Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

Can I first just say that I am a huge fan of Miranda Kenneally and it’s always inevitable that I end up falling in love with the main male character. Defending Taylor was no different, although the beginning was a bit too slow for my taste. However, the book was definitely nostalgic for me since it took place during the heroine’s senior year of high school as she goes through the process of applying to college.

Taylor is the perfect well-rounded student that all colleges want. She has straight A’s, is the captain of the soccer team, and is the daughter of a politician. Then she messes up and gets expelled. With her dad running a campaign at the same time, news of her expulsion makes a huge impact on his career. Already feeling guilty, Taylor doesn’t want to tell her parents the real cause of her expulsion. In comes Ezra, a total heartthrob, her childhood crush, and also her brother’s best friend, who helps her put her own life and decisions into perspective.

I’m a sucker for books like these, where the main character goes through a period of self-discovery and has no idea what she wants in life because HELLO *points at self*. I loved following Taylor through this journey of hers and literally reading about how she grows and accepts who she really is. When she discovers what she’s passionate about and what she actually wants to major in, I was there screaming “YESSS GIRL.” I had flashbacks of when I was applying to college… although I haven’t figured out the whole “what I want to do in life” part yet.

To be quite honest, I wanted to read this book because it seemed light and fun (like most of Kenneally’s books), so I didn’t think that I would actually learn so much about passion and self-love. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who’s going through something similar or if you’re just looking for a light read for the summer.

4 hearts


Reading Order: Hundred Oaks series

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally 

#1 ~ Catching Jordan: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Stealing Parker: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Things I Can’t Forget: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Racing Savannah: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Breathe, Annie, Breathe: Lacey’s Review • Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Jesse’s Girl: Lacey’s Review • EbookHardcoverPaperback • Goodreads
#7 ~ Defending Taylor: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 22nd 2013
Purchase: Ebook • Hardcover

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

wow excuse me while I bawl my eyes out for multiple reasons.

CAN WE PLEASE. I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO EXPLAIN MY LEVEL OF HEARTBREAK AND LOVE FOR THIS BOOK.

Allegiant, like the other two books in the series, had action from beginning to the end. I was a bit lost on what had happened because it was a while since I had read Insurgent, but once you start reading, you begin to understand a lot more of what’s going one. ToBIAS IS BEAUTIFUL and his and Tris’ relationship was a bit rocky in my opinion, but I’m glad that they worked it out.

OH, LAWD CALEB THOUGH. Ok I’m always really really forgiving towards siblings for some reason, so I just wanted so badly for Caleb and Tris to make up. Although I did understand why Tris was upset, but I just felt so BAD for Caleb. & I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL ANYTHING BUT I really really really want to discuss this ONE particular scene in Allegiant but I feel like if you read it, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. The incredibly sad part where he volunteers because he says he’s not important. *cue the crying*

This trilogy ended so…unexpectedly? But also expectedly at the same time (if you read this book, you’d understand). The ending was honestly S U C H a surprise. But once I took a step back, it was S-O INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS. 

6 Hearts (because how could this series get anything less?)

6-hearts

shirley

Series Order: Divergent series

Divergent by Veronica Roth Insurgent by Veronica Roth Allegiant by Veronica Roth

#1 ~ Divergent: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Insurgent: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Allegiant: Ebook • Hardcover • Goodreads

Review: United We Spy by Ally Carter

United We Spy by Ally Carter

United We Spy by Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #6 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 17th 2013
Purchase: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding  conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate this series and all that Ally Carter has given us.

Let’s go through a little bit of history together shall we? I started this series back in 6th grade, probably around a year after the first book came out. I was just getting pulled into the Contemporary, and Teen genres, so I was instantly hooked. I immediately fell in love with Cammie Morgan, and the thought of a spy academy. I don’t even know where to begin to explain my love for this series; how about, as I was walking to the check-out line at Barnes & Nobles, I got tears in my eyes? Yeah. I also went completely out of my way to buy the book the 2 days after it came out, and finished it in approximately 1 1/2 days

This book was the ultimatum. The conclusion of everything. The end to my childhood favorite series, the end to E V E R Y T H I N G. I was both ecstatic and sad.

I absolutely have no words. This book had everything. Action, love, suspense. I LOVED IT AND I MISS ALLY CARTER AND CAMMIE SO MUCH. There were so many twists and turns, and Carter has you flipping your mind back and forth, thinking, “HOLD UP. HOW is that even possible. What is even happening.” Cammie was so badass, and that increased my love to be a spy… not that that’s going to happen anytime soon, but hey, a girl can dream okay.

When Cammie “reminisces” about the academy in the end (if you read the book you UNDERSTAND WHY THERE ARE QUOTATION MARKS), I was sobbing uncontrollably. The way that she describes each secret tunnel, each stairway, each door, makes me tear up. I’ve been so immersed in the series that as she was looking back at the academy, I truly felt the same emotions that she felt. The heartbreak, the nostalgia, and the TEARS. OH GOD THE TEARS. She’d describe one tunnel, and her mind would flash to a time when she used it, which causes my mind to flip back to that book from two years ago. Ally Carter does such a good job with bringing in all of the books in the series, and somehow connecting everything together.

SO MUCH ACTION I literally can’t even begin to explain. Like actually, from the very beginning (it was such an epic opening), to the very very end, there was action.

I’m going to miss this series so very much.

P.S. Sorry for an INCREDIBLY late review. School got the best of me.

6 HEARTS.

6-hearts

shirley

Reading Order: Gallagher Girls series

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter United We Spy by Ally Carter

#1 ~ I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Only the Good Spy Young: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#5 ~ Out of Sight, Out of Time: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#6 ~ United We Spy: Lacey’s Review • Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads

Joint Review: Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover
Series: Hopeless #2.5, but can be read as a standalone (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 14th 2013
Purchase: Ebook (FREE!) • Paperback

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

Shirley here.

I was absolutely beyond excited for this novella to come out! When Colleen Hoover posted that there was an early release (ahem, 3 DAYS EARLIER) I absolutely FREAKED. OUT. I already knew I was going to fall in love with the book, because COME ON, IT’S COLLEEN HOOVER.

Hands down, this book definitely ranks first in my list of happy novellas (the list is quite short to be honest). I fell in love with Daniel and his CHARISMATIC and humorous personality in Losing Hope, so I was just so excited for an entire novella in his POV! As Colleen said, you definitely don’t have to read the other books, Hopeless and Losing Hope, to read this book (SO READ IT), but if you did read them, you get better background information and you understand the other characters more!

From the very beginning of this, I fell in looovvveeee with Daniel. The scene where he tells “Cinderella” that he loves her; even though he doesn’t mean it (but he really wants to), was SO. CUTE. To be honest when Holder showed up in the novella, and said that Six was off-limits to Daniel I was so ANNOYED. Don’t get me wrong, I love Holder, but I was so annoyed with how protective he was. Sigh. But of course, Daniel and Six just snuck around him 🙂

Their relationship iS SO ADORABLE. It’s literally the epitome of the relationship that I want…*sighs heavily* Their cute little banters, and how they share the same type of humor, AND OF COURSE, how quickly they fell in love. I was honestly just cheesin’ the entire time I was reading.

Daniel’s family is so freaking hilarious. REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY. The dad reminds me of Kami’s dad from Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, which is always a good thing because her dad is freaking awesome.

Of course, I ended up crying in the end. NOT because it was sad or anything, but because it ended way to fast for my liking, and because it was such a good and happy ending 🙂 Not going to lie I also screamed when it ended because I was NOT EXPECTING IT TO END THERE BUT IT DID. Okay, before I ramble on some more, be sure to buy it for your e-reader on Amazon! It’s FREEEE 😉

5 DAMN HEARTS.

5-hearts

shirley

Lacey here.

Oh my goodness. Another Colleen Hoover book. Well, novella, to be exact. But still. I’VE GOTTEN MY COLLEEN HOOVER FIX!! I’ve been in withdrawal since Losing Hope came out. But *sniffles* her next book comes out freaking March freaking 2014.

Okay, enough about that. Let’s talk about the most hilarious, adorable boy ever–Daniel! AH I just love this boy. I butterflying love him. (See what I did there?) GOSH DARN IT COLLEEN, IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO CREATE A CHARACTER I WON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH??? Because I fell head over heels in love with Daniel and his dorkiness. I already loved him in Losing Hope, but my god, after reading his book, I am thoroughly slain by him. He completely stole my heart (and the spotlight–sorry Holder! I’ll always love you though), and I am so happy he gets his story.

I honestly could not stop smiling throughout the whole book. Daniel made me laugh and giggle so hard, and I was so smitten with him. He’s loud and obnoxious and over-the-top, but it’s in the best way possible. You just can’t not laugh because of Daniel. You can’t! And he’s the most wonderful guy ever. It may seem that he’s frivolous and doesn’t really take anything seriously, but for certain things, he gives his whole heart, like, ahem… for his Cinderella!

So, Six and Daniel? The perfect couple ever. She’s an incredible complement to Daniel’s silliness, because she’s pretty silly herself. Sparks fly everywhere between the two of them, and watching Daniel fall in love is so delightful. I was grinning ear to ear every time Six and Daniel are together. They are adorable!

We get to meet Daniel’s family as well, who is the. best. They are all just like Daniel, aka they’ll make you laugh until your sides hurt. (My absolute favorite scene was about Daniel and the 30-minute showers. COMEDY GOLD.)

Finding Cinderella can be read as a standalone, but I think it’s better to read Hopeless and Losing Hope first, so you have a better gist of the characters. If you haven’t read any books by Colleen Hoover what the heck is wrong with you you should! Her writing is beautiful, and she creates characters who you will care for and love. And of course, Finding Cinderella is another one of her perfect books. Sigh.

5 hearts (duh).

5-hearts

lacey

Reading Order: Hopeless series

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

#1 ~ Hopeless: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Losing Hope: Lacey’s Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Finding Cinderella: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: November 13th 2012
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

THIS BOOK LEGITIMATELY TOOK MY BREATH AWAY. (The cover is trippy trippy though right?)

Going into this book I already had a pretty positive mindset, I suppose you could say. I just knew that it would be one of my favorite books because of all the wonderful things that Lac said. But when I read the summary, my thoughts kind of wavered and I was kind of skeptical because the summary just didn’t sound really appealing. Just the way it was written, didn’t make me feel like it was going to be my type of book, but I was wrong and this book is amazing.

I’d definitely recommend this book to um… anyone. I feel like it touched all these different characteristics and topics that books usually–okay fine nvm–cover. The entire time I was trying to figure out the person who tried to kill, or sorry, killed Nastya. But it was also amazing, like it always is, to listen to her story and see how her life was before, and how much she changed.

I also cried multiple times in this book. Most of those times were when she was with her family </3 BUT also with Josh and Drew. I love them. I wish I was best friends with Drew and Josh. Like honestly, they can be my protective older brothers. But this book was just lakfjd;alkjdflkajsf so perfect I actually want to re-read it right now.

**IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK YET DO NOT READ THE PARAGRAPH BELOW IT WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE. But if you did read it, then read the paragraph because I’m probably going to blow your mind away, but probably not.**

OHMYGOSH. Also, at the end when Josh asked Emilia what she saw when she died and it said how SHE TOLD HIM HER LAST SECRET AND SHE SAID “YOUR GARAGE” OMFG SHE WASN’T FREAKING LYING. BECAUSE REMEMBER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK WHEN SHE WAS RUNNING AND FOUND JOSH’S HOUSE AND WAS LIKE, FOR SOME REASON I KNOW THIS HOUSE. OMFG GUYS. SUDDEN REALIZATION AS I WAS PROCRASTINATING. OMG. AND THIS ALSO CONNECTS TO WHAT JOSH’S GRANDFATHER SAID ABOUT HOW WHEN HE DIED HE SAW THE SWING AND HE ENDED UP THERE OR SOMETHING AND MARRYING HIS WIFE. FORESHADOWING AND FLASHBACK MUCH KATJA MILLAY!!?!?

5-hearts

shirley

P.S. This review was supposed to go up 2 months ago…heh. Life and school kind of took over. + procrastination, but that’s always a factor. For example, I’m procrastinating on my homework right now.