BOOK REVIEW: The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis

 
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Edition: Paperback (Pre-order here)
Special thanks to the kindness and generosity of the author. 
She sent me a copy of her book without expecting anything in return.

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her.
That might have been okay if he'd spoken to her even once since her father died. 
Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn't mean returning to New Harbor. 
Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she's lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever. 
People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn't sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find --- and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most? 
Marci Lyn Curtis, the critically acclaimed author of The One Thing, has crafted an honest and emotional story that will resonate with the wide range of readers impacted by sexual assault. 
Sexual assault does not define this story, however, just as it does not define Grace. Wry humor and true love emerge as Grace, like many in the #MeToo era, seeks to find her truth, face her truth, and speak her truth.


So here’s the scenario. It was three in the morning and I was reading the acknowledgments, two pages short of closing the book after an all-nighter. There was nothing but me, the luminous spotlight from the lamp, and the book that I wanted to hold like a newborn child. Rewinding to a few minutes from the current scenario— I was bawling my eyes out! It was the kind of ugly cry that's forbidden to witness at broad daylight. The Leading Edge of Now tugged at my heartstrings that no other novel had the sovereignty in a long time.

Be warned, The Leading Edge of Now has a metaphorical cannon that shoots at rapid speed. But instead of explosives, it hurls balls of emotions. You won’t have the luxury to dodge because this book will make you feel. Those series of events alluded a few profanities out of me in the state of shock. I was tripping over plot twists and yet I wanted more, more, more.

Although this novel dealt with such a sensitive topic, the story flowed almost whimsical. It is unquestionably from Curtis’ scintillating way of writing. The story itself was substantially heavy, but it was not dreary. No, The Leading Edge of Now had a spring and it hurls you back to end up standing straighter than you did before.

In a world where sexual assault can be swept under the carpet, a protagonist like Grace is an impeccable representation of a strong, independent young woman. Grace showed incandescence even with a past of undiscovered darkness. Characters like her send the message to readers that “the tragedy of your past does not define you.” Self-love and self-respect are as important as falling in love. In a coming-of-age story, those are objectives that I don’t get to read enough. Kudos to the author for having all these elements in a single binding. 

From now on, I will be recommending this novel to be added to your TBR. When I read Marci Lyn Curtis’ debut novel a few years ago, I knew she was going to be an auto-read author. Not only can she write well, but it is accompanied by a heart of gold. I’ll be counting down the days until publication date so I can have an excuse to talk about The Leading Edge of now more!

A special bookish dessert post will accompany this review as seen in the photo above. Find out more about it on Instagram. 


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BOOK REVIEW: This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell

Author: Jill Mansell
Genre: Women's fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 5th, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Edition: Kindle (BUY IT HERE)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Via Goodreads: If only Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that went viral...
On the one hand, if Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that only her best friend was meant to see - then she'd still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding...
On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn't accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn't have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas... And she wouldn't have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn't fall in love with... 

Well that was a complete surprise. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, but it was definitely not getting succumbed this much into the story. I don’t think I can even fully comprehend everything. So I’ll try and keep this short.

At first I felt lost because there were so many characters to keep in mind and it was written in third-person POV. I’m not a huge fan of books with this perspective, but somehow it worked for this novel.

Now I feel like there’s one big message this book was portraying—faith. This book is the perfect example of “everything happens for a reason” approach whether it be good or bad. And that’s a big factor of why I loved this book. I am a strong believer of that outlook in life. I think it's a positive outlook that everyone should be following.  The message of the story wasn’t delivered in a cheesy, corny way. It’s something that you will figure out yourself whilst reading it.

Another thing I loved is how the lives of the character unfolded in the novel. Everything is connected to everyone and it's just one big circle of life. I loved Essie and Zillah and Conor and Lucas and all the in-betweens. There's was curve ball after after curve ball and I can't help but root for these characters.

It was a surprisingly heart-warming story that I think everyone should read. This was my first from the author and definitely won't be the last one!
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BOOK REVIEW: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Title: Hot Asset
Series: Book 1 of 21 Wall Street
Author: Lauren Layne
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Edition: Kindle (Buy it here)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Via Goodreads: Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

I need the second book NOW! Although my time with the novel was cut short, due to reading it in one sitting, it was a memorable one. I Can’t believe I haven’t read a Lauren Layne book before! It’s easily addicting. Thank God this isn’t the end for the Wolves of Wall Street! I need more of the powerful men in suits!

Hot Asset was different from the typical NA romance I venture with. Can I just say that it was educating for me? I loved reading about the business and possible insider trading. So basically this book had more depth than just plain smut. 

The characters were very fun to read and Ian Bradley is a no-brainer book boyfriend. He was hiding behind the facade of being a Wall Street hot shot, but deep inside, he's still just a guy with issues, just like every one else. Lara was a badass. A career with the SEC and a dream to be a part of the FBI, she was screaming feminist in every angle. She had a heart of gold but tough as nails personality. The secondary characters were also great, and I hope to read more of them in the following books in the series. The romance was nothing original, it had the typical flow of a contemporary novel, but that didn't hinder how much I liked this book.

Hot Asset was a laugh-out-loud, can't get enough kind of novel. You'll crave more of the witty banters and the growing tension! A must-read for lovers of NA romance!


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BOOK REVIEW: The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst


Title: The Start of Something Good (Book 1 in the Stay series)
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Edition: Kindle (PRE-ORDER IT HERE)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing an advance copy
in exchange for an honest review.

When Ethan Bishop returns to the Hudson Valley, his body and spirit are a little worse for wear. As a former Special Forces paratrooper, he saw his fair share of conflict, and he came home with wounds, inside and out. At his sisters’ B & B and farm, he can keep all his pain at a safe distance. But quiet time isn’t easy when a fiery woman explodes into his life…
It’s business—not pleasure—that brings Manhattan PR agent Mia Thrush reluctantly to the farm. Tightly wound and quick tempered, Mia clashes immediately with the brooding Ethan. Everything about him is irritating—from his lean muscles and piercing blue eyes to his scent of sweat and musk.
But as the summer unfolds and temperatures rise, Ethan and Mia discover how much they have in common: their guarded histories, an uncontrollable desire, and a passion for the future that could heal two broken hearts. But will their pasts threaten their fragile chance at a brand-new future?
"Your heart can only take so much pain before you feel a need to protect yourself."
"Celebrate every small victory in life. You never know when they'd come around again"

This book turned out better than I expected! It made me laugh and it melted my heart into a useless puddle of goo. I was up for an easy read but boy, was I wrong! I loved every minute of reading this book!!

Now, dialing down the exclamations, The Start of Something Good was such a roller coaster of emotions quite literally for me. At first I was a bit hesitant about it, then I started enjoy it, I was laughing from pure joy, then it drops down and I panicked, next thing I know the ride was over and I was happy because of it.

There were so many things that I loved about this book but one of my favorites is the the banter between Ethan Bishop and Mia Thrush. The level of sass and tension was just enough to keep me on my toes. Ethan is definitely going up into my book boyfriend rank. He's a bit cocky but was also a big sweetheart. 

Even the supporting characters were so much fun to read about. The daddy-daughter duo of Chloe and Jonathan. Their misunderstandings and reconciliations were one of the highlights of the book. Ethan's sisters-- Harper and Ophelia. I thought of them as magical fairies just because they brought a sense of whimsicality in the story. And the town folks were quite enjoyable to read as well!

Another thing is the Disney references in this book! There was a ton, and one fact about me is that I am a huge Disney geek, so my soft ass Disney heart was full of joy. Even the animals in this book was full of character. I've never read about chickens and horses with such personalities! Of course, my favorite would be Hei Hei the crazy chicken, just like from Moana. Little details like that just makes a book more personal and in-depth. 

The easy flowing writing style was perfect for the rush of the story. This was my first book by Jennifer Probst but I have heard of her books before. The only thing I regret is not picking up one sooner! And I am so glad I had the opportunity to read of one her novels in advance. This book was the perfect way to get introduced to her writing. I will definitely be adding her to my auto-read authors. And I’m really excited for the next book in this series! I have a good feeling it will be another laugh-out-loud, heart-melting story.

I highly recommend you pick up this book when it comes out. If you're anything like me, a sucker for a good funny yet emotional novel, this will be a thoroughly enjoyable one.

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BOOK REVIEW: All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: .YA Contemporary
Publication Date: May 29th 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Edition: Kindle (Buy it here)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy 
in exchange for an honest review.

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.
Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.
Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

"Catherine, every time I;m close to you, I'm aware of every breath you take. When we're not, everything reminds me of you. I know because nothing else matters."

Okay, Jamie McGuire was one of the first contemporary romance authors I fell in love with when I read her novel Beautiful Disaster. So when an opportunity to read an advance copy of her latest novel is upon me, I pounced. Surprisingly enough, this book turned out to be two things. It went from utterly boring to extremely disturbing. Now, even though Jamie McGuire is one of my favorites, I will not sugarcoat this review just because I love her writing.

While I was reading it, there was a really big chance of me plummeting down to yet another dreadful reading slump. And really, who loves reading slumps? No one.
I was in the verge of putting this book down. I couldn't get through that fifty percent mark fast enough. But through those awful days, I thought to myself, will this book be worth it? And boy, was I glad to have finished it. 

Writing this review, I still have very mixed feelings about it. The main character, Catherine Calhoun, was so dry. She lacked personality which made it difficult for me to love her. She quoted herself as plain and ordinary and I agree. There was nothing exciting about reading her story from the beginning because I found her dull. 

On the other hand, Elliott Youngblood, I can categorize as an ‘okay’ character. He was a really romantic guy  but I didn’t really feel any connection to him or to their relationship. He had a steady burn and I admired his loyalty and faith throughout the story. But overall, I think Catherine and Elliott as a couple was just meh.

Since I found the characters underdeveloped, I clung onto the possibility that the plot was good. The build up was definitely slow. For me, I didn't get interesting enough for at least a thirdof the way to finishing it. So really, what made me power through it? Besides the fact that I hate leaving books in the ‘DNF’ category, I had a feeling that this book was hiding some kind of surprise. And in those few days that I struggled with the story, it backfired really bad.

I knew Jamie Mcguire wouldn’t let me down. The plot twist was a big WTF. I had to admit, this book gave me the creeps and I had to put on a rom-com to help me stop thinking about it. That was how disturbing I found it. In a good way. And it was so worth reading. The book just came alive and everything just clicked. Suddenly, everything made sense and then it was over and I was craving more. 

So my final verdict is, this book is definitely worth reading if you can get past a slow build up. 


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