bucksaw, she knows he’s trouble. Taylor is charming, breaks promises, and gorgeous even when covered in filth—making him everything Falyn believes a hotshot firefighter to be. Falyn isn’t interested in becoming another statistic, and for a Maddox boy, a disinterested girl is the ultimate challenge.

Once Falyn learns where Taylor calls home, everything changes. In the end, Maddox persistence is met with Falyn’s talent for leaving, and for the first time, Taylor may be the one to get burned.

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 2)

By: Jenny Han

Published: April 21st 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

288 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (another birthday gift from the Hubs)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!