Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review: Unteachable by Leah Raeder @LeahRaeder

Title: Unteachable

Author: Leah Raeder

Publication date: March 24th, 2014

ISBN: 9781476786414

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Maise O'Malley just turned eighteen, but she's felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future.

But life has a way of throwing her plans into free-fall.

When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can't get Evan out of her head. He's taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside.

That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.

Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they're real and genuine; apart, they're just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.

Smart, sexy, and provacative, Unteachable is about what happens when a love story goes off-script.

I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

With Leah Raeder's second book, Black Iris, come out soon I decided that it was a little unfair of me to desire it when I had not even read the first book she wrote. Out of that guilt came the determination to try my hand at her writing before I started coveting her second piece of work. When I learned that this book was also about a relationship between a professor and his student, I was even more intrigued. I was worried that the controversial subject matter would hurt the overall story, but my curiosity was piqued none-the-less.

Maise sees herself as a lost cause. Her mother is a drug addict and her life is nothing special. She has no ambitions and no real friends. She merely exists from one day to the next. That all seems to change when she visits the local fair one night and comes face-to-face with a handsome older man who seems to spark something inside her that she never knew existed. She leaves him after there one-night stand thinking she would never see him again. Little did she know that she would see him sooner than she realized. It seems that Maise had just had sex with her new film class teacher.

Evan tries to resist Maise. He tries to keep her at arms length but something happened to him the same night that they met. He felt something for Maise that he had never expected to feel. Now the two of them must confront their feelings for each other and navigate a relationship in secret for fear of the consequences if they are found out. Unfortunately, secrets are never secrets for long and rumors are starting to circulate. Now Evan and Maise face a new problem: give up on each other or risk it all.

There are those books that you read and you think you can predict how the story will play out. After being a reader for so long, I tend to come to a conclusion of how the story will go in the very first chapters. I did the same with Unteachable. It's not a great thing to do when you are trying to approach a book with no expectations, but it's sometimes instinctual. The difference with this book and my expectations are night and day. Raeder is not afraid to push the envelope and touch on things that would make any close-minded person squirm. The characters were just so poetically perfect to me. Maise made me ache for the tough hand she was dealt. Evan was that storybook prince whose armor is a little tarnished but still will do anything to save the princess.

I loved that Raeder was not afraid to cross that line from fluff piece romance to bold literature. This book. This masterpiece is one of the best books I have read in years.

Be bold, followers of mine, and give Unteachable a read. You won't be disappointed. Besides, who doesn't find a romance between a student in a hot professor a bit enticing?

Available at:
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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review: This is Falling by Ginger Scott @TheGingerScott

Title: This is Falling

Author: Ginger Scott

Series: Falling #1

Publication date: August 29th, 2014

ISBN: 9781310983993

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
First, I had to remember how to breathe. Then, I had to learn how to survive. Two years, three months and sixteen days had passed since I was the Rowe Stanton from before, since tragedy stole my youth and my heart went along with it.

When I left for college, I put a thousand miles between my future and my past. I'd made a choice--I was going to cross back to the other side, to live with the living. I just didn't know how.

And then I met Nate Preeter.

An All-American baseball player, Nate wasn't supposed to notice a ghost-of-a-girl like me. But he did. He shouldn't want to know my name. But he did. And when he learned my secret and saw the scars it left behind, he was supposed to run. But he didn't.

My heart was dead, and I was never supposed to belong to anyone. But Nate Preeter had me feeling, and he made me want to be his. He showed me everything I was missing.

And then he showed me how to fall.

I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ginger Scott is one of those authors that you hear a lot about and see their books plastered all over the interwebs. I had heard glowing reviews of her books and even her as a person from fellow bloggers and readers alike. When looking through my reading list I was astonished to learn that I had not yet read any of her books. Being as I had a few for review, I decided to rectify this snafu and get down to reading some of her books. This is Falling, being the first in the series was, of course, the first up to bat.

Rowe is an introvert finally stepping out of her comfort zone. After a traumatic incident she has kept herself at home with her family, unable to move on. But when her parents started begging her to choose a college she chose one as far away from her home as she could get. She thought her parents would quickly veto the choice but instead they were more on-board than she imagined. And so, Rowe found herself completely ill at ease in a strange environment which held a number of triggers for her anxiety. The only person who seems able to calm her is the catcher for her college's baseball team, Nate. With him she feels like she can finally breathe and that the world is not as scary as she thought it was.

Nate was destroyed in a previous relationship and had decided to keep things casual for a while. That was until he met Rowe and started to feel that the long line of one night stands wasn't all it was cracked up to be. But Rowe is damaged and Nate must navigate the minefield that is her fear to find some way to make a relationship work when all Rowe wants to do is run.

I am not a baseball fan by any means but I find myself thinking in baseball analogies when it comes to this book. I have read a lot of new adult books recently with the troubled heroine overcoming her issues with the help of a good man. I thought this would be just another rendition of the same ole thing. I expected a swing and a miss.

But surprisingly it was a three-base hit instead. I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and the characters. I found myself sympathizing with Rowe and rooting for Nate to have patience with her. It was nice to take a break from the chronic bad boys that seem to plague the new adult genre and meet a good natured man with a heart of gold.

This is Falling has all the brightness of a packed stadium and has definitely made me a fan (but not of pitchers. I'm a catcher type of woman now).

Available at:
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review: Third Degree by Julie Cross

Title: Third Degree

Author: Julie Cross

Publication date: March 25th, 2014

ISBN: n/a

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Fans of Monica Murphy and Tammara Webber will savor this novel about coming of age in the heat of the moment from Julie Cross, the internationally bestselling author of the Tempest trilogy.

I used to be "Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy." As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I'm not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life--the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency program--and it turned out my parents can't stand each other. Now I'm trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life, shutting the books and majoring in being eighteen.

But so far, my roommate hates me and I'm not into the party scene. The only good thing about school has been getting to know my insanely hot RA. Marshall Collins makes me wonder about everything I missed while I was growing up too fast. Pretty soon we're hanging out constantly, but for the first time, I find myself wanting more than a no-strings-attached physical relationship. And the lesson I really need is one Marsh definitely can't teach me: love. Because I'm going to be alone forever if I don't learn fast.

I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One evening, I found myself in a sour place with a series I was reading (not for review, simply for pleasure). I was tired of the cliffhangers. I was tired of wondering how my characters faired and having to only get little snippets of their lives after I finished their installment to find out more about them. I was in need of a book that gave me all I needed in one single book. I needed a stand-alone. When scouring my options among my review books, this one jumped out at me. Hmm. Author I had not heard good or bad things about to which I could go into the reading experience completely blind with absolutely no expectations. Perfect. I dove in.

The story starts with our protagonist, a teenage doctor very reminiscent of Doogie Howser but more experienced with the opposite sex. Isabel is the best at what she does. She can diagnose a problem in a patient faster than anyone else and is almost never wrong. The problem is she has a hard time relating to her patients. Her bedside manner is appalling and she has just learned that she failed her emotional readiness exam that would place her in her dream position at Johns Hopkins. Left with no other choice but to wait to take the exam again, she enrolls in a university determined to go through some of the normal teenager milestones her employers believe she is lacking. It is there that she meets Marshall.

Marshall has his own issues but for some reason he can understand Isabel better than anyone else around her. He takes her under his wing and starts to show her the ropes. He guides her on how to handle social situations that cause her such distress. Along the way, as Marshall moves from helpful RA to something more, Isabel starts to consider him more than a friend and more than a possible one night stand. Marshall pushes past her defenses and causes her to feel things she had never felt before. But could her sudden emotional awakening become more of a hindrance than a help?

Isabel was hard to like, but I think she was meant to be that way. It is later revealed why she is the way she is, but until that moment I wanted to smack her one a few times. Marshall, to me, had the patiences of a saint. He more than made up for Isabel's abrasive characteristics. As much as I liked the characters and found the revelation at the end interesting, I had a hard time really deciding whether I was for this book or against it. The background (Isabel being a genius doctor but socially inept) was a little hard to swallow. I like stories that I can actually place myself in the role of the female protagonist and feel connections to the other characters. This one... I just couldn't. It left me a little lacking in my reading experience.

That by no means makes the story not worth reading. I do believe that the heart and soul was there within the pages, the bones of the story were just a little brittle.

Third Degree is story of how one can be the epitome of academia but still be naive to the world around them. Even geniuses don't always have all the answers... especially where love is concerned.

Available at:
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