Book: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker, Simon & Schuster Audio, May 14, 2013
Book Info: Contemporary Romance / NA, Audiobook received for review from Simon & Schuster Audio. Running time: 8 hrs, 58 mins. Read by: Elizabeth Louise. Also available in e-book format from Atria Books.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker is an emotional and addictive story about learning to breathe again when your world falls apart. I’ve read my share of angsty New Adult books so I could anticipate the twists and turns in TTB, but I still listened with rapt attention. I rooted for the physically and emotionally scarred main character to heal and to hopefully get her HEA.
Kacey is reeling from a traumatic car accident that turned her world upside down. All she has left is her sister Livie, and she’ll protect her with her last breath. The two sisters relocate from Grand Rapids to Miami to get out of a dangerous situation and try to make it on their own. Kacie has demons to overcome, and new friends and a handsome stranger are more than willing to help.
This New Adult book tackles the issue of PTSD. Kacey numbs her pain with one-night stands, kickboxing and alcohol. But now she has a chance at a fresh start and to find healthier coping methods. She has her fifteen-year-old sister relying on her so she gets a job to keep a roof over their head.
In the Melrose Place style apartment building, Kacey makes fast friends with Storm and Trent. Storm is the mother of a young daughter, and she gets Kacey a job bartending at the strip club she works at. Storm, aka Nora, is a sweet and supportive friend in Kacey’s corner and helps her to open up. Trent is the hot neighbor Kacey meets in the laundry room and they both have dirty laundry to air so to speak. Trent’s always around right when Kacey needs him, and literally and figuratively breaks down her door.
I liked the theme of healing and forgiveness and remembering to breathe in TTB. Each section of the book is titled with a stage in Kacey’s healing journey. Kacey’s progress is hard earned and realistic- nothing comes easy. The PTSD story is intriguing and handled well.
In Kacey we see a different New Adult character; Kacey’s not in college, but just trying to survive and provide a better life for her sister. Kacey is tough yet vulnerable and is a hard shell to crack. We see her at work, putting food on the table, and blowing off steam at the gym. Kacey’s sister Livie is a ray of sunshine and is working towards college. She also helps out with babysitting Storm’s daughter. It’s nice seeing the new family/friendship bonds that form for the sisters.
The romantic relationship in the story is an important part of Kacey’s journey, but it’s refreshing that the story is not entirely all about that. There are many issues that Kacey face on her own before tackling a relationship, and I like the way Tucker handles that aspect.
Elizabeth Louise reads the audiobook. I was pleasantly surprised to find I recognized this narrator’s voice. It took me a second to figure it out but she also narrates the Thoughtless series under the name Rebekkah Ross. If you’re an S.C. Stephens audiobook fan, you’ll be happy to hear Kellan and Kiera’s narrator again. Louise has an age appropriate sounding voice for New Adult age characters, and she captures the damaged voice of Kacey well. I really like Louise’s voice for the male characters too- they sound very natural. I got through this 12-hour audiobook in no time at all.
Ten Tiny Breaths is engaging with good, well-rounded supporting characters and relationships that take the story to another level. Tucker weaves a good story and I’m eager to read more about Livie in One Tiny Lie.
The author has an audiobook giveaway going on now if you’d like to give the Ten Tiny Breaths audiobook a try.
Click to Subscribe by L.M. Augustine, published May 9, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: Review copy provided by the author
e-Book, 252 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
1,135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them.
As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I <3 Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she’d have on.
To his alarm, West realizes he is falling in love with the best friend who has always been a sister to him.
Click to Subscribe is such a fun comfort read, perfect when you’re looking for something light. What intrigued me about it first of all was that it’s about someone who has a vlog. I think that’s such a unique set up for the story. The vlog helps West when he’s having a tough time in his personal life and also is the catalyst for romance with one of his vlog followers.
This book has a male POV only, which is kind of refreshing when the trend is dual POV. West has a fresh voice and is an interesting character. I couldn’t imagine how someone who’s such a popular vlogger, even though he has a pseudonym (Sam Green), could be anonymous at school. It’s like he lives a double life. West is a nice guy, a little clueless at times, but endearing. And he bakes a mean birthday cake!
West has a best friend named Cat who totally gets him and has his back. She is fun-loving, snarky and awkward in a good way. They can be silly together, fight, laugh, eat ice cream and pizza endlessly and talk about the tough stuff. They call each other out on their bullshit, and converse like only best friends do. But what happens to the friendship when Cat wants to take it to the next level?
Though the tone of the book is overall quick and fluffy, there is some sorrow in West’s life. The vlog is therapeutic for West, who recently lost his mom. West’s family life is problematic; his dad is a mess and not really there for him. The vlog helps keep West busy and is a safe place to get his thoughts out there. West relies so much on Cat’s friendship I can understand his hesitation to add romance to the mix, even though the reader can see they’re perfect for each other.
Augustine inserts some fun into the story with haiku email exchanges, emoticons, and Harry Potter and Star Wars references. And the junk food! West and Cat are a pair of sugar addicts – best to keep some ice cream with rainbow sprinkles handy when you read this one.
This book is a quick read at just over 250 pages, but it doesn’t feel rushed at all. It’s a fun and relatable book about friendships and life. I could feel the chemistry between the characters and enjoyed watching the friendship evolve. Click to Subscribe gave me the warm fuzzies and is an entertaining debut.
About the Author:
L.M. Augustine is a YA romance author who is obsessed with writing about dorky teenagers, love, and happy endings. He currently lives in New England, where he spends far too much time reading books and screaming at his computer, and he believes that the solution to the world’s problems can be found in chocolate cake. Click To Subscribe is his first novel, but it won’t be his last.
Giveaway! Enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win an e-book of your choice and a $10 Amazon gift card.
Read other reviews by following along on the Click to Subscribe blog tour!
In honor of the paperback release of First Comes Love (out today!) I have a review of the book and the sequel Second Chance. First Comes Love came out a year ago with a very different smoldering-looking cover. The cover re-design sells a whole new image that I personally think match the tone of the story very well. Making up for lost time, I read the first two books in the series back to back.
First Comes Love is the story of Dylan and Gray, opposites in every way. Gray is drifting after suffering a loss; he’s depressed and lost focus, even giving up his college baseball scholarship. Dylan is a free spirit who loves to travel and live life to the fullest. She does not want to get tied down and is just into having experiences. Gray gets sucked into the bright light that is Dylan and against the odds the pair fall in love. But are they just too different to go the distance?
This is Katie Kacvinsky’s first contemporary series- she also writes the dystopian Awaken series. I think this is a seamless transition for Kacvinsky and I like that she wrote a New Adult book without even knowing it was a thing. After high school, life is not always easy for everyone with the perfect college and life, and this book addresses the messiness of it all.
I wanted Dylan to save Gray from his funk, and for Gray to help Dylan to settle down, but in this book there’s no easy answers or tidy ending. The way the two see each other kind of reminded me of Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. Gray is drawn to Dylan, but also a little embarrassed of her too. She marches to the beat of her own drummer with ill-fitting mismatched clothes, messy hair and impulsive behavior.
We get inside both Dylan and Gray’s heads with alternating POV. Gray’s character is a little easier to warm up to than Dylan’s MPDG type. Still, I kind of loved that the two got together- they balance each other out. Writing slow-burn romance is Kacvinsky’s forte and that’s my favorite kind to read. There’s emotion and romance along with some light, heart-warming moments.
The summer in Arizona setting is a nice backdrop to the story, and Kacvinsky makes you feel like you are there with Gray and Dylan on their hikes and adventures. They also take a little road trip to Los Angeles and that just sets a vacation like mood.
First Comes Love was written as a standalone, but Kacvinsky decided to extend the book to a trilogy. She self-published book two Second Chance. After reading First Comes Love, I felt satisfied by the ending as is, but was attached to the characters and glad to see Gray and Dylan’s story continue.
In Second Chance, there’s been a little distance between Gray and Dylan. Dylan is traveling around the world and doing her thing, while Gray is trying to go back to normal and reconnect with his college baseball goals. Where do the two fit in each other’s lives?
I like the angst and the opposites attract story- the two have chemistry, but they are such different people. I root for this pair and hope they make it work. In this book, there’s a new setting and new characters and stumbling blocks in the way of the couple’s HEA. Both Gray and Dylan still have some growing up to do and need to figure out what they want and if compromises can be made.
There’s one song Gray mentions listening to in the book (Missed the Boat by Modest Mouse) that kind of sums up the mood:
The laid back pace, setting and romance in this series makes for an ideal summer read to tuck in your beach bag. Dylan and Gray’s love story will leave you eager for the next book. (Write faster, Katie!)
I had the chance to interview Katie Kacvinsky recently about all her books, and you can check it out here and also enter the giveaway for your chance to win First Comes Love and Second Chance. I’m jealous of whoever wins! I borrowed First Comes Love from the library and bought a kindle edition of Second Chance but think I’ll have to pick up the paperbacks for my own library.
Find out more about the series here:
Book: Losing It by Cora Carmack, William Morrow/Harper Collins pb
Book Info: NA Contemporary, own kindle edition & pb, 258 pages
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
Losing It came out last fall as a self-published e-book to rave reviews. I snapped it up immediately, but sometimes e-books get lost on my kindle. Subsequently the book had a paperback relaunch through a partnership with Harper Collins, with a companion book Faking It is on the way. I bought the paperback for an author signing and finally read the book! I admit I did judge the book by its cover and expected a racy read. But what I was surprised about was the amount of humor contained in the novel.
Losing It is just the kind of New Adult novel I prefer – it takes place in college when our heroine is figuring her next steps before graduation. Losing It reads more steamy and mature than YA, but is not as explicit as the title/cover suggest. I loved all the silly moments in the book; there are some LOL scenes on a par with Friends or Bridget Jones Diary. There’s friendship, awkwardness, a British guy, Texas, Shakespeare, and cat humor. If you’ve been holding back on reading this one, you really have to check it out.
In Losing It, college senior Bliss Edwards is still a virgin and just wants to bite the bullet and lose it with a one-night stand. With her friend Kelsey’s encouragement they head out to a bar with that goal in mind. Things don’t go exactly as planned though with the handsome Shakespeare-reading British guy from the bar, and hilarity ensues. Plus, there’s a Grey’s Anatomy worthy surprise the morning after in theater class.
I was going to have sex.
With a boy.
A hot boy.
A hot British boy.
Or maybe I was going to throw up.
What if I threw up on the hot British boy?
What if I threw up on the hot British boy during sex?”
page 21 paperback, Losing It
The book is fresh, witty and spicy, with a forbidden romance aspect. Once I finally picked it up I couldn’t put it down, and I stayed up late reading. There is some will they/won’t they mystery that keeps you turning pages. Plus, there is another guy in Bliss’s life (Cade) that wants to take their friendship to the next level. But beyond the boy drama, there is real drama in the form of Bliss’s acting and directing goals – what will she do after graduation? Bliss is very relatable and her awkwardness is endearing- I would totally want to be friends with her.
The paperback of Losing It includes the first two chapters of the companion book Faking It, due out June 4. Faking It centers on one of the secondary characters in Losing It, but Bliss also makes an appearance or two. And there will be one more companion book out later this fall called Finding It. Cora Carmack has a fresh voice in New Adult and I love her sense of humor. Can’t wait to read more from her!
Book: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Simon & Schuster Audio, April 2, 2013
Book Info: New Adult / Contemporary Romance. Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster Audio. Running time: 11 hrs, 26 mins. Read by: Dan Bittner
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
How much is too much to love?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.
In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. Just when he thought he was invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.
Every story has two sides. In Jamie McGuire’s New York Times best seller Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.
Beautiful Disaster has kind of a love it or hate it reputation, but it is strangely addictive. Though I found Abby and Travis’s relationship (more than) a little crazy and unhealthy, there was still no doubt that I would read the companion book Walking Disaster. It is just too enticing to get Travis’ POV of the events. Walking Disaster gives new insight into events through Travis’ eyes with bonus scenes and an epilogue. I liked seeing how Travis’ mind works and I think I even preferred his POV to Abby’s. Some of the scenes felt like a retread of Beautiful Disaster, but the additional scenes with Travis and his family made up for it. The story felt fresh through new eyes, and made me interested in reading more about the Maddox brothers.
I re-read (listened) to Beautiful Disaster (review here) as a refresher before diving into this book. Not sure if it was necessary, but I wanted Abby’s POV fresh in my mind. Walking Disaster starts off with a prologue that lets us into Travis’ past before picking up with the current day events. The book answers all the burning questions about what’s going on in Travis’ head when he’s apart from Abby, and as he tries to figure her out when they’re together.
“The way I feel about you . . . it’s crazy.”
“You got the crazy part right,” she snapped, pulling away from me.
In Beautiful Disaster Travis gives off quite an unstable vibe so I was wondering if my opinion of him would change in this book. Walking Disaster does make Travis more relatable and sympathetic. There are still things that drove me crazy about both of them, but it was easier to read the events through Travis’ POV.
The pacing in Walking Disaster worked better for me overall. In Beautiful Disaster my attention started to wane after the Vegas trip, but in this book the readability was more consistent. Yes, some of the scenes with Abby were repetitive but the scenes with Travis and his family and Shepley shined.
I listened to the audiobook of Walking Disaster, read by Dan Bittner. Beautiful Disaster had a female narrator (Emma Galvin) and she did an outstanding job, but of course it wouldn’t make sense to have a female narrator for a book with a male POV. Dan Bittner does a great job with the narration, and his strength is with the male character’s voices. It took me some time to warm up to his voice for Travis, but I do think he captured his essence overall. He reads with confidence and swagger and with Travis’s no apologies manner. I would listen to more books narrated by Bittner- he has a pleasant voice to listen to.
If you liked Beautiful Disaster, I think you’ll appreciate Walking Disaster. It answers some questions about Travis and provides some closure from the first book. It’s like Beautiful Disaster with bonus features. I wouldn’t mind reading more books about the Maddox family, or reading something totally new from Jamie McGuire.
One thing I appreciate about some of the New Adult books I’ve read is that they address touchy subject matters. In Picture Perfect, Alessandra Thomas’s debut, that topic is weight. The main character in Picture Perfect is a model that gains 60 pounds after an accident. Cat is now a size 12-14 instead of her former size 2. She is the size of the average American woman, but compared to her skinny friends she doesn’t feel average at all. We get to see life through the eyes of a formerly thin person and how friends and acquaintances old and new treat her. Picture Perfect is a refreshing and relevant read for anyone concerned with weight, diet and exercise- namely everyone.
Cat was a runway model and is used to clothes fitting her perfectly. She’s finding it hard to embrace her new curves to say the least. At a low point she seeks guidance from the school psychologist who recommends nude modeling as a way to get comfortable in her new skin and gain confidence. Intimidating, right? And, a guy in the drawing class asks her out afterwards. Seems a little creepy, but it turns out they have a history and went to summer camp as kids together. Nate is gorgeous and encouraging and seems too good to be true basically. He lifts her up and makes her feel beautiful, but is he just a Band-Aid for Cat’s self-esteem issues?
Cat’s body issues ring true and I’m sure will strike a chord with anyone who has ever struggled with weight. From clothes not fitting right, to feeling inadequate next to thinner friends, to wanting to hide your body- Cat’s weight takes a toll on her everyday life. I like that the book busts stereotypes and addresses self-confidence issues, what’s normal and healthy, and female empowerment. It’s also interesting to see Cat’s view of things from someone who has always been skinny.
I found Cat’s personal growth and development more interesting than the romantic side of the story. Maybe I was waiting for the other shoe to drop with Nate. He just seemed hard to believe, and I can’t pinpoint why. The two have some chemistry and steamy scenes though, and their relationship is an important part of Cat’s journey. I did like how Nate introduced rock climbing to Cat and ways to make exercise fun and enjoyable. I wish Cat continued to model for the nude drawing class but maybe that would have been a little odd with the guy in her life in the class.
Picture Perfect has personality and a strong, authentic voice. I enjoyed reading this one and it kept my interest. The message is a good one, no matter if your insecurity is weight related or not. Looking forward to reading more from this author, and more about this subject matter.
About the Author:
Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she’s not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and
girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.
Giveaway! Enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a signed paperback or ebook of Picture Perfect!
Thanks to InkSlinger PR for hosting the blog tour and providing a review copy of Picture Perfect.
Check out more release day reviews of Picture Perfect by visiting these fab blogs:
Stuck in YA Books
Bookmarks, Spoilers, and Happily Ever Afters
The Reading Date
My Book Muse
Brittany Blabs Books
For the Love of Film and Novels
Random Girl Book Blog
Book Addicted AA
Waves of Fiction
BookNerds Across America
Snuggling on the Sofa
Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands
The Book Pixie