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Archive for the tag “gritty”

Book Review: If You Stay

Review of If You Stay by Courtney Cole

ifyoustayStarted: 9/30/13; finished: 9/30/13

Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars

my rating: OMG

pages: 220 (ebook)

found: my kindle library

I have to admit I first started this book a long time ago. I read the preview over at Amazon but wasn’t sure if I should by it. It has a lot of graphic sex scenes and language which usually isn’t my thing. But it went on sale back in April so I picked it up, rereading what I’d already seen in the preview. But then I just stopped. Not just this book but all books. I just didn’t feel like reading any more.

Well, last week I got back into it. When I finished the few library books I had out (with the library not opening for 2 days) I pulled up my Kindle app and looked at what I had. If You Stay beckoned me even with all the explicit sex.

And by golly, I fell in love with it. Amazingly the sex scenes didn’t bother me like they usually do. And make no mistake this book is NOT young adult. This is in the “new adult” category. The characters are in their early 20s.

If You Stay is the story of Pax Tate who ODs on a combo of coke, pills and Jack Daniels. He’s saved by Mila Mills who happens to be taking pictures on the beach that night. A few days later Pax is recovering in the hospital when goody-two-shoes Mila shows up to make sure he’s okay. There’s something about Mila that draws Pax in, unlike any girl before her.

Soon they form a tentative friendship over their experience but the attraction between them is undeniable. Mila’s sister, Maddie, is dead against the relationship but for once Mila doesn’t care. She’s falling hard for the bad boy that’s obviously broken. He needs help and she’s going to give it to him. Pax starts to realize that maybe is good enough for someone to love him until secrets from his past come to light and threaten to ruin everything he’s built with Mila.

This book is at once sweet romance and gritty, realism of the low times in life. The characters are realistic and flawed (especially Pax) but you can’t help but believe in them. In the end they are all changed by the events of the book… And maybe they will get their happy ending after all.

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Book Review: Dare You To

Review of Dare You To by Katie McGarry

dareyoutoStarted: 9/26/13; finished: 9/26/13

Goodreads rating: 5/5 stars

my rating: GAH!

Pages: 456 (hardcover)

found: library

OMG, I love Katie McGarry so much. I about died reading Pushing the Limits. It left me incoherent and speechless for hours after finishing. Dare You To didn’t disappoint either.

This isn’t so much a sequel to Pushing the Limits as another story set in the same universe. It follows the life of Beth, Noah’s friend from Limits, as she finds herself uprooted from her foster home and sent to live with her uncle, a retired MLB player.

From the very beginning she plots a way out, back to her mother to save her from abusive boyfriend, Trent; back to Isaiah, her very best friend. He’s promised to take her and her mother away, the the beach somewhere to have a real life.

Enter Ryan, the hot local golden boy—the star pitcher on the high school team. He’s planning for the majors after graduation and really shouldn’t be getting involved in bad girl Beth but he can’t seem to help himself.

As their relationship develops, Beth’s friendship with Isaiah falls apart, nearly tearing Beth into two. But she’s got to figure out what really is best for her and where she belongs before it’s too late.

I’m still kind of tongue-tied over this book, the GAH! Feeling not going away. I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved it. If you were a fan of Pushing the Limits I’m sure you’ll love Dare You To. I laughed and got frustrated and cried and ached for the characters, especially Isaiah. I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a powerful love story that will at once break your heart and pull you back together. Oh, and angst. Got plenty of that.

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