Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally


Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?



 


I really don't know anything about this author or this series. And I'm assuming it's in a series and I'm pretty sure this isn't the first book but I don't know. It's not labeled on Goodreads and since that's basically my Book Reviewer Bible, that's what I go by. 

If you've ever read any of my reviews, I make it very clear that I don't usually pick up a book in the middle of the series. For the most part, I end up hating myself because I didn't read those first books because even on the self proclaimed "stand-alone" novels, you do miss out on stuff and your reading experience is so much more rich when you get those first novels under your belt. Now, on very rare occasions, I do break that unwritten rule. Kinda like I did this time. But this time it was not intentional. And I'm kicking myself because I'm wondering if there was another book that came before this one. Am I missing out on important info? Pivotal plot points that would have changed my rating for this book? I have no clue. And I'm not going to search for that info either. It is what it is at this point and I can't unring the 'already read' bell. 

The story really skipped around and at times was in a super hurry to go where, I don't know. That's why I was wondering if I had missed something that was within the pages of a previous book. The characters were okay but I really know absolutely nothing about swimming except that Michael Phelps is super fast. FYI, that bit of info does not help you in this book. I played sports growing up, so I understood the dedication and how that impacted their character and was the driving force behind who the characters are within these pages. 

I kind of enjoyed the chemistry between Maggie and Levi but it wasn't anything that really stuck out to me. I didn't really see this as a romance novel as others have classified it. I saw it more as a coming of age story. You experience a big turning point in the lives of these young people and get to watch as they make choices that will impact their future. So from that aspect, it was pretty interesting. 

Just when I have overcome the skipping around and rushing of the plot, the epilogue comes around. And I didn't understand that AT ALL. It was about characters that I didn't even know! Sure, they mentioned Maggie and Levi but it was nothing like what I love about epilogues. I like getting a peek into the future of the characters that I've fallen in love with. I didn't get that kind of satisfaction and it just cemented my initial feelings on this book. Not for me. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *



Available: July 1st, 2017


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review: Properly Groomed (Wedding Favors #3) by Boone Brux


When Joya Bennett wakes up after her brother’s wedding, half-naked and lying next to her lifelong crush, she’s mortified. OMG, did she try to jump his bones? Worse, did she succeed? Intending to lay low and housesit for her brother until the embarrassment fades, she sneaks away before he wakes up.

What she didn’t plan on is having company.

Lincoln Fisher doesn’t do relationships, but if he did, his friend’s little sister would be the one to tie him down. Good thing Joya had one too many drinks during the reception or he’d have crossed a line. Her brother would kill him if he found out all the places Linc wanted to kiss the sexy, auburn-haired beauty.

And now they’re stuck in the same house. For two weeks.

She’s off-limits. And he needs to keep it that way, even if the heat building between them is hot enough to blow off the roof…





 


It is a rare occasion when a book that Entangled Publishing has put out doesn't knock my socks off. Unfortunately, this is one of those times. 

I think that the big take-away that I had with this one was the fact that I was able to put it down. It just didn't hold my attention and make me feel like I was losing a part of myself when I had to put this book down. 

I really didn't connect with any of the characters. They were okay ... but not one of them was one that I thought about after the pages were closed. To be honest, I finished this one a while ago and when I got it back out to write this review, I couldn't remember even one quality about any of the characters. Actually, I couldn't even remember what their names were. That's not a good sign. 

The meat of the story was just okay as well. Nothing that stuck out as funny or sweet or memorable. It was just okay. The pace of the book was fine but it felt stale. The romance was lacking something - excitement. I didn't get those butterflies when Lincoln and Joya were together, I didn't get that palpable chemistry that I love so much when reading. 

All of these issues might be because I haven't read the other two books in the series. Absolutely. Maybe that is what was wrong with this reading experience. It could very well be the disconnect that I felt. 

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be picking up another book from this author. This one just wasn't for me. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *



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