Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (#114)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, February 22nd to Saturday, February 28th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

Thank you, Emma! This completes one trade, a step closer to my Kasie West ARC collection!

An ARC of Forged by Erin Bowman (unsolicited)

I already have Magonia and Forged, and I didn't LOVE The Taking; never heard of Endangered.  Empire of Night was the only one I requested, and I'll be reviewing it on Tuesday! Thank you for all of this, Harper!

From NetGalley:

Mania by J.R. Johansson

I liked Insomnia a lot, and Paranoia was okay... but I definitely want to continue this series!

The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott

Eeee! I have been aching to read this one! Fantasy! Lovely cover! 

From Amazon:

Hey, it was free! Plus, I love Gena's books!

I barely slept at all this week! Seriously, a lot of three- and four-hour nights of sleep this week... but I churned out a ton of work and I feel pretty great about it all (despite feeling even more sleep-deprived than before). I hope everyone is doing well! How was your week? :)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: Palace of Lies by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Palace of Lies by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Book Three of The Palace Chronicles
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Desmia discovers the reality of royalty is far from a fairy tale in this third adventure set in the Cinderella-esque world of Just Ella and Palace of Mirrors, from New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Desmia and her twelve sister-princesses are ruling Suala together at last, a united front. The kingdom seems to have finally gotten its happily ever after, but Desmia, trained by a lifetime of palace intrigue, is not so sure. She desperately wants to believe all is well, but she can’t help seeing danger around every corner.

And then the unthinkable happens, and Desmia’s worst fears are confirmed. Now, without the support of the sister-princesses she’s grown to rely on or the trappings of royalty that have always convinced people to listen to her, Desmia must find the courage to seek out the truth on her own terms—and to determine the course of two kingdoms.

What I Liked:

SKIP. Sorry not sorry. This book was all kinds of awful. I'm not even going to sit here and write a full review on this one. Not wasting my time.

What I Did Not Like:

First and foremost: Simon & Schuster did an AWFUL job of marketing this book. Let me explain. When I downloaded this book from Edelweiss in June (JUNE. 2014), there wasn't much about this book. No information about a synopsis, no cover, no series information. LOOK at my Stacking the Shelves post - you'll see that I had a placeholder cover up, and I stated, "Not much has been said about this one, but I'm wiling to give it a try!" I had NO idea that this book was a third book in the series. There was NO indication of this on Edelweiss at the time. And on Goodreads, there was barely even a publication year (at the time). You want to know when I realized that this book was a third book? JUST NOW, when I went to input my 1-star rating on Goodreads. I was like, ohh...

I mean, I was giving it 1 star anyway. Regardless of the number in the series, this one wasn't getting more than 1 star. I think this series reads as a companion series - you can read the books in any order, or none at all. The thing is, had I known that this book was part of a series (even if it was a companion series), I wouldn't have picked it up.

Second thing: this is MIDDLE GRADE. Not Young Adult. I've not been able to read Middle Grade in quite some time, and this book is the epitome of why. I couldn't stand the immaturity of the characters in this book. I couldn't wrap my head around the absurdity of the situations of this book. I just could not believe the story, let alone like the story. And I get it - it's fantasy. But something about fourteen- and ten-year-old children taking down grown men doesn't sit well with me. When I say "take down", I mean "outwit". But also, the ten-year-old children are pretty well-versed in killing people. Okay.

I didn't like the protagonist, Desmia. She's fourteen, and gosh does she act her age (or less, really). She's so conceited and selfish, and honestly, her character and personality don't really develop throughout the story. The author likes to TELL us readers that she does, by physically forcing Desmia's thoughts in a certain way, but it's not natural and doesn't flow right at all. I want to be SHOWN that Desmia is maturing. Don't TELL me she is. Don't have HER tell me. 

I didn't like the supporting characters, either. They're all so YOUNG, and so immature, and their roles don't seem right at all, for their age. It's like the author was trying to tell a Young Adult story in a Middle Grade type of book... I could not wrap my head around the characters and their age and the things they were doing. Like, they seemed too stupid to be doing some things, and entirely too smart to be able to do other things. If that makes sense.

The whole plot is absurd. Go find the twelve princesses that were probably killed in the fire - oh, but you're seriously injured, so you have to depend on others to take you. Not to mention that these other people will drop their entire lives and money and home and EVERYTHING for you and your problems. Somehow, I just did not believe this plot arc. I wasn't buying it. I was rolling my eyes the entire time, or had an eyebrow cocked, or was staring incredulously at the pages.

Seriously, if you're going to write a Middle Grade book, age your characters as such, and mature (or immature) them as such. Don't make them super-smart, super-strong, super-witty children sent from heaven or something. Literally the entire time I was thinking to myself, these are CHILDREN?!

But again, the story seemed ridiculous. I'm not even doing it justice by saying it was "ridiculous". It was so trivial and superfluous - this book was one of those books where I was like, what's the point? This story seemed recycled and retold and booooooring, to be honest. Thank goodness the book was semi-short. 

I really wanted almost everyone to end up dead... of course that was not the case. Take that as you may. This book ends so cartoon-like and cookie-cutter perfect. And the villains - literally so cartoon-like! It's like these GROWN men and women are idiots, at the hands of fourteen-year-old children! Really! These children can run a castle better than men and women who have been around a palace for years?! Yes, I believe that, totally...

Overall, I'm not pleased, not amused, and 100% would not recommend. It's Middle Grade, but it's superfluous Middle Grade. It's MIDDLE GRADE - not Young Adult (like it seemed to have been marketed to be). I would never have picked up this one, had I known that it was a book three, as well as Middle Grade. Please, publishers, market your books correctly. I know you like to upload your books super early to Edelweiss, but really, it would help immensely if you had the book's information (like, at the very least, the number in the series). 

Would I Recommend It:

NOOOOOO. Maybe if you've read the other two books in the series. But nooooo. Don't do it. It's not worth it.


1 star (really, it would be lower than that if possible. Again, sorry not sorry). This was definitely NOT for me. And now I know better than to be interested in an unknown, supposedly YA, non-series fantasy novel. Sad life.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Swoon Thursday (#109): Rebound by Noelle August

Swoon Thursday is a hot meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at YA Bound!

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

This week, my swoon is Rebound by Noelle August!

Her hand brushes along my chest and stills on my neck. "I want this."

That's all I need. I crush my lips to hers, and it's fast - and hot. I can't take it slow. Our tongues are darting, doing an urgent dance as I pick her up and lift her against the wall. She wraps her arms around my neck and I yank her dress up to get her legs around me. Her heavy boots clunk to the ground, one, then the other. Then her ankles lock behind me, and she pulls me in tight. I let out a groan at the feeling, her pressed to me, open for me. 

- eARC, 55%

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#113): Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Summary (from Goodreads):

A delicious tale of revenge and identity from Carrie Ryan, the bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

In the wake of the deadly devastation of luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace, rescued from the ocean after torturous days adrift with her dying friend Libby, knows that the Persephone wasn't sunk by a rogue wave as survivors Senator Wells and his son are claiming—it was attacked.

To ensure her safety from the obviously dangerous and very powerful Wells family, Libby’s father helps newly orphaned Frances assume Libby’s identity. Frances has spent years in hiding, transforming herself into Libby, and she can no longer allow the people who murdered her entire family and Libby to get away with it. After years of careful plotting, she’s ready to set her revenge plans into motion—even if it means taking down the boy she’d once been in love with: the senator’s son.

The game has just begun, and Frances is not only playing dirty, she's playing to win. 

I've never read any of Carrie Ryan's books, but I'd certainly love to change that, with this book!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Welcome to the blog tour for The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski! I'm thrilled and honored to participate in this tour, and to help promote this AMAZING series. Want to know what MY winner's curse is? Check out my response below, and enter to win The Winner's Crime!

About the Book:

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Book Two of the Winner's trilogy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: March 3, 2015

Summary (from Goodreads):

Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Follow the Author!

What Is Alyssa's Winner's Curse?

My education. Hands down, no further questions. I attend Johns Hopkins University (#11 in the country), as an environmental engineering and Spanish double major. This is a private university (not a state school). It was difficult enough getting into the school, in terms of academics. Let's talk money. Want to see the breakdown of costs? This is my budget, according to the university (this is what shows up on my student account to be billed):

Tuition: $47,060.00 
Matriculation Fee: $0.00 (It's $500 for incoming student) 
Room: $8,168.00 (Ha! My housing is more like $10,000.)
Board: $6,078.00 (Food.)
Personal Expenses: $1,000.00 (Like laundry.)
Books & Supplies: $1,223.00 (My books are more expensive than this - yes, to rent them used.)
Travel Expenses: $0.00 (I'm in-state.)
Loan Fees: $0.00 (No fees to take out loans. Yay.)

Total: $63,529.00

(Let's not get started on the physical and mental demand of an engineering major. Or engineering major + second major.)

I literally copied those numbers straight from my student account. I don't pay this all though (neither do my parents). The financial aid program at Johns Hopkins is pretty great (and I'm not just saying this because my family is super poor, or because I happen to work at the Financial Aid office). But still. Even paying $20,000 or $10,000 a year is a lot (whether via payment, or loan). 

But, you get what you pay for. A degree from this school is worth it. Especially an environmental engineering degree - the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins is one of the best worldwide, and environmental engineering isn't offered at many top universities anyway. I work hard and earn good grades and I know that paying what I pay for (may it be in money, blood, sweat, tears, neurons, sleep, social time, etc.) is totally worth it. Also, like I mentioned before, my family is poor, so my financial debt won't be 4 x $64,000 = $256,000 (thank goodness). But it will be a chunk. Yay loans.

The Giveaway:

Win The Winner's Curse OR The Winner's Crime (not BOTH). USA only.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Rebound by Noelle August

Rebound by Noelle August
Book Two of the Boomerang series
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Hooking up is only the beginning of the fun in this sexy and irresistible second installment of the thrilling New Adult series, Boomerang.

Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-two, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of the heap in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and knocks the tech wunderkind down, throwing his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.

Three years ago, Adam married his high school love—and then lost her in a tragic accident. Now, the heartbreak and guilt he’s tried to bury with work and women begins to take over his life.

Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. She’s got one chance to prove to her father that she deserves a place in his empire by grabbing control of Boomerang and taking Adam down.

But as Alison moves in on him, armed with a cadre of lawyers and accountants, she discovers there’s much more to Adam and Boomerang than meets the eye. Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? It appears so, unless Adam can forgive her for wrecking his life and trying to steal his livelihood. But Alison hopes that old adage is right. Maybe love can conquer all.

What I Liked:

Okay, I think I liked this one more than I liked Boomerang. Boomerang was okay for me - not bad, but I didn't love it. I struggle with New Adult, especially New Adult contemporary romance. But I love Veronica Rossi and her Young Adult books (Rossi is one of the two authors co-writing this Boomerang series). So I definitely wanted to give this series a chance at some point. The first book was okay, but I liked this book more.

Rebound follows Adam and Alison. Adam is the creator of Boomerang, and Alison is the ex-girlfriend of Ethan, a former intern at Boomerang, and the boyfriend of one of Boomerang's employees (Mia). Alison is also the daughter of a businessman who is currently in the position to take control of Boomerang - and take Adam out of the Boomerang picture. But Alison doesn't expect to fall for Adam (and vica versa). Will she support her father, or follow her heart?

I didn't like Alison at all in Boomerang. She broke Ethan's heart! When I saw that this book (Rebound) would be about Adam and Alison, I definitely cringed. Adam and ALISON? I liked Adam. I didn't like Alison. This book had to be really good, in order for my opinion of her to change.

Well, my opinion did change a bit. I felt bad for her. Her father seems to have almost complete control over her life, especially since she had that meltdown for like, her entire college career, and he had to pay for her to graduate (basically), on top of tuition. Which should make me resent her - she can go crazy and get drunk all the time and lose control and STILL graduate, because her rich father can bail her out? Meanwhile, I'm busting my butt seven days a week - no going out for me - so I can do just the same (graduate, that is. Granted, I'm trying to graduate in a certain percentile, but still). Anyway. I shouldn't like Alison, but I eventually sympathized.

There is no excuse for cheating - or almost cheating. She didn't sleep with the guy, but they were still in the bed when Ethan walked in. It doesn't make things much better, but at least Alison came to her senses and stopped things. In the end, good on Ethan for dumping her.

Alison is kind of a lost soul, a lonely girl who loves horses. Adam is a lost soul too, a lonely man who devotes himself to his pride and joy (his company). Eventually, I grow into the idea of them together. The opening scene of the book is at a Halloween party, and things get pretty heated between Adam and Alison. But then things derail for the ENTIRE book (grrr), in terms of the physical nature of their relationship. But Alison definitely grows up, and Adam learns to open up.

I didn't like that Alison had initially started getting close to Adam because her father wanted dirt on Adam. But I really liked Adam and Alison together. Without the competitive aspect of Boomerang, I definitely enjoyed the flow of the story much more. 

The story is engaging and interesting. I wanted to know more about Adam's secrets, and what drives him so. His mysterious nature is hinted in Boomerang, and I was intrigued. All is revealed in this book, along with the future of the company, and the future of Alison and Adam. You'll have to read this one to find out what happens!

What I Did Not Like:

While I liked the romance in this book a lot (the relationship was very well-developed), the romance could have seriously benefited from more physical scenes between Adam and Alison. There are like, three, and one of them is truncated by someone (awkward). All relationships have a physical basis as well as the mental/emotional/intellectual ones. Especially in New Adult books. I expected more!

Also while I no longer dislike Alison, I'm still not her biggest fan. How dare she hurt poor Adam. It's okay, Adam. *hugs* All is well in the end, but girl. You messed up. Boooo.

Would I Recommend It:

For New Adult fans - if you like New Adult contemporary romance novels, then definitely check out this series! It's different from the typical cliche overused boring New Adult contemporary romance novels from that huge NA boom in the past few years (haaaated). I like the Boomerang series (for the most part), and I don't usually like New Adult contemporary romance novels!


3.5 stars -> rounded up to 4 stars. I liked this one! I'll probably check out Bounce (book three) later in the year - Grey is one of my favorite characters in the series!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

About the Authors:

Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes? Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind the Boomerang series. You can visit them at, @Noelle_August, and

The Excerpt:

From Adam's POV:

Ali laughs. Her gaze feels like sunshine on my back, but I don’t turn around. I pull my wetsuit up to my waist, adjusting myself so I’m comfortable. The cool Neoprene layer feels familiar and my body responds, my heart thumping hard, anticipation rushing through my veins. The prospect of the ocean always does this to me. This has nothing to do with the girl behind me. 


Ali’s voice is close. Turning, I almost bump into her.

Her wetsuit is all the way on, which is good. And terrible.

“What’s up?” I ask. 

She smells like suntan oil and peaches. This close, I see that her cheeks are turning slightly pink from the sun. With her hair pulled back, no makeup, and the wetsuit covering her completely, she looks better than she has all week at the office. Better than she did in the Catwoman costume. There’s something powerful about her now. The way her slender legs are planted firmly on the swaying boat, like she’s not trying at all. She’s at home on the water. This from an admitted equestrian. I can only imagine what she’s like with her horses.

“Sorry, but . . .” She smiles and points at her back. “My zipper’s jammed.” She turns around and pulls her ponytail up. “Can you help me out?”

“Sure. You want this on, right? Just want to be sure.”

I can’t see her face, but I know she’s smiling. “Yes. On please.”

I allow myself a moment to enjoy the way she looks right in front of me. Then I take the zipper leash, letting my knuckles drift over her back, just above the knot of her bikini.

If I weren't completely focused on her, I’d have missed the way she curls slightly toward me.

Focus, Blackwood. Zip the wetsuit up.

The Giveaway:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

What I Liked:

I never read Open Road Summer, but I hear it's a great road-trip book. I LOVE road-trip books. I don't read nearly enough of them though. I want to read Lauren Barnholdt's road-trip book. Anyway. I never read Emery Lord's smashing debut, despite its instant popularity. I was sent a review copy of this book (unsolicited), and so I decided to give it a try. I liked what I read.

Paige is known as That Girl Whose Boyfriend Died. Her boyfriend of two months, Aaron, drowned about a year ago. Paige is ready to try new things during this new school year. She wants to start swimming again, join a new group, and date Ryan Chase. But going into a pool know scares Paige, she joined Quiz Bowl, and Ryan seems interested in her friend Tessa... not to mention that Ryan's cousin Max is really nice. Dorky, but nice. Plus Paige has other problems, like her divorced parents dating. Doesn't a girl have enough problems already?

One thing I really liked about this book is the depth of the relationships, and not just a boy-girl in love (or "in like") type of relationship. There are so many friendships in this book, as well as a sister-sister relationship, parent-daughter relationship, etc. The author does a great job of developing and challenging these characters and their relationships.

I especially liked Paige's relationship with her female friends (Tessa, Morgan, Kayleigh... I might be missing one. Or maybe not. Actually, I think it's just three of them. I'm unsure though). FINALLY, a Young Adult that has a group of girls who are friends and who are friends that aren't in competition with one another. It always seems that way in YA books, whether the authors mean it or not. In this book, the girls really love each other and care about each other and look out for each other. Tessa and Paige happen to be crushing on the same guy (Ryan), but Paige doesn't actually like him like she thinks she does (you'll see). 

Which brings me to the romance. I really liked the romance in this book. Paige begins the book wanting her old childhood crush, Ryan, to like her back and they fall in love and ride off into the sunset. But she meets his cousin Max, and they develop a friendship. They're both total nerds - the bond started in English class, and then Paige joined Quiz Bowl (I WAS IN QUIZ BOWL IN HIGH SCHOOL! All four years. I was even the captain!), Paige is comfortable around Max from the start, whereas she gets tongued-tied and embarrassed around Ryan. 

I love how the romance progresses. Literally there is no physical ROMANCE until the very end of this book, but the entire book is charged with emotions and unrequited feelings and love. It's so great how the author constructs a contemporary romance story without the two main characters ever really touching or talking about their feelings or giving each other major signals. And yet, both of them know, eventually. It was very believable, and incredibly powerful.

There are so many subplots within the plot, and I love how every little thing ties together and intersects throughout the story. Paige's parents, Paige's relationship with her sister, with Max, with her friends, her experience with Quiz Bowl, her English class... I like how everything comes together. The ending is really sweet. Like, right down to the end, everything is so sweet. I liked this one!

What I Did Not Like:

I definitely wanted more (of the physical nature) from Paige and Max, but that's just me. I should just go read an adult book, right? In any case, there's plenty of development in their relationship, on the emotional side. But it's like they aren't attracted to each other at all, which is kind of important to me. Ideally, I would want my ideal man to be someone I both love and am attracted to physically (and intellectually and emotionally, etc.) I don't think Max and Paige are disgusted with each other physically or anything. And I'm not saying they have to be supermodels or anything. But I don't think they're physically attracted to each other. Which makes me sad. But no relationship has it all, I suppose!

Would I Recommend It:

Contemporary fans will LOVE this book. Heck, I'm not even a contemporary fan, but I liked this one a lot. It's a great mix of tough-issue contemporary and sweet romance. I can see why everyone loves this author - she creates a wonderful, likable story. Wonderful, lighthearted fluffy read!


4 stars. I'll be looking out for more of this author's books in the future! And hey, I might read Open Road Summer. So much contemporary though. We shall see.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (#113)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, February 15th to Saturday, February 21st?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

From Amazon:

Currently free!

I recently LOVED It Started With A Scandal... and the lovely Racquel surprised me and gifted this one to me via Amazon Kindle! Thank you so much, Racquel!

How was everyone's week?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review: Boomerang by Noelle August

Boomerang by Noelle August
Book One of the Boomerang series
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Copy bought from Amazon

Summary (from Goodreads):

The first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August

Welcome to, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

What I Liked:

It's been a while since I've read a New Adult book - and that was very much on purpose. For the past couple of years, I've been so sick of the age level (New Adult) and its most popular genre (contemporary romance). So NA contemporary romance and I broke up for a while. I decided to give this book a shot because 1) Veronica Rossi is one of the authors - HELLO, LOVE HER, and 2) I'm on the blog tour for Rebound (see my post next week!), so I felt the need to read this one before reading Rebound. While I didn't love this book, I'm glad I gave it a chance (especially before reading Rebound).

This book starts with Mia waking up and finding herself in someone bed, completely nude. She doesn't remember much from that night, just that she was very, very drunk, and she went with a guy home. The guy, Ethan, is in bed as well, also nude, but she can barely remember his name. As they scramble to get ready for their jobs, they take a taxi, not realizing they're going to the same place. To the same internship.

Boomerang is looking to hire one person, and Mia and Ethan will have to compete against each other to "win". They will design a booth for Boomerang, effectively marketing the dating site. Oh, and no fraternization between coworkers. Which leaves Mia and Ethan in an... interesting situation, given how that night before their first day at Boomerang. Is work more important than growing feelings?

I really liked how this book started - with Mia and Ethan waking up after an intimate night. No one knows exactly what happened (did they have sex, did they just mess around, etc.), but it was cute how comfortable with tension-filled the two of them were. The way Mia describes Ethan makes me want my own Ethan to wake up next to... haha.

I liked Ethan a lot. I liked Mia too, but I liked Ethan a lot more. We get both of their first-person point-of-views, which is nice. Ethan is such a sweet guy, but he's always saying stupid things and doing things that can be misinterpreted. He coaches soccer (nine-year-old boys), but he really needs the money that working for Boomerang could offer him. Ethan really likes Mia, but he thinks it was a one-night thing, and he needs the job more than a girl he just met. Right?

Also, he's a soccer player. You know how I feel about soccer players. Mmmm... that physique... but in all seriousness, it's my favorite sport (tied with tennis).

I LOVE how the authors makes certain aspects of a relationship today so REAL. There are several times when Ethan says something to Mia, and doesn't realize how Mia will take his words. The word "nothing" is a really bad word to use with a girl. It was "nothing", it meant "nothing", etc. Like, we could totally understand what Ethan MEANT, but what he said was misinterpreted. This happens all the time in real like, and I love the authenticity. Same goes for things he DID, as well.

This story is pretty quick, light, easy to read, fast-paced. The romance is important, but the story involving Boomerang and the internship is important as well. I wanted more between Ethan and Mia alone, but there are some scenes between them that made me smile. They have a lot of chemistry, but they also care about each other from the start.

The story ends satisfyingly, and of course, there's plenty of room for more novels. Companion novels work well with this series!

What I Did Not Like:

Like I said above, I wanted more from just Ethan and Mia. I feel like they're not alone enough, and there isn't enough tension exposed between them. Sure, they think about each other a lot, especially as they slowly recall what happened that first night, but it's not the same as actually being two inches from each other and wanting to jump each others' bones. Hehe.

This is a personal thing, but I didn't like the whole competition thing. I didn't like the idea of the two protagonists competing for something. This story arc doesn't sit well with me. But again, me.

I didn't really like another part of the story that I didn't mention - Boomerang is a dating site (sort of like eHarmony of OK Cupid or something). Naturally, as employees of Boomerang, Ethan and Mia go on experimental dates with other people (for the sake of company research, of course). A me thing, I think, but I didn't really like this plot arc. It's obvious that the authors put this in the story so that the protagonists could feel a good dose of jealousy. But eh. Bot a me thing. 

The ending, in terms of the booth, is TOO cookie-cutter perfect. So cliche. I didn't like that particular part. It's so... goody-goody, almost. But that's okay.

Would I Recommend It:

This definitely was not the worst New Adult contemporary romance novel I've read (not by far), but it wasn't the best (that might go to Foreplay by Sophie Jordan). It didn't have too many cliches and overused tropes, but I did want see more from the physical side of the romance. But perhaps I would recommend this book. I'll read Rebound and let you know about this series overall.


3 stars. Catch my review of Rebound next week, as well as all things blog-tour-related! You'll see if I liked Rebound more than I liked this one...

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