If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Review of Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

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Title: 
Love, Life, and the List
Author: Kasie West 

Publication Date: December 26, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Everyone knows Abby Turner is in love with her best friend, Cooper Wells. Including Cooper Wells. But despite what people tell her, it doesn’t affect their friendship. And she’s practically over it, anyway. What she really can’t get over is when her boss at the local museum tells her that her paintings lack heart. 

Art is Abby’s passion and she hopes her future as well. She is determined to change his mind and earn her way into the upcoming exhibit at the gallery. So along with her family’s help, she compiles “The Heart List,” a series of soulstretching experiences that are sure to make her a deeper person and better artist in six weeks or less. When Cooper decides to complete the list along with her, she realizes this list is expanding her heart in more ways than one. Maybe she needs to start another project.

Love, Life, and the List is about a girl who, in an effort to bring more emotional depth to her art, compiles a list of soul-stretching experiences to complete with her best friend—a boy she also happens to be in love with. 

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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You guys, Kasie West has done it again. I think Love, Life, and the List might be one of my top three favorites out of all her bajillion books. This book is such a quick, funny, and sweet read. I laughed, swooned, and smiled so much while reading it, that now my cheeks hurt, hahaha. 

I adored the main character Abby. She does not come off angsty. Instead she is sarcastic as hell (AHHH…WHICH I LOVED), she’s persistent regarding her future and perfecting her craft, and most of all, I liked that she creates lists to help her reach her goals. She is basically Rory Gilmore without all the drama and making stupid choices. 

One of my favorite aspects of this novel that I would like to highlight is Abby’s family. Her mom has a hard time being in public or around people and her grandpa is the sarcasm king. And even though her dad is deployed, Abby’s family is really close knit and they are always communicating. YES, I love that they are always talking and never leaving someone out of the loop, even when it comes to Abby’s love life or lack thereof. 

Overall, Love, Life, and the List is one of those cute and swoony books that I can see myself rereading when I am in a reading slump. Banter and witty sarcasm always make me smile, and the repartee that occurs in this book is worth the deepest belly laughs. If you love a main character filled with passion and a good heart, and a cute boy best friend that never fails to make you smile, definitely treat yo shelf and self to this book. 

4 star rating

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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Book Review: Lucky In Love by Kasie West

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Title:
Lucky in Love
Author: Kasie West
Publication date: July 25, 2017
Publisher:  Scholastic
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


Lucky in Love

You guys, I’m so upset that this book did not work for me. Kasie West’s books are always a hit or a miss for me, and Lucky In Love turned out to be my least favorite book of hers. I hate admitting that, but the story did not work for me. I could not connect with Maddie, the main character, at all. Her voice was too “internal” and self-involved for me and I got so irritated with all her irresponsible choices when it came to her lottery winnings. In the end, I could not deal with how naive she was. 

I did, however, really liked the friendship that develops between Maddie and her co-worker Seth. I loved how nerdy, awkward, and cute they act in each other’s presence. Their adorable interactions always lifted my spirits during my reading of Lucky In Love, which made the book tolerable for me.

Another rave for me is the ADORABLE cover. I love how vibrant, cute, and swoony it is. Even if the story did not win me over, this cover definitely did. I wish I could have loved this book, but in the end, Lucky In Love was not a winner for me. But I really do hope it works for other contemporary readers–maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood to read it at the time.

1 star rating

My Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I received this physical ARC copy through a blogger exchange. I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Treat Yo Shelf & Giveaway: April 2017 Recap

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April 2017: Monthly Recap

Welcome to my monthly recap post, in which I fangirl over the books I read in the last month, bookish items I acquired, book events I attended, bookish news, and/or subscription boxes I received in the month of April.

what did I read

what did i review

(Click on the banner to be linked to blog post)

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publishers and authors

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monthly raves

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April’s Uppercase Box

 

April’s Stars Hollow Monthly Box

April’s Owlcrate Box

 

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April’s Whimsify Monthly Box

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April’s #OTSPSecretSister Package

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Purchases from Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, Kentucky (Meet & Greet w/ authors and signings)

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Independent Bookstore Day purchases and goodies

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I am currently hosting a giveaway on my Instagram account. In order to enter, click on the picture below, which will redirect you to the Instagram giveaway and rules. Good luck!

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How did you treat your shelves in April? What books did you read and would highly recommend?

Raves & A Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

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Title: By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Publication date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?


My Top 5 Raves of By Your Side

1.If you’re already a Kasie West fan, you are going to love By Your Side. It’s fast-paced, swoony, funny, and you will definitely fall in love with the two main characters, Autumn and Dax.

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2. Some of you may already know this about me, especially if you follow me on Twitter, but my brother is my best friend. And in By Your Side, Autumn is also very close to her brother, Owen. Their dialogue is witty and hilarious. I adored when these two were together in a chapter. One of my rants about this book is that there was not enough scenes between these two. GIVE ME MORE AWESOME SISTER-AND-BROTHER SCENES, PLEASE!

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3. Kasie’s books always gives me John Hughes’ movie FEELS, and of course I went into this book hoping for inspired The Breakfast Club library scenes. Now, the library dancing and sprinkling of PixieStix on a sandwich didn’t happen, but I think Autumn and Dax handled being locked in a library for a weekend really well. Being locked in a library is definitely a way to challenge yourself, but in this story, it was also a good start to a new friendship. And although Autumn already has some preconceived notions about Dax having a “bad boy” reputation, she finds out that Dax is very resourceful, honest, and trustworthy.

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4. Autumn is a realistic protagonist worth rooting for. She has her flaws, but don’t we all. One of my favorite things about Autumn is that she is not as angsty as many cliché female leads are portrayed in contemporary books. I found Autumn to be strong-willed, caring, and overconscientious. 

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5. Last, I really enjoyed that By Your Side focuses on a multitude of situations: family, friendships, teenage love, foster children, and anxiety. Kasie West doesn’t shy her characters away from making mistakes or misconstruing situations. Instead, the characters use their cleverness, humor, and courage to conquer the world. Give me a Kasie West book any day, and I will always walk away with fluff in my heart and laughter in my soul.

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4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

RELEASE DATE: January 31, 2017

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository

Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

15283043Title: The Distance Between Us
By: Kasie West
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 312 (Paperback)
Format: Kindle 
Source: Purchased

About On the Fence:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


My Rants and Raves of The Distance Between Us

Reading The Distance Between Us was like watching a John Hughes’ film. I must say I enjoyed the story and the gradual relationship that grew between the two main characters, Caymen and Xander. I mean, there’s even a Blaine in the story, so this book has to be Pretty in Pink – John Hughes inspired!!!

My number one love for this book was the dialogue. I thought the dialogue between Caymen and Xander was witty and funny. With each chapter I looked forward to the quick, sarcastic banter that Caymen brought in Xander’s direction. I thought a few of the scenes were over-dramatic, but overall I did like how quirky both characters were and how well they connected. More importantly, I enjoyed how they dared each other out of their own comfort zones. 

Additionally, I really liked that this book was focused on self-acceptance, instead of it being another contemporary read about a poor girl that falls in love with rich boy and vice versa. Even though I did not enjoy some of the angsty scenes, I enjoyed West’s writing, and I appreciated that The Distance Between Us encompassed a very heartfelt and slow-building story littered with love, jealousy, secrets, friendship, family, humor, and trust. If you love 80s’ films, especially if you’re a John Hughes fanatic, give this book a try. 

3 star rating

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Note:   I bought this book with my own funds. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review; I reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Title: On the Fence
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By: Kasie West
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 296 (Paperback)
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

About On the Fence:

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


My Rants and Raves of On the Fence

I read On the Fence for July’s book club pick. In all honesty, I did not enjoy reading this book; maybe I wasn’t in the mood for a contemporary (but I really thought I was at the time), but this book is my least favorite of Kasie West’s. 

One of the main reasons that I did not enjoy this book was due to the main character, Charlie. I tried to give Charlie a chance, but I found her SO ANNOYING! I realize her mother past away when she was younger, so she was raised by her father and three brothers, so she is characterized as a complete tomboy. But her love for baseball, or any sport, did not shy me away from the story; instead it was her attitude problem that had me wanting to throw the book across the room. Throughout the novel, Charlie is constantly fighting off people who are trying to help her. I could not connect to Charlie or her story, because she was constantly being stubborn and frustrating. UGH, just thinking about her actions, still gets me fired up. 

I almost gave up on this book, but in the end it was a very quick read. I did enjoy the dynamics and the unique relationships between Charlie and her brothers. They were fun, humorous, and protective. And I also liked her friend/neighbor, Braden. Braden is definitely a good guy that cares deeply about Charlie; their encounters and fence talking were honest and adorable. 

Overall, this is a classic girl crushing on the “boy next door” story; it is a quick read, but be prepared for a main character that is stubborn as hell. 

1 star rating

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Note:   I bought this book with my own funds. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review; I reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

W…W…W…Wednesday:07/13/2016

W…W…W…Wednesday

W…W…W…Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words and includes Three Ws:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I loved David Arnold’s Mosquitoland so much, so I don’t know if KOA is going to top it, but right now it’s definitely climbing its way up my favorites list.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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This book doesn’t come out until October, but I’m going to tell you right now, you will want this Contemporary novel in your life this Fall. IT’S SO GOOD AND OUTRIGHT HILARIOUS!

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Traitor Angels has been sitting on my shelf for a few months, so hopefully I pick it up next.

What does your own W…W…W…Wednesday look like?