Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Girl Out of Water

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

 

Girl Out of Water, a story of a summer away from home. For Anise, this not only means being away from her friends but also surfing, her passion.

… not only have I been torn away from home this summer…

Anise is a very difficult character to like. She is very competitive, and for the most part self-indulgent. But these are not nearly as bad as her constant whining which drove me mad!

I’m waiting for something better.

The secondary characters, despite being diverse, were superficial i.e. not sufficiently explored and this lets the book down. As a very character driven story, these paper-doll characters needed more dimension for the reader to relate to them.

This summer took away my surfboard.

2 Star

 

 

Title: Girl Out of Water

Author: Laura SilvermanGirl Out of Water

Publication Date: 2 May 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Source: Review copy

 

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Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word. 

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

 

Letters to the Lost is a raw, gritty, haunting story of love and loss.

I was so worried you were him.

Told in alternate POVs,  Juliet and Declan begin an unlikely correspondence which leads to a fervent period of self-discovery.

There is agony in that picture.

Juliet and Declan are bold, fierce, complex characters and their story bursts from the page, sweeping the reader up and into their world.

One day isn’t your whole life.

The only thing that didn’t work for me is the up and down of Declan’s relationship with his mom and step-dad.  I think its eventual outcome just doesn’t have sufficient depth to be plausible.

Every moment is meaningful.

Thanks to Jonathan Ball Publishers, South Africa for the review copy.4 Star

 

 

Title: Letters to the Lost

Author: Brigid KemmererLetters to the Lost

Publication Date: 4 April 2017

Publisher: Bloomsbury 

Source: Review copy

 

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Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.   — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a review copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

180 Seconds

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

We are engaged in a form of intimacy that scares the hell out of me. 

Is it possible to fall in love in 180 seconds if you stare into each other’s eyes? I don’t believe in insta-love, but this story caught my eye and I started cautiously only to be swept into a beautiful character-driven, contemporary story that blew any misconceptions away. It’s been a long time since I was this emotional over a book.

Sometimes, the unexpected happens…

This is a couple it would be hard not to route for. They both have issues and it’s messy. But it’s also electrifying and I couldn’t put the book down.

It’s as if there is a weight on my chest that I want to shove off, and have never been this terrified before. 

P.S. He may have only become her adoptive father when she was sixteen, pulling her out of the foster care system, but Simon is my new favourite bookish father.

He, like me, is fighting something. 

Although the characters are in university, the book reads more like YA (young adult)

I want to run. I want to stay. I want to do both.
Together we battle.4 Star

 

 

Title: 180 Seconds180 Seconds

Author: Jessica Park 

Publication Date: 25 April 2017

Publisher: Skyscape

Source: Review copy

 

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After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Narratored by Christian Coulson

 

I fell in love with the irresistible Monty within the first paragraph and Percy shortly after. Witty, sensitive and adorable these two precious and extremely shippable characters will burrow into your heart before the end of chapter one.

So although I’ve got nothing on but my waistcoat—by some sorcery now buttoned back to front—and one shoe, it seems safe to assume we both kept our bits to ourselves.

It takes a little longer to reach the ‘real’ Felicity but she’s the kind of brave, smart, independent girl I’d love to be. Mackenzi Lee has promised a spin-off book The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in 2018 where Felicity gets a turn to shine.

I’d like you to both remember just how much you adore me and how dull and gloomy your lives would be without me in them.

I listened to the Audible audio version and Christian Coulson was a brilliant narrator portraying the hilarious, oblivious, flawed and outrageous Monty through their unexpected detour off the preplanned road-trip.

We are not broken things, neither of us.

Fast-paced, adventurous, romantic and quirky The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is also the funniest book I have read in a long time.

There’s really nothing to do but pretend I’m fully clothed and in control of the situation.

The diversity of the characters feels natural and a far cry from the run-of-the-mill ‘read me’ stories who force diversity into the story like an add-on.

And we are looking at each other, just looking, and I swear there are whole lifetimes lived in those small, shared moments.5 Star

 

 

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzie Lee 

Narrator: Christian CoulsonThe Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Publication Date: 27 June 2017

Publisher: Harper Audio

Source: Purchased

 

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

Girl on the Verge

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

 

The good news is Girl on the Verge is good, the bad news… it’s good – but just doesn’t tip the scales to great simply because it’s just a little too shallow. The shallowness of both plot and characters let the story down. The storyline, although unoriginal, has all the makings of a brilliant psychological thriller where the reader alternates between wanting to slap the gullible character and hiding under the duvet. More depth is needed and although there were occasional flashes of sinister, dark intent I wanted more. Much more.

… it makes the chill crawl up my back, one long spider leg at a time.

Of all the characters Kan stood out and I empathised with her perception of always being the odd one out. All the secondary characters were flimsy paper dolls.

I could explain how I’m from two worlds but don’t fit in either.

I visited Thailand once, but it was a fleeting stay so it was a huge bonus to glimpse a little of the Thai culture through Kan’s grandmother whose authentic Thai food made my mouth water.

“We’ve kept this secret for seventeen years…”3 Star

 

 

Title: Girl on the VergeGirl on the Verge

Author: Pintip Dunn

Publication Date: 27 June 2017

Publisher: Kensington

Source: Review copy

 

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In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong… — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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