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Books I’ve Read: Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist by Kay Marie

Books

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist
Series: Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist #1
Author: Kay Marie
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: May 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

My name is Skylar Quinn. I just moved to New York with my best friend Bridget, and I have a confession. Well, more than one. Okay, quite a few really. Fine, here goes!

Confession #1: I’m a sex columnist. Hold on, that’s not really the confession. You see, I’m sort of a virgin…sex columnist.

Confession #2: I’m kind of in love with Bridget’s older brother, Oliver. No, I was. No, I am. Wait, was? Am? Crap.

Confession #3: I’ve been avoiding Oliver for four years. Or I was until today, because he just moved in. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s my new roommate. So that night we’ve both been pretending never happened, well, we might not be able to keep it a secret any longer.

And trust me, this is only the beginning.

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I love the cover of this one and was hoping it would be along the lines of The Virgin Romance Novelist which is so ridiculously funny I still snort whenever I think about it. Alas it was not meant to be, I think The Virgin Romance Novelist has ruined me for all books like this LOL. I feel as if I have to apologise to Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist because I entered the story with a preconceived idea of how I wanted it to be and was disappointed when it didn’t fit into the little box I had put it in.

That isn’t to say the story itself isn’t without merit. On one hand it may not contain the same level of life observation and twisted humour as The Virgin Romance Novelist BUT the main character, Skylar (Skye), is delightful socially inept and a book-worm to boot (always a good thing). Stuck with a case of unrequited love for her best friends brother, Oliver (Ollie) adds to the character dynamics within the plot. Skye is adorably clueless as to other people’s feelings for her, she constantly over-thinks things and gets stuck in her own head. Something I can completely relate to. The chapter heading each start with a small confession which feels like a direct address to the reader providing a deeper level of connection with both the story and the characters.

The plot concentrates on the relationship between Skye and Ollie; mixing in a lifetime of memories they share along with subtle references to an incident 4 years previous that wiped away all the happy times between them. The reader is left to jump to their own conclusions regarding the incident that altered their friendship for a large part of the story.

The pacing has a lovely, steady flow to it and the narrative has an ease that draws the reader in. Kay Marie cleverly weaves the jungle that is the dating world for a 20+ professional. I feel there is little hope for a 40+  singleton then 😉  I enjoyed the way in which the story played out BUT having been under the impression the story was a stand-alone, the cliffhanger at the end left me a little disheartened.

Review: Together We Heal by Chelsea M Cameron

Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

Title: Together We Heal
Series: Fall and Rise #4
Author: Chelsea M Cameron
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 18 Aug 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Trish Grant is not a romantic. Okay, so she may read her share of romance novels, but that doesn’t mean she thinks that some fellow with a six pack is going to ride up on a horse and sweep her (literally) off her feet. Romance like that just isn’t for her. It belongs on the page.

Max Greene noticed Trish at his cousin’s funeral, of all places. She was hard to miss with her citrus-colored hair, violet contacts and fiery attitude.

Trish is just as captivated by Max. He makes her laugh, which is rare, and it doesn’t hurt that he rocks blue hair and isn’t put off by her resting bitch face.

On the outside, their relationship seems sweet and perfect, but that’s a lie. To say that Trish’s childhood was rocky is an understatement. She’s a mess of scars and hangups and is convinced that there’s no way Max is going to stick around. He’s determined to prove to Trish that she’s a girl worth loving, flaws and all.

Will she let Max in? Or will she give up her potential fairytale to protect her already-scarred heart from further damage?

Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

REVIEW 

Please bear in mind this is the 4th book in the series and it may be impossible to review without spoilers to the previous books.

I love this series so much, although I have to say Zan is still my favourite ♥

Trish has been an integral part of the series from the very first book, with her funky appearance and quirky characteristics you cannot help but want to dig below the surface to uncover all of her secrets. Of which there are a number of deep, dark events alluded to within the narrative – heart breaking in their revelations. She is very guarded and emotionally withdrawn. Although her upbringing is hinted at for the majority of the story the reader is left with their very vivid imagination.

The story unfolds with a very fast paced dual narrative.

I adore Max in all his blue haired geekiness. While his personal situation isn’t as disturbing as Trish’s he isn’t without his own problems.

The support and acceptance Max and Trish give each other is wonderful to observe and fuels the desire that all relationships should contain the same level of give and take.

Adorable geekiness abounds within the narrative not just from Max and Trish but from the inclusion of all the wonderful, idiosyncratic characters Chelsea creates so well.  Again Zan is still my favourite 😉

Chelsea captures the theme of identity brilliantly; making your own way in he world, overcoming the traumas you may have encountered along the way and creating your own family from the people that fit your life the best.

The use of therapy and self-reflection played an important part within the plot and ingeniously showed just how powerful these tools are. Although I am truly awful at writing anything to so with self-reflection, I tend to be very introspective but highly critical of myself which does not bode well for documentation :) Although I like to think I am self-aware. I also liked the inclusion of negativity breeding negativity, thinking positive is a lifestyle choice :)

The ongoing development of the other characters from the previous books played a huge part in Together We Heal and I have to say some events took me a little by surprise. Yet added to the overall feeling of family and contentment within the story. I love the way in which they all come together, the Friends reference within the narrative certainly fits these guys. I cannot wait to see what he future holds for all of them – I would love a book of short stories for each of the couples set 10 years in the future ♥

Books I’ve Read Undressed by Avery Aster

Books

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Undressed
Series: The Manhattanites #1
Author: Avery Aster
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: Aug 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Milan’s notorious playboy, Prince Tittoni, seems to have everything—Lamborghinis, exotic women, palaces throughout Europe and business success. Ramping up his fabric company to go global with a new apparel brand, he ruthlessly stops supplying fabrics to the American client who inspired the collection. But once they meet, what’s he willing to give to get her in his bed?

Upper East Side designer Lex Easton has already endured her fair share of hard knocks. She’ll be damned if she’ll let an Italian stud muffin knock her down. So what if she named her favorite vibrator after him? With Fashion Week approaching, she’ll do whatever it takes to secure the fabrics she needs to make her clothing line an international success—even sleep with her rival.

Lex’s Louboutins are dug in deep to win this war. All’s fair in love and fashion!

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I confess I am totally shallow and read this one because of the cover 😉 While I did enjoy the story on the whole I didn’t feel it lived up to its full potential; hence the 2.5/5 rating.

The characters were brilliant and well-rounded, including quite a deep level of background detail considering the length of the story. I really liked how living life in the public eye shaped the characters and their ability to deal with the demands fame, or in Lex’s case infamy, places on them. It was nice to see the struggle with self-esteem portrayed so realistically, making Lex a very relatable character, it also provided a fairytale quality to the romantic aspect of the plot.

However, the relationship moves at an impossibly fast pace which does nothing to help the read connect romantically with the characters and believe in the depth of their connection. I also have to mention the portrayal of the intimacy between Lex and Tittoni while being steamy, felt forced and contrived as if it was written purely to push the boundaries of the reader rather than aid the relationship portrayed.

Review: Entangled by Cat Clarke

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Entangled
Author: Cat Clarke
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: Jan 2011
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

The same questions whirl round and round in my head: What does he want from me? How could I have let this happen? AM I GOING TO DIE? 17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper – and no clue how she got there. As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she’s tried to forget. There’s falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there’s something missing. As hard as she’s trying to remember, is there something she just can’t see? Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here? A story of dangerous secrets, intense friendships and electrifying attraction.

REVIEW BY EVE 8:3

Entangled is about a girl called Grace who wakes up in a white room and has no clue how she got there. All that is in the room is a table paper chair and pen. She is forced to remember all the things she has tried so hard to forget, which turns out to be very hard for her. Everything that happened with her and her best friend, how she fell in love with Nat and all the other twisted parts of her life. Why is she there though? The story is told in the point of view from Grace which I think helps the reader understand her more as a person and connect more with her personality.

My favourite part of the book is when Sal (Grace’s best friend) is faced with a life changing event which she did not mean to happen. She has to rely on Grace; Grace has to help her, a lot. I enjoyed it because it was quite an odd situation to be in and it was interesting to see how they both coped. It seems almost like a test to see if they can pull through it together or if it will tear their friendship apart.

My favourite character in the book was Sal because at the start, she seems very sensible and organised; like she has her whole life planned out. However, as the novel unravels, you begin to see she isn’t as ‘good’ as people think. She ends up being quite a mysterious person in Entangled she is a very interesting character.

One thing I didn’t much like about the book was the amount of inappropriate situations that occurred. They all seemed to be very grown up and fairly mature for a teen’s book. I felt that the book could have been just as good without the most detailed situations it had. The situations portrayed within the plot are very mature and I felt a little inappropriate. Although the situations added to the drama in the plot as a whole.

I thought that everything was written how I expected it would turn out. All the events that happened all played out the way I wanted them to or how I predicted they would. At no point throughout the story did I hope for a different outcome.

I probably would not read a book by this author again as I didn’t much like her style of writing. I found it quite slang and just very laid back and it didn’t really draw me in. I thought it was again a bit too old for a teenager however, if the story looks like a good plot line then it’s always worth giving it a go. Although, all in all I thought Entangled did have a good plot line.

I would recommend this book to people who like the genre of romance and a little contemporary issues woven in. As Entangled was an intense story to read. It seems to be aimed more at girls than it would be at boys because of the romance. I would also recommend this book to people who like a bit of drama, as there are a lot of dramatic scenes. I would say this book is suitable to people who are about 16-24 due to the nature of the plot.

There’s a lot of mature scenes and strong language within the book,  and personally this was the main aspect that made me dislike Entangled. I would say this lets the book down quite a lot as I don’t think it was necessary. Although that type of thing may appeal to others. With this is in mind, I would give this book a 3/5 stars.

Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Let’s Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publisher: Mira INK
Publication Date: Aug 2014
Source: Reveiw Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

One girl could change four lives forever…

Mysterious Leila, who is on the road trip of a lifetime, has a habit of crashing into people’s worlds at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s Hudson, who is willing to throw away his dreams for love. And Bree, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. Elliot who believes in happy endings…until his own goes off-script. And Sonia who worries that she’s lost her ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. But Leila’s trip could help her discover something bigger — that sometimes, the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way…

REVIEW BY EVE 8:1

Let’s Get Lost features five strangers whose stories collide to make one exciting journey and countless adventures.

Engaging you with it’s story line and making you fall in love with it’s characters, Let’s Get Lost tells the story of a mysterious girl named Leila. Leila’s past leaves her lost in her own world and as she travels along the road of loss, hope and love, she realises that sometimes the only way to find your yourself is to get lost.

This story is written in first person using the point of view from the five main characters; Sonia, Elliot, Bree, Hudson and Leila. The writer uses five parts to the book to help make it clearer to see each character’s story as they twist together to make a mysterious plot. The narration to the story helps you to connect with the characters because when reading the characters thoughts, you are given more information than if there was a narrator other than the characters. Also, by knowing their thoughts and secrets that they have told anyone else, this makes you feel that you know their nature better.

The title Let’s Get Lost is relevant to each of the characters individually. Every character gets lost in their own way, and then are able find what they are looking for after bumping into Leila in the most weird places and circumstances. As Leila helps them along their emotional journeys and listens to every word they have to say, Bree, Hudson, Sonia and Elliot all find a friend in Leila. Leila changes their lives forever and perhaps, on her incredible cross-country trip, she will find what she is looking for after all.

My favourite part of the story was the ending, because this is where you find out about Leila’s background and where she came from. All through the book Leila thinks about everyone else’s problems rather than her own. Her kindness draws people to her, allowing Leila to see her future path clearly, she  realizes where she is meant to be.

My favourite character is Leila herself, not just because she is the main character but because she is so brave in facing her past and searching for her own happy ending. Leila puts other people’s happiness before her own and when she meets a new friend along the way she enchants them with her gentle ways and beauty, making them fall in the love with her, as I did.

I enjoyed this book mainly because it has a plot that I could believe in. I loved reading a book with a story that could actually happen. The author, Adi Alsaid explained nearly every question I had, not leaving me wondering what had happened or what happened after the character’s left the story, I was happy with the way their future had been planned,each had their  own happy ending. However, one question has stuck in my mind, I keep asking if after all Elliot went through, if he did indeed enjoy a happy ending, after his life goes off-script.

The morale that comes across in Let’s Get Lost is that sometimes, the only way to find what you’re looking for, is to just get lost along the way. This means that occasionally what you are looking for isn’t right under your nose but instead you have to stop looking for it, let yourself get lost and hope that life shows you the right path.

I found that the ending of Alsaid’s book was, to a certain extent, quite predictable as in the last couple of chapters, when things go a little wrong for Leila, you can guess how the narrative will end. My prediction about the ending was correct, but even so, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment and cause me to stop reading, I needed to know if the Leila’s life would turn out as I had hoped.

Let’s Get Lost didn’t engage my interest at first; I was a little confused about the plot because the writer didn’t describe or explain the surroundings of the characters, this made me feel that I couldn’t imagine the story. Therefore, leaving me confused and forgetting what had happened because an image hadn’t been stuck in my head.. However, as the story unfolded, it became clearer what was happening. As I got towards the end of the book I couldn’t put the book down and I read for at least two hours straight!

I would definitely read another book by Adi Alsaid, I like his style of writing and the genre this book represents. I would recommend this book to a friend. Over all I would give Let’s Get Lost 4 out of 5 stars because in the beginning of the book I didn’t find it interesting at all but then after a while the storyline picked up pace and my imagination was captivated. This book would be suitable for 13-15 year old teenage girls and possibly boys, especially fans of John Green books. I hope you get as much pleasure from this book as I did, let the thrilling plot inspires you and let yourself get lost in it’s pages and twisted storylines!