BLOG TOUR: Tempting Isabel

Description from Goodreads

tempting-isabel-4

Luck. Lust. Love. Wedding planner Isabel Ruiz is cursed. Her hometown of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico agrees, considering her tragic track record. Alone and loveless, she creates fairy-tale weddings for others. Her only distraction? The occasional anonymous fling. So to avoid further tragedy, her rule, one–night–only, is never broken… Until Zack. Self-made millionaire Zack James is in town for his brother’s wedding, when a sudden spell of depression hits. Maybe burned out by his fast and luxurious lifestyle? Not even his two female companions hold any interest. That is, until he meets Isabel. She humbles and captivates him, reigniting his thirst for life. With her, Zack feels more alive than ever. To his delight—and her dismay—they share a deep bond, a sensual connection, and one mind-bending night. Zack must have her – to complete him. And Isabel must escape him – to save him. Their game of catch and chase leads to lust-turned-love. For Isabel, it’s fate’s cruelest joke. But Zack won’t quit, positive he’s the cure to her curse. Can he convince her to risk everything with him? Or will it all go south…in paradise. **Mature Content Warning** 17+ for language, and adult situations. HEA. (less)

REVIEW

Welcome to my first Blog Tour post! Over the summer I was kindly given the opportunity to join this blog tour despite being a completely new blogger. As you may see, keeping up with a blog has been a bit challenging to juggle between being a single mom to an awesome third grader, teaching 43 awesomely funny fifth graders, and all of life’s other necessities. Regardless, I’m very happy to be joining in by presenting my personal review of Tempting Isabel!

tempting-isabel-3

Here are some of the things that I enjoyed about the book. I really appreciated Isabel’s overall independence. She was stubborn and embraced her sexuality with no shame which is something I think women struggle to do in the face of society at times. Despite being a bit too much of a playboy for my tastes, I did think his infatuation with Isabel was somewhat endearing. It was a bit unrealistic how desperately he wanted to find her after only one encounter, but I realize that was necessary in order to show the gravity that they felt pulling them together. Beyond that, I thought it was cute how much Zack loved his little brother and the lengths he went in order to bring happiness to him.

I would recommend this book to readers who want a love story with the twist of a possible curse and love at first sight coupled with intense sex scenes. While I didn’t particularly care for some of the language used in the book, I know it’s what some people enjoy and will have fun reading.tempting-isabel-2

Advertisements

Review: All American Boys

all american boys

Title: All American Boys

Authors: Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Publish Date: September 29, 2015

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Source: Hardcover signed by authors from ALA! 🙂

Regular View Header

This book needs to be read. It’s powerful. It’s influential. It’s relevant. The topic can be uncomfortable to read at times which is what makes it all the more important for our generation.

All American Boys has been on my TBR list for a while. I finally had it checked out from the library right when ALA came around. I knew then that I’d rather meet the authors and get my own personal copy. Turns out, it was my top two favorite author meet-and-greets. Both authors were so awesome and personable. My friend and I walked away talking about how they were definitely one of our highlights.

This book was important to me personally because I have been ignorant to some of the fundamental, structural racism that exists in this world. Like me, Quinn in this story had his eyes opened through events that took place in front of him. I identified with his chapters in so many ways. As a white person, I will never understand how it feels to be treated like I am lesser of a human because of my skin and for many years I didn’t truly identify the racism that was around me because it’s so “normal”. It didn’t affect me, even if I did not agree with their beliefs and therefore I didn’t know or understand the part I play in the equation. That’s Quinn’s biggest challenge in this book. He witnesses something wrong. He knows it’s wrong. He questions his thinking and his actions up to that point and even his relationships with life-long friends change as he grows into a more well-rounded and accepting person when he decides it’s time to stand up for what’s right. He decides he can’t just walk away from the situation and he takes a stand. While Quinn’s side of the story is valuable, he’s not the most important part of this book. Rashad is.

Slide1

Rashad is a black teenage boy with an older brother and two very loving parents, even if his dad is on the strict side. He’s a normal teenage boy who participates in JROTC upon his dad’s insistence because in his opinion, joining the military is the best opportunity a young, black man has once they have graduated high school. After school on Friday he is headed to a party when he stops along the way at corner store to buy a snack. In the checkout line he bends down to get into his duffle bag for his phone when a lady trips over him and falls. Without question, the clerk accuses him of shoplifting and a cop that was already in the store yolks him up and shoves him out the door to further brutalize him. His side of the story was never heard and he ended up in the hospital for around a week with broken ribs, a broken nose, and internal bleeding. What struck me the most within Rashad’s part of the book was his confusion. He couldn’t rationalize what had happened to him because he was completely innocent. Both boys went through a tremendous amount of growth through a single event, but Rashad’s entire life changed and in a sense his innocence was crushed.

Slide2

One aspect of the writing that I really liked was how the boys were completely different characters who were living different experiences, but there were still so many commonalities that if it didn’t tell you outright, you really wouldn’t have known their racial backgrounds. Both talked about high school, parties, girls, and their interests like every single teenager in this world. It gives a beautiful representation that we truly are part of the same human race, just with different shades of skin color.

Rating 5.jpg

I don’t feel like I can adequately express my love for this book and all it represents within a review, but I hope that at least some people come away from reading this and add it to their TBR. You won’t regret it.

ARC Review: How to Hang a Witch

Math_9780553539479_jkt_all_r1.indd

Book: How to Hang a Witch

Author: Adriana Mather

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)

Source: ARC from ALAAC 2016

Regular View Header

In high school, I was obsessed with the Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan. It revolved around new-age witchcraft, or Wicca, and I’ve continued to have an interest in books with witchcraft as an element of the plot. I was really excited to find this book at ALA…with the help of MC from Blame the Books, my personal savior that weekend. 🙂

When I initially started reading How to Hang a Witch I was not impressed with the writing style and some of the clichés, but there was something about it that made me want to keep reading it. I’m thankful that I did! I loved the more elaborate parts of the plot that involved the curse surrounding the descendants of the original Salem families. There were definitely some real life parallels concerning bullying and the impact it can have. Any time an author makes a point to seamlessly include a lesson that readers can identify with I’m impressed and appreciative. Identifying with a storyline or its characters are the parts of a book that leads to truly loving it.

Speaking of characters…ELIJAH! I have to say that he was by farrr my favorite part of this story. He maintained an air of mystery that was just so enticing and made me want to find out more about him. He had this overwhelming love for his sister that was seriously endearing. I really loved watching him evolve and reading the different parts of his personality.

Finally, Adriana Mather deserves a round of applause. I like to think that I’m really pretty good at making predictions and getting some intuitive vibes when I read. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I will say I was surprised by certain parts of it!

Rating 3.jpg

I rated this a 3.5 stars simply because while the writing style wasn’t very sophisticated and it contained some eye-roll worthy clichés at times, I still really enjoyed the book. If you’ve read it, please let me know what you thought!

ARC Review: Heartless

Heartlesspic

Title: Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Release Date: November 8, 2016

Source: ARC from ALAAC 16

Regular View Header

When I registered for the annual ALA conference, I was really hoping that Heartless was going to be there! On the very first morning of the conference I was full of nerves because it was dropping as soon as the doors opened at 9. Luckily, we were able to rush over and snag our copies. My heart was fluttery with happiness when it was in my hands and I knew it would be the first arc I would read.

I was a huge fan of the Lunar Chronicles, but unfortunately I’ve never been a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. I always found the setting and characters a bit too creepy for my tastes. Oddly enough, the creepiness was my favorite part of Heartless. The first half was snail’s pace for me and I was beginning to become a little disappointed. I feared that I had ruined the book with my expectations because of the author. Thankfully, things turned around in a BIG way around the 300 page mark.

It’s obviously not a spoiler that Catherine becomes the Queen of Hearts who is known for being bitter and evil. While she’s the main character, and I liked her well enough, she was not the highlight for me. I fell in love with the characters Jest, Hatta, and even Raven. They weren’t always what they seemed and it made you really question your feelings.

I really appreciate when an author is super clever, and there’s no denying that Marissa Meyer definitely thought about the big picture and was creative in the way that she tied the story together. I know that some people skip the Author’s Note, but I highly recommend following up with that. Overall, I would rate this a solid 4 stars. Is it as good as her other work? Not in my opinion. However, it was an interesting representation of a prequel to a classic character.

Rating 4

Have you read Heartless? What was your favorite part? Did you think it was as good as the Lunar Chronicles? 🙂Slide1

 

Review: My Lady Jane

Title:  My Lady Jane

Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Genre: Young Adult, Alternate History, Fantasy, Romance

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: June Uppercase Box 🙂

Regular View Header

My Lady Jane has been alllll over my Twitter recently, so of course my interest was piqued. I’m a monthly subscriber to the Uppercase Box and I had a feeling it would be June’s choice, so I chose not to pre-order on Amazon. Low and behold, I was right! Funnily enough, I let my daughter choose my next book to read from my TBR pile and she used the “professional” way of choosing books. As an 8 year old, that translates to “eenie, meanie, miney, mo” and ta-da I’m reading My Lady Jane.

I want to preface this with the fact that I really enjoy historical fiction. I had gathered that there was a bit of fantasy mixed with alternate history, so I was intrigued. This was the only part of the book that I didn’t really love. The whole idea of the Edians and Vertities just wasn’t a home run for me. However, I see how it added to the humorous tone to the book.

Overall, my favorite part of My Lady Jane was the narration. It was unlike any type of narration that I can recall reading and it was giggle-inducing funny. If you were to google Lady Jane Grey, you’ll find that the authors stayed true to some of her actual history. I appreciated the fact that they let you know when they completely altered her real-life outcome. They did it in a way that did not distract you from the actual story.

Personally, the characters make the story for me. If I don’t love at least one of the characters, chances are I didn’t enjoy it. Lady Jane Grey was my kind of girl. She loved books, like me, and could live without a man, like me. 🙂 I connected with her and on a feminist level and therefore appreciated her. I learned to love her new husband, G, even though I thought it was silly he was a horse all day. He fell in love with her in a (mostly) innocent and whole-hearted way and struggled with the doubts that sometimes plague an arranged, or even new, marriage/relationship.

If you want something light-hearted, partially historic and with a dash of fantasy then I definitely recommend My Lady Jane. It was unlike books I’ve read before and definitely worth 4 stars!

Rating 4