Blog Tour: April Showers

April Showers

April Showers

by Karli Perrin

Published: June 14th 2013 (self-published)

Rating: 3.5 sofas

What happens when your head and your heart pull you in completely opposite directions? 
April Adams is about to find out the hard way.
When April enrols at Manchester University, it feels like a whole new life. New city, new house, new friends…new crush. 
Isaac Sharpe is the hottest guy on campus – with an even hotter reputation. After a chance meeting, April quickly finds herself wrapped up in all that he is. But what if all that he is isn’t what it seems?
Caught up in a battle between what she wants and what she thinks she needs, April meets Lukas Roberts. Lukas is the security blanket that she craves so desperately and she finds solace in their friendship. But what happens when she finds more than she bargained for?
April has always been a big believer of fate, but will she learn that she’s in control of her own destiny before it’s too late?
Join April as she embarks on a life changing journey of love and loss, which will have you laughing and crying until the very end.

Buy links: Amazon UK / Amazon US

My Review

So, I gotta be honest. At first, I wasn’t really enthusiastic about the book. The relationships between April, Lukas and Isaac were ones that I had seen recently in other NA novels, so I was kind of disappointed by that. But as I kept reading, April’s character really emerged. Witty and sarcastic, April has a lot of fire. I slowly fell in love with her and her strong nature.

And Isaac. Oh, Isaac! Irresistible in every way, he just tugged on my heartstrings. Although he is kinda pitched as the bad boy, there are some really sweet moments with him in the book. Throwing Lukas into the mix as well, and this makes for an emotional rollercoaster!

While there are some sexy scenes, this book is so much more than sexy YA. It made me smile and Karli’s writing style is so free flowing that I found myself not wanting to put this book down. Just as I was getting gripped in the story, I was hit with the cliffhanger. I kept trying to turn the page on my kindle, but alas, that was it. I felt totally frustrated, but that only demonstrates how involved I got with the story that I didn’t want it end. Very sneaky!

Overall that while it started a bit shaky, it definitely picks up by the second half, and that cliffhanger only left me wanting more! As a debut author, Karli has leapt into the NA world and managed to surpass a lot of competition. I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on book two, and I know that I can expect lots of good things from Ms Perrin in the future. 3.5 sofas! 

Blog Tour: Animate Me

Welcome to my post today for the blog tour for Animate Me by Ruth Clampett!

She seemed far beyond his reach…could love draw them together?
For years shy animator Nathan has carried a torch for Brooke, the beautiful and
dynamic Director of Development at their animation studio, even creating B-Girl,
a comic-book heroine in her likeness. When a new project throws the two of them
together, lovestruck Nathan finally seizes his moment – only to find Arnauld, head of the
animation studio, claiming exclusive rights to Brooke’s affections.

But Nathan, it turns out, is not giving up on his dreams so easily. With inspired
determination, he sets out to be the super hero of wooing his girl. Threatened by his
persistence, Arnauld plays dirty – only to spark an uprising at the studio that unleashes
the sort of havoc only a building full of frustrated animators can create. While Nathan
pulls out all the stops to win his B-girl, Brooke has to choose. Should she pursue the
sparkling career that has taken her years to build…or follow her heart?

Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director Bob Clampett, grew up surrounded by artists and animators. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, she has been VP of Design for Warner Brothers Studio Stores and taught photography at UCLA. Today she runs her own studio and as the Fine Art publisher for Warner Brothers Studios has come to know and work with some of the world’s greatest artists in the fields of animation and comics.

From this colorful background comes Ruth’s first novel, Animate Me, a fun and sexy, unique and engaging contemporary romance.

Ruth lives and works in Los Angeles, strictly supervised by her teenage daughter, who helps plan their summer around their yearly pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic Con.

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My Review

As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to read it. It is one of the most adorable covers I have ever seen! On a Starbucks cup, no less. This cuteness continues throughout the book in the form of adoration of Brooke, company executive from Nathan, animator and geek. I had an ebook of Animate Me, and it even included little sketches throughout the book. This made the book stand out by far among other contemporary romances. I loved the descriptions of Nathan’s drawings, but seeing them really made them come to life. I couldn’t wait for coffee time every day when Nathan would bring Brooke coffee with his personal sketch added to the cup. I liked that this book talked about the animation world, something we don’t see a lot of in YA/NA novels. The references to classic animations such as Looney Tunes are interwoven into the plotline, and really give depth to the story.  

I adored Nathan in this book. He is so geeky and adorable, that you can’t resist loving him. Just the way that he frets over Brooke, and his lack of self confidence makes him lovable, but his determination to ‘woo’ Brooke stops him from becoming wimpy. 

“…my infatuation went from a wispy shadow on an overcast day to a sharp electrical current surging through me. I did a Google search and Facebooked her. I sat enraptured when she spoke at the monthly meetings. I even searched for satellite pictures of her house, hoping to see her stretched out on the chaise lounge in her back yard…”

The only thing I didn’t particularly enjoy in this novel is the sex scenes. I loved the adorable side of Nathan, and I just kind of felt that the descriptions were a but unneccessary, and as such, made me cringe to read them. It just didn’t seem to flow with the rest of the story, and just kinda felt they were added in to turn the book NA. 

” ‘I have to warn you Nathan, my breasts, especially my nipples are super sensitive. Don’t be alarmed if I get carried away when you touch me.’ “

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was very cute and fun, and should be read for the sketches alone. By the end I skipped over the sex scenes, but if thats your thing then this book has extra brownie points for you. It definitely made me smile in places, and I could really picture Nathan in a movie. 

4 sofas

Giveaway

 2 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of Animate Me & a Signed Illustrated Print by Ruth Clampett.
5 Winners will receive an E-Copy of Animate Me by Ruth Clampett.
1 Winner will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card by Ruth Clampett.
1 Winner will receive One poster, and Bookmark  of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.
10 Winners will receive One bookmark of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.

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Thanks to Book Nerd Tours for a copy of the book to review and for hosting the tour

Promo Post: No Attachments release day launch

Welcome to my post to celebrate the launch of No Attachments by Tiffany King!

Ashton Garrison walked away from a privileged life in order to hide from the one thing she’s not willing to face. She knows she left behind a trail of pain, but in the long run, her betrayal will hurt less than the truth. She now has one goal: Live life to the fullest with no regrets and no attachments. She has high hopes that a move to new surroundings will provide the escape she desires, but what Ashton doesn’t count on is how fate always seems to find a way to screw up any good plan. Sometimes, when love comes knocking, the pull is too strong not to answer. Suddenly, what she thought she wanted to escape from is what Ashton now wants more than anything.

Nathan Lockton has one mission: find his target and complete the task he was hired to do—no attachments and no emotion necessary. He’s done it over and over again. What he thought was a typical lost-and-found job has turned into a life examining moment as Nathan is forced to deal with something he has always ignored–his feelings. Now faced with a decision, Nathan must choose to either follow his heart or complete the job.

Love can come when you least expect it. The question is: If the odds are stacked against you, how far are you willing to go for the one you love?

Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing for Someday Soon, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, Miss Me Not and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy.

She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Twitter– @AuthorTiffany  Facebook– Tiffany King Pintrest– Tiffany King 

Blog– authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com Goodreads– Tiffany King

My Review

I was a bit nervous going into this book as I haven’t had much luck with NA lately. They are all very similar, and none are memorable enough to stand out. Whether it helped that I went in with low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by this. The writing flows really nice. This is a quick read, one you can just devour. 

“You’re stalling, Ash. Besides, this was your idea. Pick a random stranger and bang his socks off,” Tessa quipped.

The plot of this book is very simple; for one reason or another, Ash wants a one night stand. This is the fun part of the story. The sexiness comes from Nathan, the guy she happens to meet in bar. The storyline comes from the mystery of Nathan’s reason for being here, and Ash’s background. All in all makes for a adorable contemporary.

I actually enjoyed Ash’s character much more than I thought I would. Her background is interesting, and there are some really good funny moments in the book. The pacing is superb, mixing in sexiness and story enough to keep the book moving, and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into Ash’s character. I wanted to know more about Nathan, and even though this book is told from two points of view, I didn’t feel as much for him (apart from phoar) as I did for Ash. Prequel/companion novel please? 

This book isn’t going to change lives or surprise you, but if you are looking for fan, romance or a laugh, then this book is for you. It has restored my faith in NA, and is highly recommended, especially for fans of Cora Carmack’s ‘Losing It’. 

Giveaway (US/Can)

Enter to win a signed copy of No Attachments, a signed 16 x 24 foam board No Attachments poster and a No Attachments charm necklace! 

 
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Blog Tour: Broken At Love

Welcome to my blog tour post today for the NA contemporary romance Broken at Love by Lyla Payne. Check out my review for the book here.

 

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Broken at Love on Goodreads

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Website: http://lylapayne.blogspot.com

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Twitter: @lyla_payne

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When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

Interview with Emilie

Today I welcome to you the star of Broken At Love, Emilie.

Welcome Emilie! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, thank you! Well, I’ve just turned twenty years old and started my junior year at Whitman U. I’m
back to being an art major and I switched my minor to business after my fellowship last summer –
I’m dying to be a museum curator one day!

We learn that you initially majored in art, before changing it to graphic design after the disapproval
of your parents. Do you think the lack of support from your parents has made you more
determined?

Hmm. I think the lack of support from my parents made me really assess whether or not art was
what I wanted to do with my life…and it is. If I had been any less passionate, their constant pushing
would probably have succeeded.

How do you think the death of your younger sister changed your outlook on life?

Anabel’s death changed everything about my outlook on life. I was such a goody two shoes in
middle and high school—not really because that was me, but because I was too afraid of what other
people thought of me. Spending those last month’s with Ana, talking about all of the things she
wouldn’t have time to do, ever, made me realize that life is just too short to worry about what other
people think of your choices.
 
Do you think this has made you feel guilty with regard to your decision to pursue an art career? Do
you feel the need to please your parents in replacement of her?

Haha, not at all. Ana was the rebel of the two of us, and usually went out of her way to not please
our parents. She would be furious with me if I quit painting, or if I let our dad make my decisions
for me. I hope that, in the end, my life honors her memory.

And do you think this makes you more empathetic towards others?

I think most artists are empathetic in some way. Art is a way to try to make sense of the human
condition—of pain, of life, love, the horror—and I’m no different. My best paintings are done after
my most emotional moments.

What attracted you to Quinn?

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t his physical, um, package, at least at first. We had a connection that
could only be chemical from the very beginning. It’s not something that comes along every day—or
every lifetime, I don’t think.

I was already attracted to the guy I’d watched play tennis for years. On the court, Quinn was all go,
no quit, even to a fault. I think that he’d lost that along the way intrigued me, too. I wanted to know
everything about him from the moment we met.

Do you feel sorry for girls like Annette, who fell for Quinn’s charms?

Well, “feel sorry for” maybe isn’t the right way to say it. I’m more sorry that happened to Annette,
or anyone else, for that matter. But we have to learn to be strong, and to make peace with our own
choices.

What made you fall for Quinn over someone like Toby?

I guess I’m someone who believes that we don’t choose who we love. It starts out as chemistry—
lust—and if we’re very lucky, that physical connection turns into an emotional one, as well.
Would it have been smarter (and easier) to fall in love with Toby? Probably. But he wasn’t the
one I wanted.

Hopefully that has got you very excited to find out more about Emilie and Quinn, and gives you a sneak peak into their intense relationship. Luckily, you can enter the giveaway for a New Adult book bundle including Broken At Love, as well as Picture Perfect, After Math and Game Set Match. Not to mention lots of swag to go with it! Unfortunately it is US and Canada only.

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Book Review: Broken At Love

Broken at Love (Whitman University, #1)

When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

I received Broken at Love by Lyla Payne as part of the blog tour (post coming tomorrow, Monday 22nd). I was intrigued by the ‘frat house game’ described in the synopsis. We do not have ‘frats’ here in the UK, so it is an area I know very little about. And indeed, I really enjoyed the first half of the book. Emilie is different from the other girls, so when Quinn is given a bet that he can’t seduce her, he has to pull out all the stops. In the beginning Emilie is presented as quite a strong, not afraid to be different girl. When Quinn pulls his trick to get girls into bed, Emilie doesn’t fall for it. At this point I am rooting for her, and I was really intrigued by the story and where it was going to go.

Unfortunately it kinda peaked too early for me.  I was expecting some epic revenge which didn’t really happen. Emilie was so un-loyal to her friends, and she kind of lost all the respect I had for her. She turned into yet another girl falling at the feet of men, and it angered me. She started out really strong, and both her and Quinn had really good background stories; you can tell that the author had put a lot of thought into them as people, as opposed to just characters in books. 

Parts of the main character were just frustrating though. I mean, yes players can be people too, but did she not stop to think what diseases he could be carrying? Eww. This is one of the constant problems with society; everybody knows they should be taking precautions, but unless it is shown in books, movies and tv shows, the message just isn’t going to get across. I don’t know what the frat community is really like, but this books just gave such an icky feel to society. A game where boys bet who the player can seduce? Not cool. I know this is what attracted me to the book, but the guys never really got any punishment for it, and the game probably continued. 

However, if you enjoy steamy romance, and girl falls for boy NA stories, then this is definitely for you. Or just read the first half, which is funny and sexy. 

3 sofas! 

Book Review: The Space Between

The Space Between

 

The Space Between

by Victoria Smith

Source: ebook for review from author

When Drake started the night at his father’s campaign fundraiser, he never imagined he’d end it being conned into buying drugs on the West Side. Losing high-stakes poker has its consequences, but he’d repeatedly face them just to hear Lacey Douglas sing. Drake sees Lacey light up the stage, and he has to have her. But his intentions for being on her side of town turn out to be the reason he can’t. 

Chicago native Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles. Lacey has come to know her hardships as part of living in the real world and accepts them fully. When Lacey meets the intense and invigorating Drake, a fire is lit inside her, unleashing those dreams again.

Two paths that should have never crossed prove to create the exact pairing the other needs. But when their worlds take time to catch up, everything they have is tested. Finding the space between the two sides that challenge them will be hard, but it’s the only place that will keep them together.

Pitched as a NA contemporary romance, The Space Between deals with same of the darker NA issues, such as racism and class, as well as romance. When Lacey, a singer from Chicago is assigned as a nanny to Darke’s family, she doesn’t expect the ‘children’ to be 19 year old Drake and his teenage sister. Although they come from different backgrounds, their relationship blossoms. Except they have to hide it, for fear of a lawsuit from Drake’s stuck-up parents. 

Overall I did enjoy this book. I think the cover is cute, although it doesn’t really say a lot about the book. I did have issues with the subplots; Lacey has a dying mother, her best friend is a drug dealer, her dad is/was an abusive drug user, she has to nanny for Drake’s younger sister, she is also a singer. There just seemed to be a bit too much going on, too much against her to be realistic. For example, when rich boy Drake visits Lacey at her home, a guy shows up who happens to be crushing on Lacey, tells him to get lost and draws a gun. But it’s okay, as Lacey happens to have a gun too. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the scenes were written really well, they just didn’t come across as believable. 

I did enjoy the scenes with the rest of Drake’s family. Below is an except of Lacey’s first interaction with his father: 

Mr Drake wasn’t shy about his assessing gaze. He studied me under a watchful eye, analyzing me in a way that made me feel completely naked, exposed. And the smaller I felt, the fact that I was being judged became blatantly evident. Eyes finally leaving me, Mr Drake moved his stare to Mrs Drake. “I’m aware you hired someone, but I was not aware they’d be joining me for my meals. I don’t pay these people–” Stopping for a second, he cleared his throat. “The help to eat our food, Madeline.”

I could literally feel the tension, the embarrassment. And yet, even when he is no longer her employer, she doesn’t have the guts to stand up to him. This continued weakness irritated me. One minute she was saying they couldn’t let anyone know about her relationship with Drake, the next they are having sex in the kitchen. Get some balls, girl! The ending sorta verified this for me; she just seemed to back out instead of being firm like I wanted her to be. 

Overall the romance was cute, but I think the book had it’s fingers in too many issues for me to enjoy the plot. And while she started out as a strong character, Lacey was too weak for me to like her. 

3 sofas from me. 

NB- Quote is from an eARC and subject to change in the final copy.

Letterbox Love #17

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

Welcome to my 2-week haul post! It’s scary the amount of books I got this week O..O

Firstly, on the 19th I went to a book event for Lauren Oliver, to celebrate the release of her new book Requiem. It was really lovely to hear her talk about her inspiration and how she writes. Although I’m sad the series has ended, I’m really excited to read more things by her. I had a nice catch up with Stacey of The Pretty Books and met Lucy from Choose YA. Special thanks to Faye of A Daydreamer’s Thoughts and Daphne of Winged Reviews for keeping me company in the line! My lovely signed books:

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So while in the queue, discussing books (naturally), Faye was gushing about the Eternity Cure, and I said I had never read any of Julie Kagawa’s books. I also haven’t read Divergent yet (I know!), and Faye mentioned that she found a copy in The Works, which for those of you who don’t have one, is basically a discount store where they have books and stationary and things. The books aren’t in any order, which is quite frustrating! So I visited a shopping centre yesterday, and (having already indulged in a couple of books in Waterstones) decided to pop in the Works to check out what they have. Here’s what I came out with:

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I think I have a problem! In my defence, the books were 3 for £5, which means each book cost less than £2. At that price, how could I resist?!  

So I managed to find both of Faye’s recommendations; Divergent by Veronica Roth and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. I also picked up a couple of books that I have read before, but wanted for my collection. These were Extras and Specials by Scott Westerfeld and The Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.

I also picked up some cute looking girly/contemporary YA. They had lots of Sara Shepard’s books, so I decided to get the first, Pretty Little Liars. The Pretty Commitee Strikes Back is actually the 5th in the series by Lisi Harrison, but was all they had so I decided to grab it! The Look by Sophia Bennett has pink edges. Need I say more.  Lucy Lord’s Revelry also looked a lot of fun, so it went in the basket.

The rest from the Works were just YA that I’ve heard about, or seen, and looked good! For that price, I think even if it is an okayish read, it’s worth it. Lots of people are talking about the sequel to Slide by Jill Hathaway, so I’m pleased I found the first one. Likewise with Pure by Julianna Baggott. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Adorkable by Sarra Manning looked like cute, geeky books, something which I greatly enjoy! Last, but not least, Night School by CJ Daugherty, because I love boarding school books, and When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, because it sounds like an epic romance, and goodness knows I need more of that in my life!

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Blimey. So before this amazing trip I had already popped into Waterstones, where I picked up Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt and Insignia by SJ Kincaid, as part of their Waterstones Teen Shortlist offer. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini really took my fancy (psychiatric hospitals, yay!) and The Hit by Melvin Burgess was an impulse buy. It sounds amazing and the cover is SHINY. Ironically, I spent more in Waterstones (4 books) than in the Works (15 books). What madness.

Finally, in all the buying bonanza, I picked up one book from the library this fortnight! The Farm by Emily McKay is a vampire dystopian kind of book. I swear it was YA, but my library have shelved it in fantasy. Who knows.

Needless to say, this will keep me going for a good while! I totally blame Faye for making me going in there. And on payday! Recipe for disaster if I ever saw one 😉

And if you think I got off lightly on the ebook front, think again!  

I think someone at Random House must have been clicker-happy this week as I got approved for 4 books from them on Netgalley! Thanks you guys, I was very surprised for all the approvals, and they are all for amazing books, and ones that I really want to read.

Itch RocksFall Guy

Firstly, Itch Rocks by Simon Mayo, the second in his Itch series. I have read the first one, and thought it was a really good middle-grade sciencey actiony book. I have yet to write up my review, but I will try and get it up before I read this one!

Next is Fall Guy by Liz Reinhardt. This is the first in a NA romance series, a genre which I seem to be reading a lot of lately!

 

 

 

The Kissing Booth

Twerp

Next is a book I got sent an email about, and requested in straight away. Twerp by Mark Goldblatt is a bullying book, and you know how much I love those, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Mark tackles it.

And my last beauty from Random was The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles. This looks like such a cute contemporary, great at the end of a long day or maybe for the beach?

Storm (Swipe #3)I also got approved for Storm by Evan Angler, thanks to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. This is the third in a series; I have the second in ebook but unfortunately not the first. However, they all look really good so I will try and get hold of the first so I can start these!

Bloomsbury kindly gave me access to The Academy: Game On by Monica Seles. There is a surge of sports/romance/YA contemporaries at the moment, and this looked really cute. So much pink!

I also got approved on Edelweiss for Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. This has gotten really great reviews so I can’t wait to read it!

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)

Last but certainly not least, Harper Collins gave me a copy of The Edge of Never to review. I have seen LOADS of reviews about this, and finally I get to see what all the fuss is about! It looks very 50 shades to be, but is marketed as NA so we’ll see how it goes!

What did you receive this week? Have you read any of my books and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile? Do you think I have a book-addiction problem? I’d love to hear from you!