Book Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of DaresDash & Lily’s Book of Dares

by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Published: 5th October 2012 by Mira Ink

Version: Paperback from library

Rating: 4 sofas

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

I wanted to read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares as part of my David Levithan readathon, so I was thrilled when I saw it sitting on the library shelf (not my local). I was quite surprised how short it was, but heard lots of good things about the romance in it. 

It all begins when Dash discovers a notebook in his local bookshop, that leaves him a set of clues relating to certain books.  He decides to follow the instructions, but also to leave some clues of his own. Pretty soon Dash and Lily are corresponding through the notebook, sending each other to all sorts of places to do weird tasks. 

I must admit I found this portion of the book UTTERLY ADORABLE. Why can’t some cute guy leave me notes in my favourite bookshop?! (FYI, if you’re out there, its probably Waterstones in Bluewater or Piccadilly. Just in case) And to chase around the city following dares left in a notebook…. I adore the pre-Christmas period, where everyone is busy and festive, and this sounds like a perfect dream to me! It makes me want to take risks and be adventurous and maybe leave some notes of my own….. 

Lily was a bit desperate at times, but I did feel sorry for her too. All she wanted was a bit of excitement and somebody to like her for herself, and I think we all want that on some level. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Dash, but I think thats just a boy thing. And he likes books. And he gave Lily one of the best experiences ever (not in a gross way!). So for that, he has my heart. 

There are some really adorable moments in this book and it definitely bought a smile to my face. I would love to reread this around Christmas time. I just wish it was longer! I wanted more dares, more romance, more angst, just MORE. 4 sofas!  

“There are just lots of possibilities in the world…I need to keep my mind open for what could happen and not decide that the world is hopeless if what I want to happen doesn’t happen. Because something else great might happen in between.”

“The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There’s no getting over that.” 

Book Review: Time Between Us

Time Between UsTime Between Us

by Tamara Ireland Stone

Published: 4th July 2013 by Random House

Version: Paperback from publisher (review my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4.5 sofas

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

As soon as I heard the comparison to The Time Traveller’s Wife, I knew I had to read this book. While they are quite different, I loved Time Between Us just as much. Bennett can travel in time, and can take things and people with him. When he stumbles into Anna in 1995 looking for his sister, he decides to stick around.

This book was as beautiful as its cover. It was romantic, cute and sad and I couldn’t put it down. Heartbreak was inevitable as they did not belong together; his timeline was 17 years ahead of hers. Not to mention the risk that he may ‘bounce back’ at any time. 

I like how it tampered with the idea of the butterfly effect, but I think in practice it didn’t all quite come together. Bennett was very willing to change things for his own benefit, but when it came to someone else he kicked up a massive fuss. Even though his entire presence in the book was wrong! But I have to forgive him, because he is adorable 😉

I thought that Anna too was a really strong character. When cute boy Bennett saunters into her life and offers her what shes dreamt about her whole life, she does take her time and think it over. She has her own personal strengths, and especially in the end I really rooted for her. 

The only thing I didn’t particularly like about the book was that it was over too soon! I felt it ended a bit abruptly, just as I was losing myself in the story. I’m hoping that the sequel will answer all my outstanding questions, and give me greater character development. 

One thing’s for sure, and that is I NEED the sequel, asap! It’s due for release at the end of October, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Anna and Bennett.

This book is about love, connections and consequences. I adore the idea of toying with fate, and the butterfly effect that ripples afterwards. Strong characters and an enticingly romantic storyline makes for an AMAZING book. Roll on October! 4.5 sofas

Book Review: Faking It

Faking It (Losing It, #2)Faking It

by Cora Carmack

Published: June 2013 by Ebury Press

Version: Paperback from Ebury Press via blogger party (review is my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 5 sofas

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

After reading Losing It and absolutely LOVING it (check out my review here), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next one. I was lucky enough to bag an invite to the Making It Faking It party hosted by Ebury Press. Ever since reading Losing It, I have been stalking Cora Carmack on twitter. She is just so AWESOME. It was great to finally meet her, and hear about how she wrote the books. She read one of my favourite passages from Losing It, and also a bit from each perspective of Faking It. And my god, did it make me want to read it!

So yes, Faking It. It is written from two perspectives (Cade’s and Max’s). Cade we already know from Losing It, as Bliss’ best friend. He is the boy next door, the good guy, that one that always misses out. To be honest, from Losing It I kind of thought he was a bit of a wimp, but boy did Faking It change my perspective! As the book starts, Cade is still moping after Bliss. But when Max waltzes into the coffee shop and asks Cade to pretend to be her boyfriend and meet her parents, his life flips completely.

Max is a very closed off character. Its clear from the beginning that she has emotional issues, and usually picks bad boys so that she doesn’t have to open herself up. She chooses Cade to meet her parents to impress them, as she knows they don’t approve of her string of tattooed, highly pierced ‘bad boy’ boyfriends. She is shocked (and a bit jealous) how much her parents love him, but then starts to realise why.

At the beginning Max is quite hard to love because of her defensive nature. But even Cora said that it was easier to write Cade at first. He is familiar, like an old shirt. But Max has her good side too. I love the banter between them, it had me stifling giggles on the train. I retreated further into the book during the sexy scenes too! From the first page I was addicted, and did not want to put it down. 

I didn’t think I could love an NA book more than Losing It, but I actually think I enjoyed Faking It even more. Cora’s writing just makes me smile and it exudes sexiness and funniness. However, Faking It has an added depth that make the characters so much more real and emotional. The dual POV really worked, and I especially loved getting to know Cade more. A definite 5 sofas from me, and I can’t WAIT for Cora’s next book!

Book Review: The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

Published: April 2013 by Penguin

Version: Ebook from Netgalley and Penguin (all reviews my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Don Tillman, 39, a successful but odd genetics prof, designs a questionnaire for his Wife Project: punctual, non-drinker, non-smoker. Rosie, a spontaneous, outspoken barmaid, smokes, curses, and adjusts his clock when he complains about his schedule. Yet an unlikely partnership blooms when Don agrees to help Rosie find her biological father.

I must admit that the writing style does take some getting used to. At first, I dithered about putting the book aside, as it just didn’t seem to flow properly. But then I learnt that this is what makes this book SO special.

Don is a person who likes things done in a particular way. He has a weekly meal menu, and adheres to his schedule completely. In order to find a partner he creates The Wife Project; a questionnaire designed to find the perfect match. Because of Don’s ‘quirkiness’, he is a hard character to like in the beginning.

But then enters Rosie, fun and carefree, who messes up Don’s scheduling. This makes me smile, because I’m sure we have all experienced the frustration of having plans changed or dropped at the last minute. I know personally this infuriates me sometimes. I think this book kind of accepts that some people are different, and like things done in a certain way. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in Rosie’s and Don’s relationship we can see that compromises can be made.

Their blossoming relationship as they learn to work together in life is just adorable, and is the reason why I just could not put this book down. What is even better is that Don is so oblivious to anything (not that it makes him different from many men!) that Rosie does, it creates some real comedy moments that made me smile and laugh in places. 

The Rosie Project is a book that starts off a bit bizarre but turns into a gem that will make you smile. Heartwarming and funny, I didn’t want it to end. Both characters are lovable in their own way, and I was definitely rooting for them by the end. 4 sofas! 

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! 

Book Review: Revenge Wears Prada

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil ReturnsRevenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns

by Lauren Weisberger

Published: 20th June 2013 by Harper Collins

Version: Paperback from publisher (all views are my honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Revenge Wears Prada picks up eight years after Andy parted ways with Miranda on bad terms. Andy is now editing The Plunge, the hottest bridal magazine around, alongside Emily, her one-timeRunway nemesis turned current BFF. While Andy is planning her own wedding to Max, a handsome media scion, she remains haunted by her impeccably heeled former boss — and the magazine world being as small as it is, it’s only a matter of time before she hears the dreaded syllables “Ahn-dre-ah!” again.

Possible spoiler alert for the first novel, but if you haven’t read it or watched the film adaptation then you must be living in a cave.

One of the great things about this novel is that it is so easy to pick up. I’ve never read the first book (Devil Wears Prada), although I have seen the film numerous times. But I managed to leap straight into it, and it made me wonder why the sequel has been such a long time coming.
Andy is such a likeable character; having finally stood up for herself at the end of the first book, she is the girl next door who got lucky. But she learnt that Miranda isn’t this almighty god to be feared. And yet, just hearing her name still sends Andy into a panic eight years later.
As well as the fear of her old boss, Andy has to deal with lots of other things, such as a business to run with her ex-Runway colleague Emily, a fiancee-come-husband who may be hiding a secret, and a mother in law that hates her.

Full of drama and laughter, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the first. Andy, Emily and Miranda are just the same characters that we know and love (or hate). Although it has been so many years since Lauren Weisberg originally wrote Devil Wears Prada, she still has an amazing charm and the story just flows seemlessly. I want to keep reading, and I do.

Having devoured this in a day, the only thing I’m left wondering is why this isn’t a bestselling series already. Witty, romantic and fun, this is a chick fic that stands out from the crowd; something which is insanely hard to do. Lauren’s effortless writing is something which I would love to read more of. Undeniable talent. I know I’m not the only person who will be left yearning for a film adaptation after reading this novel. 4 sofas! 

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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