Review: Searching for Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn

Synopsis:17565070

Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

This is a Young Adult title

When will this be published? March 4, 2014

Actual Review:

Before I start with everything, I would like to thank Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for providing me a digital copy of this book.

I’ve been a huge fan of Nyrae Dawn ever since I’ve been introduced to her books. I loved every single one of them and it looks like this one is no exception.

So, let’s talk about Brynn. She is not someone I like. She wallows and loves self-pity parties. She is frustrating. There were some moments when I just wanted to pull my hair out in frustration, to just grab Brynn and yell, “What on earth are you doing! They are trying to help! Ugh.” And she was definitely annoying before.

But she is someone I think I can understand.

Not everyone is strong, and not everyone is fast to pick themselves up when they fall down. What’s important, in my opinion is the fact that one does manage get up.

I loved the fact that the sap was not overdone, and the romance was, in my opinion not all consuming. Christian was adorable, and I may have thought that his hair falling down his face looking “all so cute” did not deserve 10 or more mentions, but still. And once again, there was character development by the end. *sigh* That last little fact made me happy.

This one was honest, depressing, frustrating, hopeful… And yes, totally recommended.

Verdict:

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Review: Don’t Make Me Beautiful by Elle Casey

Synopsis:17981514

A ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL. No one knew a woman lived there or that she even existed. A monster, living in darkness…

At twenty-two, Nicole doesn’t even look human anymore. The beast made sure of that. So she hides. A monster, consigned to a life of fear and solitude. This is all she deserves, she is quite sure of that.

And then one day out of the blue, the autographed baseball caught by Brian Jensen at the latest Marlins game enters her prison and manages to turn her world completely upside down.

Temptation comes in the form of pity at first, and then perhaps something more. Does she dare to believe the things she’s told, that this is not the life she was meant to live? That being a monster is not her forever-fate? And will she be willing to risk everything, to reach out and accept the helping hands around her and share her deepest, darkest secrets? She knows only too well that hands can hurt. Finding out whether they can also heal is a risky proposition, especially when the beast is still out there. Looking for her.

**This story was inspired by true events. If you liked the movie “Sleeping With the Enemy”, then you might like this story too. CONTENT WARNING: Violence, foul language, and adult situations. Not meant for younger readers.**

Actual Review:

The very first time I’ve read the synopsis, I thought that it was the beginning of a very fulfilling relationship between me and this book.

But I guess it was just not meant to be.

It started out promising enough; suspenseful, dark, but hopeful. I mean, look at this passage! It seriously makes you want to continue reading!

“The clock might as well keep on ticking, because there is no escape from this mess.  This mess is her life until the day she takes her last breath and is placed in the spot next to Kitten in the backyard.  He already has the hole dug”

It started going downhill though, a little bit halfway through. Everything fell into place too perfectly. Heck, even the love interest was too perfect, saying and doing all of the right things.

I cared for Nicole and it’s not that I didn’t want an HEA, and I am not exactly a fan of too much angst, but it felt plastic – too much color, too bright and too fake.

I like the idea of the book and I do admire the author for choosing the subject. Domestic violence is no joke. I am actually feeling kind of bad for not liking it enough. The way it was done though, just fell flat for me.

This is not a bad story, it’s far from it. It just needed better execution.

Verdict:

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Review: Tangled by Emma Chase

As you may have noticed by now (due to the cover), yes, I read a fluffy book. Don’t judge me! I had to cheer myself up after reading the trainwreck that is Allegiant. That book was so disastrous I had trouble picking up another book afterwards.

Synopsis:18297707

Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything – or anyone – derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

Actual Review:

“Women fall in love quicker than men. Easier and more often. But when guys fall? We go down harder. And when things go bad? When it’s not us who ends it? We don’t get to walk away.
We crawl.”

Writing a romance novel in a male’s POV is a pretty dangerous gamble. If done wrong, it’ll transform a plot with potential into a train wreck because the guy doesn’t sound like a guy at all but a freaking pansy.

If done right….

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And this my friends, is a perfect example of male POV done right.
The plot itself is not exactly unique, but what really pulled it off was the likeability of the protagonists. Drew is an unrepentant playboy that has never been in an actual relationship. The guy may come off as a douchebag, but you’ll laugh your head off because of his smartassery.

Kate is a strong woman, so the feminist in me liked the fact that she was portrayed as a woman who can stand up on her own. A career woman.

And the way they acted around each other. Especially in the beginning. Seriously.

“Then I flip Kate the finger. Immature, I know, but apparently we’re now both functioning at the preschool level, so I’m guessing it’s okay. Kate sneers at me. Then she mouths, You wish. Well—she’s got me there, now doesn’t she?”

I also honestly liked the fact that the guy had to REALLY work for it in order to be accepted by the girl again in the end. He didn’t just have to say he’s sorry. He had to do numerous things in order to get her back. I like Kate. She has spine.

So to wrap things up, all I have to say is that you shouldn’t be discouraged by that cover with a dude with washboard abs (I was kinda turned off at first as well)If you’re looking for something funny and fluffy, I think you’ll enjoy this.

Don’t judge a book by its cover 😉

Verdict:

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Review: Unteachable by Leah Raeder

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Synopsis:

This novel contains graphic sexual content and strong language. It is intended for mature readers.

I met him at a carnival, of all corny places. The summer I turned eighteen, in that chaos of neon lights and cheap thrills, I met a man so sweet, so beautiful, he seemed to come from another world. We had one night: intense, scary, real. Then I ran, like I always do. Because I didn’t want to be abandoned again.

But I couldn’t run far enough.

I knew him as Evan that night. When I walked into his classroom, he became Mr. Wilke.

My teacher.

I don’t know if what we’re doing is wrong. The rules say one thing; my heart says screw the rules. I can’t let him lose his job. And I can’t lose him.

In the movies, this would have a happy ending. I grow up. I love, I lose, I learn. And I move on. But this is life, and there’s no script. You make it up as you go along.

And you don’t pray for a happy ending. You pray for it to never end.

Actual Review:

Part of falling in love with someone is actually falling in love with yourself. Realizing that you’re gorgeous, you’re fearless and unpredictable, you’re a firecracker spitting light, entrancing a hundred faces that stare up at you with starry eyes.”

Ever since I was exposed to different novels, I have become slightly finicky. Especially when it comes to NA novels.
They are either: Too sappy, too green to the point where it actually drowned out the actual plot, too corny, too unrealistic, too much alpha hoohah, too juvenile… The list goes on.

So when I read Unteachable’s synopsis… About a teacher-student relationship, I rolled my eyes and said “Gosh. Here we go again.”

But we didn’t go there again.

This book generally had this sad, melancholy-ish atmosphere even if the heroine was trying to make jokes. I couldn’t help but feel sorry whenever she jokingly explained her circumstances through Freudian theories.

So what exactly is this novel about? It isn’t about sex (even though there were lots of it, and I personally think that it didn’t need those scenes to make this a totally marketable book.) This is about two perfectly imperfect individuals. Both had personal issues to work with, problems that needed to be solved. Their relationship was taboo but when you disregard the teacher-student side of it, it was pretty healthy. They made the other person better. What they portrayed was love. Not obsession, not just some lust-driven relationship. Also, they didn’t gloss over their situation. Acknowledging the fact that they got a thrill because of their teacher-student situation. Well, that was refreshing.

And this is the little thing that made me love this novel even more: CHARACTER GROWTH.
Thank beejezus. By the end of the novel, they were still them, but better people.

I shouldn’t have underestimated this book. I mean, there were actual signs that this was different. Various reviews that came from people that had good taste were singing praises for this book.

P.S.: I know some people are going to cut me after I make this comment, but fudge it. THIS IS BAJILLION TIMES BETTER THAN SLAMMED! There, I said it.

Verdict:

4 out of 5 devious smiles!