Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 10/27/15.
Ivy is a rebel tattoo artist that has traveled all over before settling down (temporarily) with her uncle Ned in San Francisco. She works with Ned at his tattoo shop and is the unfortunate witness to what appears to be a robbery and his murder.
Sebastian is a former Navy SEAL, now working for a company called Alliance, doing anonymous jobs that sometimes require him to kill, but only to save the lives of many others. His new assignment is Ivy because her uncle was hiding a secret and threatening to expose some negative things about Alliance. He is now on the hunt for a videotape that Ned claims to have that could do them all in.
While searching for the tape, Sebastian realizes that Ivy has a soft side and he quickly finds himself falling for her. She tries to cover up any emotion that she has for anything, but he can tell that she is feeling the same way. Will they fall in love? What will happen when his assignment is finished or when she sells her uncle’s shop and decides to move somewhere else?
If you have read my previous posts, you know I love K.A. Tucker books. They just feel so real and I feel like I know the characters, especially the ones that have appeared in other books like Ivy has. I just get wrapped up in them and can’t wait to find out how it all goes down. I am not typically a fan of romance, but that’s usually because of the “insta-love” factor and K.A.’s books do not have that, thank goodness! The characters are real and relatable and have the same kinds of problems with relationships as us normal people. If you haven’t read anything by this author, start anywhere….I highly recommend!
My rating: 5/5
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
This is the story of Willowdean, an overweight teen, who has a pageant-obsessed mother…ironic, right? Will has always been fine with herself, happy even, with a best friend named Ellen (whom looks like she should be in a pageant) that has always made her feel loved and included. Then, she starts working at Harpy’s, a local fast-food joint, and meets Bo–a cute boy from the Catholic high school in town. She would never have thought he would be interested in her, but develops a “secret” relationship with him. Instead of being happier, she starts to question why she feels like it should be “secret”, or is it him that feels like that? And what about the other guy that is interested in her? Would she be better off with him? With all this in question, she decides to throw everyone for a loop and enter the pageant that her town is famous for and that her mother is in charge of…and, thus, the fun begins. With the help of some other non-standard contestants, they shock everyone.
There were some great, quotable lines!
Also, there is a lot of Dolly Parton in this book. 🙂
Part of me LOVES this book and the fact that Will didn’t have to lose weight to become a skinny, “happy” person during the course of the story. Another part of me was a little underwhelmed I guess, hoping something really big would happen. I have read some comments that the main character is too judgemental and hateful about other people, but I find it to be truthful. Teen girls, no matter their size, are harsh to and about each other, so I didn’t take offense to her feelings towards some of the other characters. She is just one of those people who doesn’t censor her thoughts. Overall, I felt this was a very fun, yet real, book and will definitely be recommending to my high school students.
My rating: 4/5
My Secret to Tell by Natalie D. Richards
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date is 10/6/15.
I read book by this author previously, Six Months Later, and wasn’t in love with it, but this description pulled me in.
Emmie is best friends with Chelsea and her brother, Deacon (whom she has had a crush on forever) and even works for their dad’s company. One night, she finds Deacon has snuck into her bedroom and is covered in blood. This happens to be the same night that Deacon and Chelsea’s father is seriously injured….thus leading many to think Deacon is at fault, knowing that he had a volatile relationship with his father. While Deacon is hiding out (he knows people think he is guilty), Emmie is working to help prove his innocent, uncovering some curious things about the family business on the way. Is it Deacon’s fault or was he caught in someone else’s web of lies?
This was a good mystery and I truly didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, so it was not predictable. The characters are relatable and, as a reader, I did not want Deacon to be the one who committed this crime. Even though he had some problems, he was still likeable. I can see many of my high school students liking this story and I will definitely recommend it to them. It was a quick, captivating read.
My rating: 4/5
The Detour by S.A. Bodeen
***This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date is 10/6/15.
I know it’s been awhile since I posted, but I was taking a little hiatus from reading advanced copies of books. It was starting to feel like homework and I wasn’t enjoying the deadline aspect of it. Plus, there are SOOO many other books I want to read. I am also reading books for my state award for next school year, which is rather time-consuming. So, anyway, here we go….
Livvy is a famous teen author of a young adult trilogy. She is driving her beautiful Audi when she spots a weird girl standing on the side of the road and ends up having an accident. She thinks the girl is going to help her, but there are other things brewing. Livvy wakes up in a room and discovers she is not at the hospital, but at someone’s home. The woman, Peg, tells her she has called an ambulance but Livvy soon discovers this is a lie. For some reason, Peg and her daughter (Flute Girl) are holding Livvy captive in their basement. Livvy is injured and has no idea what is going on. The story takes place over a very short amount of time (2-3 days) and is about her struggle to escape her captors. There is a creepy uncle involved and Livvy uses him to her advantage. All the while, Peg keeps telling her that she needs to apologize for what she did, but Livvy has no idea what she’s talking about. Will she escape? Will she find out what Peg is getting revenge for?
I enjoyed this book–short and suspenseful. I read it in 2 sittings and I can see this as something my high school students will really love. S.A. Bodeen is pretty popular already in my library, especially for The Compound, so it will be an easy recommendation on my part. There is just enough action and mystery to keep you reading. I will gladly purchase for my high school library!
My rating: 4/5